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 CourtFootball: Kent League standard with Herne BayTennis: 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 clubHockey: MSR 1st XI goalkeeperTable 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. Den.
Message from Kathryn Loader:
I am Kathryn Loader , David Loader’s wife, and am emailing to let you know that sadly David died on Monday 14th June .
I know he wasn’t a terribly active member but he was always interested in following his old school and his fellow alumni
His main interest was cricket and he continued playing until Parkinson’s disease brought it to a halt . He also played hockey too .
Albert Ernest Johnson
As many of you will be aware our dear friend Albert Johnson passed away on Sunday 24th January. He would have been 89 yesterday,28th January.
If you would like to send condolences these should go to his daughter Carol at 53 Mountney Drive, Pevensey Bay , East Sussex,BN24 6SH. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a tribute paid to Albert by a former Chairman of the Old Williamsonian Club and a great friend of Albert for many years. I think it beautifully sums up what most of us in the OW Club feel
"I have happy memories of our Albert, a true loyal and proud member of the OW family. I had happy chats with him over the past, both OW related and non OW.
He would do anything for the Club and cared passionately about its older members. He was so pleased to host the Veterans' Lunch on many occasions and was insistent that we should hear news of these important members.
It is fantastic that the Club's "Outstanding Achievement Award" is a trophy bearing his name!
On a personal level he was a lovely friend who occasionally sought advice.
He loved to show his pride in his family and wanted them ALL to know that!
I shall miss visits to Eccles and cherished piles of memorabilia!
He was also a man of standards!"
I have been informed by his wife Maureen that Mick passed away on the 11th February. Mick was a goal keeper for the Hockey Club for many years in the 60s and 70s. He was also a year ahead of me at School and Bristol University and was aged 80. He also played the trombone to a high standard. He lived very near the School in Maidstone Road and had been suffering from dementia for some years. I will advise details of his funeral when I hear anything.
Alan lost his wife Diane suddenly in January 2017, not long after he was diagnosed with skin cancer, thankfully after radiotherapy he got the all clear. At the end of January 2020 I found him very ill at home and he was admitted to Margate hospital, were he spent the next 9 weeks battling sepsis, septicaemia, pneumonia. He came home on 24th March 2020 but unfortunately 5 weeks of being in bed in hospital took its toll, he had to learn to walk again and was very unsteady on his feet, my son who was 14 at the time moved in with him as a safety net just incase until the end of June. He managed to stay at home with the support of carers until 10th September 2020 when he was taken very ill again, and then was in hospital for another 5 weeks, he came home for 3 days middle of October 2020 before he was taken ill again and went back into hospital. Unfortunately, 10 days later he fell out of a chair in hospital on the ward whilst trying to pick up a pen he had dropped. He fractured his pelvis. He changed overnight from being normal Alan to a very frail and confused man, the decline was incredible. This was the start of his decline. At the end of November he went to a pit stop nursing home whilst I secured him a bed in a long term home as the hospital was becoming riddled with Covid and I decided he was better out than in. The middle of December I moved him to a nursing home of my choice which was a small home in the country. Unfortunately, he was bedbound since his fall he never regained the strength to walk again. Although extremely frail, he still managed to smile and have a laugh and he was telling the ladies stories of his childhood and hockey. At the end of January 2021 they called me to tell me his health was getting worse the bad days were outweighing the good, eating and drinking and taking his medication was becoming a real struggle. Almost two weeks to the day I received that call he passed away. Thankfully he remained Covid free. He was only just over a month off his 92nd birthday, sadly just old age got him.
His funeral is on Friday 19th March at 10.40am at Barham Crematorium.
Thomas Henry Waller
15/9/1932 to 13/1/2021
It is with sadness that I inform you that my father, Thomas (Tom) Waller, died on 13 January 2021 at the age of 88.
Tom was born in Montreal, Canada, and from two years of age, he was raised in the village of Hoo in the Medway Towns. He attended Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School in Rochester from about 1943 to 1948/49. He was proud of his time at the Math and was a lifelong member of the Old Williamsonian club, regularly attending the annual dinners with his close friends whom he first met during his school years.
Tom was conscripted into the RAF in 1950 and completed two years’ service. In 1951, during home leave, he met his future wife, Pam, and they married in 1955. After living in Chatham for a few years, they moved to the village of Hoo near Rochester, where they raised their family of three children, Richard, David and Jacqueline. Tom’s life revolved around his family and he and Pam remained in Hoo until 1988, when they moved to Romney Marsh, Kent, where Pam still lives today.
Tom’s main working life started in the early 1960’s as an apprentice fitter at Blaw Knox in Rochester, which made road pavers. He rose steadily through the ranks, becoming Personnel Manager, Works Manager and Manufacturing Director. He was a fair-minded and considerate manager and prided himself on his personal ethos of never asking anyone to do a job that he was not willing to do himself. He was made redundant with the rest of the workforce when the factory closed in 1997.
In retirement, he and Pam took up outdoor bowling playing in local leagues, until ill health forced him to stop. He also spent many hours tending his 50ft long greenhouse, which he built himself, where he grew a variety of vegetables and tomato plants, which he would often give freely to the local community.
I and the other members of Tom’s family hope that there are some Old Williamsonians who remember him with fondness and who were perhaps even at the Math when he was there.