3rd October, 2009
I’m pleased to report on another most enjoyable and successful choir reunion – the eighth that has been held since 1997. We assembled as usual at St.Paul’s Community Centre, Inner Park Road, SW19, on the first Saturday in October – the fixed date we now have for our annual event.
There was a good turn out again this year, with five ‘old boys’ attending for the first time. In total, there were 44 ex-choir members present, plus a number of ‘other halves’, increasing the attendance to 58. The five new faces came from far and wide, including one all the way from the USA, who had timed his UK break to enable him to meet up with some old friends, several of whom he had not seen for many years!
Although we had a good attendance, a number of familiar faces were missing, notably John Lally, a special close friend of mine, who sadly died soon after our reunion last year. John was a larger than life character in every sense and he will be sadly missed. However, there were happier reasons for other absentees, such as Adrian Thompson, who was busy with his professional career singing an operatic tenor role in Holland. Eric Crees would also have joined us, but he was honouring his position as principal trombone at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
There is always a happy atmosphere at these events and the hall was again full of laughter and fun. It is a great tribute to Russell Burgess that despite 30 years having passed since his untimely death, we all still enjoy meeting up regularly and remember him with great affection, recalling what a great influence he had on us all.
As usual, thanks were expressed to the Old Wandsworthians Memorial Trust for the grant that we receive. It is greatly appreciated and helps enormously with the finances required in organising the events.
It is a measure of the success of the reunions that at our 11pm ‘closing time’, a small gathering of about a dozen ‘old boys’ were enjoying themselves so much that they had to be reminded that they had homes to go to! The consolation was that the reunion for next year is already booked, and we could all look forward to October 2010.
Those attending were:
Kevin Attwell, John Bourton, Jonathan Bourton, Phil Cadman, Chris Cheek, Julian Cheek, Mike Coysh, Peter Eastwood, Keith Eldridge, Wilf Finbow, David Gibson, Steve Hattersley, Ron Hollis, Jim Hughes, Trevor Johnson, Brian Johnston, Chris Jolly, Chris Lacey, Martin Lince, Mary Lince, Richard Long, Peter Love, Tony Mitcham, Pat Morgan, David Munden, John Munden, Michael Nicholls, Barry O’Shea, Geoff Park, Cynthia Phillimore, Graham Preston, Ray Pritchard, Brian Sawyer, Fred Shaub, Andy Smetham, Rob Smith, Nigel Spearing, Mark Stevens, Juliet Solomon, Geoff Wake, Richard Walmsley, Burgess Warren, Geof West, Les West.