Our afternoon programme began at 2pm with an excellent Cathedral tour by Dr John Crook, the Cathedral Archaeologist. We enjoyed a private tour of the Crypt before moving to the Quire and Nave for additional highlights. This was a great opportunity to enjoy John’s detailed knowledge first hand and we were very grateful to him for giving up his time.
After tea in the sunshine outside the Octagon building at Pilgrims’, we accepted Andy Lumsden’s kind annual invitation to sing with the choir at evensong which for many of us is always the highlight of our day. The Canticles were Stanford in C, followed by Balfour Gardiner’s Evening Hymn and this year the lesson was read by Richard Larcombe OC 1953. After the service some 70 of us returned to Pilgrims’ for drinks on the lawn and dinner, we were pleased that leaving choristers and their parents were able to join us which provided the chance to offer them a warm welcome to the OCs. Furthermore we were all able to welcome Dean Catherine as our new President and Robin for the first time, which made the evening a particularly happy occasion.
We were especially delighted to welcome Keith Ross as our guest speaker at dinner. Keith became a lay-clerk in January 1976 and subsequently Deputy Headmaster at Pilgrims’ in September 1980. His distinguished service continued with the choir until 2013. Keith entertained us superbly with reflections on his career and life in the Cathedral choir, as well as what we all know was his huge role in the education of generations of choristers. Our great thanks go to the Headmaster, Tom Burden for his hospitality to all OC’s and their families throughout the day, as well as to Ivor Richards, the Catering manager and his team for our excellent dinner which was complimented by so many.
In 2019 we look forward to OC reunions for the 20th Anniversary of the Girls’ choir on June 2nd, see our Events page on the website, as well as a full OC reunion on September 28th including an OC concert to be held in the Quire after evensong, fundraising for the restoration of the Cathedral organ.