Below is a tribute to John Lance penned by his old friend Jim Godmon.
“As Dennis suggests his service was not John’s greatest strength but never was it a serious weakness due to his solid ground strokes and the fact that he was a natural volleyer. But possibly his real strength was his game management, on reflection mature beyond his years. He knew how to play to his strengths and he was never afraid of winning.
In 1951/52 John dominated junior tennis in the Medway area, winning the MLTA singles title in both years (I can be sure of that because in ’52 he beat me in the final!). I think It was in 1952 that John qualified for Junior Wimbledon by reaching the final of the Kent junior championships. There were no doubt other successes, in the Chatham Easter tournament and in doubles including with Jill in mixed doubles.
Of particular relevance to the school, and I am fairly sure of this, it was John’s success in those years which was behind the introduction of tennis into the sports curriculum which in turn resulted in his becoming the first person to be awarded School Colours for tennis.
A formidable opponent but always a true sportsman.”
John Lance: an obituary by Dennis Hills
Sadly, we said farewell to John Lance on 8th December 2020, aged 86. Our deepest sympathy to his wife Jill, daughter Karen and son Kevin from the OW Club. Knowing him since 1946, he will always be my sportsman of the year. It's worth reflecting for a moment on his sporting prowess:
Cricket: Attacking batsmen and wicketkeeper finally playing for Gore Court
Football: Kent League standard with Herne Bay
Tennis: Local Medway League with St John's Chatham, also took part in Junior Wimbledon; if only he had had a heavier service?
Squash: Sussex League with his own club
Hockey: MSR 1st XI goalkeeper
Table Tennis: Local league
So you can see he was a proper all-rounder.
His career started after "A" levels with 3 years in the RAF - stationed with Stuart Leary (ex-KCCC, and Charlton Athletic Player) out-scoring SL, or so he told me!
After ‘demob', he joined Heinz 57 (Strood) in the marketing department, followed by East Kent Packers(Faversham) as Transport Manager. Then on to purchase a rundown squash club, between Battle and St Leonards on Sea which by much hard work and with maximum support from Jill and Kevin became a thriving business.
After 15 years the club was sold and John and Jill moved to Crowborough to retire and finally to Bristol in close location to Karen and family, his final resting place.
Even the crossword department of the Daily Telegraph will miss John; he usually completed the difficult one in 30 minutes and on odd occasions told the Telegraph how "yesterday's" was too easy.
He never ran me out, but singles to the wicketkeeper being his favourite, were often too close for comfort.
So farewell John from one of your best mates.
November 2020 OWC Newsletter
Click on PDF below
THE OWC ANNUAL DINNER
As many of you will already be aware, back in September we made the sad decision to cancel the 2020 OWC Annual Dinner.When I say “cancel”, perhaps “postpone” would be more accurate as we plan to have exactly the same event menu wise etc. just 11 months later than originally planned on:-Saturday 23rdOctober 2021. You will see that we have changed the date to slightly earlier in theyear, the reason for this being that the old date clashed with the Home Internationals (rugby union) which apparently prevented a whole swathe of people from attending.The cost (£30) and all other important things will remain the same as planned for 2020.I am hoping this move means we will be able to have an “unrestricted “ event in 2021 and I am further hoping that as all our lives have been so severely disrupted in recent times, the 2021 Annual Dinner will be the best supported ever!
THE VETERANS' LUNCHEON HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL A DATE NOT YET KNOWN
The 37th Old Williamsonian Club Annual Veterans’ Luncheon 2020
Dear Old Williamsonians and friends,
I am sure that this announcement will not come as a surprise to anybody.
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that the Veterans’ Lunch planned for Wednesday 15th April 2020 has to be postponed sine die.
I say “postponed” advisedly; it has not been cancelled but merely deferred until we are free of the grip of this accursed coronavirus.
The School is now closed and will be indefinitely, and in my view there is no point in re-organising the lunch until we know for sure that sanctions have been lifted and that may well be not until much later in the year. However, as far as is humanly possible, we shall have the same event, same menu etc., but just not for a while yet. The easiest outcome from the Club’s perspective is if you agree that we may hold on to the money you have already paid which will ensure your place at the new event; if that date does not suit you for whatever reason, obviously you will be refunded. This will avoid us having to repay all attendees and you having to pay again when the new date is known. However, if you feel you would like to be reimbursed now, let me know and I will arrange it.
I am deeply sorry it has come to this but we really do not have any other option.
Finally, I hope you all stay safe through these difficult times and I look forward to welcoming you all to the postponed Lunch some time later this year.
Chairman, Old Williamsonian Club
UPDATE - THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED
OWHC 75th Annual Dinner
First and foremost, thanks for all your support to date ahead of the 75th Dinner. We have had a record number of people sign up and pay for what was looking to be a great celebration of the club’s 75th season.
Unfortunately, we can’t ignore the real world – the Corona virus is disrupting so much: people’s work, health, hockey and social lives. With everything that’s going on, and following government advice, we are going to have to postpone the dinner until a time when everything has calmed down.
Our plans are as follows… If we are able to, we will look to put on a Club Day at the earliest available date at the school once this storm has passed. It is our intention to present the club awards then.
More importantly, we are looking to secure a date in April 2021 for the re-arranged dinner and will confirm once we have a new date locked down. Depending on the Corona situation, we may have a date for you in weeks – but regrettably it’s more likely to be months away. For those who have paid already for the dinner, we plan to hold onto your money until the new date has been confirmed. If at that point, you’d like to be refunded (because you can’t make the date) we will of course refund you the price of your ticket in full. If, however, you’d prefer a full refund - please send through your bank details (sort code, account number, name of account holder) and we will get your money sent back to you asap.
Thanks very much again for your support so far. It’s fair to say we could absolutely not have got as far as we did without the support of our sponsors – Cooling Castle Barn and the team at DGB. Cancelling the dinner has been absolutely gut-wrenching but we are confident that the re-arranged dinner will be even bigger and better as we all seek to make up for lost time in the company of great friends and Old Williamsonians!
All the best, please get in touch using the usual email – firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The OWHC Committee