Thanks to another huge effort by John Tucker and Ken Doig, the 70th reunion of Old Yorkists was held at the Holiday Inn, Taunton on 27th July, followed by a golf competition the next day organised by Al May.
Some 190 Yorkists and their wives came from all over the world to attend what is likely to be the last event of its kind as age and infirmity erodes the numbers of that fraternity. Despite that, at least 5 of those present were 49ers, part of a unique cohort who had joined the school when it started in 1949.
Amongst those who arrived before formalities commenced was David Lichtenstein, resplendent in his kikoi, having travelled from his home in Sydney Australia, via Kenya on safari, before going on to Europe the following week.
As we were all ushered into the dining room, we were entertained by a video of the Moipei Quartet singing a beautiful rendition of Country Roads, produced by Mike Andrews. It was a perfect start to a memorable evening. They were followed on three large screens by a rolling succession of old school photographs, which featured many of those present, including the 1952 School Boxing Team!
Following an excellent meal, as coffee was served, Ken Doig, having gained the attention of an increasingly animated audience, kicked off the speeches with a very amusing presentation which was roundly applauded. He was followed by John O’Grady who spoke about the Optimum Kenya Trust, which raises funds to sponsor students and improve the infra structure of Lenana School. Al May then spoke briefly about the Golf Day and, finally, John Tucker eloquently thanked those who had helped organise the event and especially all those in attendance who had come from far and wide.
Before we closed, Anita Murphy, the daughter of teacher Bulldog Harris, spoke eloquently of her father and his love of the school and her memories of Kenya. Warwick Davis was also there, whose father, some may remember, taught woodwork at school.
It was a most enjoyable occasion which, inevitably, was rounded off by a rendition of Suave Rosam ably led by David de Bromhead and Simon Williamson, the only ones there who could remember all the words!
Thanks to Al May for this contribution.