Wandsworth School Choir Reunion – 2011

8th October 2011

What a difference a year makes!

The 2011 choir reunion, our 10th annual celebration of the choir’s unique success, saw a very welcome increase in attendance. From a disappointing 32 in 2010, twelve months later, the St. Paul’s Community Centre welcomed 44 to this year’s gathering, including 36 ‘old boys’!

Choir Reunion 2011

From left to right: Wilf Finbow, David Gibson, Ron Hollis and Tony Mitchum

We are very fortunate that the event is supported so generously with a grant from the Old Wandsworthians Memorial Trust, without which the cost per person would undoubtedly be increased. The financial aid that we receive each year is greatly appreciated.

What also helps a great deal to make the evening a success, is working with such co-operative people such as Samantha Marsh, the Centre Manager and Jo & Jan, the caterers. Nothing is ever too much trouble for them and their contribution to the evening should never be overlooked.

The evening was tinged with sadness as earlier in the year, one of our regular reunion attendees, Nelson Roberts, had died. Nelson was a popular member of staff, as well as a talented member of the tenor section of the choir, and one of my lasting memories of him goes back to our first reunion in 1997. At the end of the evening, as we were saying our goodbyes, ‘Nellie’, as he was affectionately known, was close to tears, overcome with the emotion of it all, seeing so many friends again, after so many years.

You can read a full tribute to Nelson from John Bourton. As we all get older, it is inevitable that our numbers will diminish and we lost another loyal choir member and keen reunion supporter back in July, when Phil Cadman died at the early age of 61. Our condolences and thoughts are with both Nelson’s and Phil’s families at this time.

Choir Reunion 2011

From left to right: Geof West, Mike Coysh, Les West, Peter Love and Michael Nicholls

Throughout the evening, there was the usual buzz of laughter around the room and it provides an opportunity to reflect and appreciate how lucky we are to have made such good friends within the choir, covering a wide range of ages. I suppose it can be summed up by the fact that we were all ‘in the right place at the right time’ and to be able to continue meeting each other on a regular basis is a bonus that we probably did not anticipate.

So we can now look forward to the 2012 reunion, and despite being a year older, hopefully we will all be fit enough to attend.

And finally …..

Everyone has different reactions to seeing old colleagues, but this quote is certainly one to think about – “I attended a reunion recently and everyone had changed so much that nobody recognised me!”

Ray Pritchard 

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