Page 33 - Summer2014Gazette
P. 33

Feature                             31

Dave ‘Tommo’ Thomson piping    possibilities. What took place  the club was moved on and
‘Happy Birthday’               here that weekend was an        been rejuvenated so that it
                               event unlikely to be repeated   could adapt to new ways and
courtesy of ‘Tommo’ on         as that generation comes into   re-invent itself. If they are the
his bagpipes. During the       its own.                        ‘auld fellas’ now, it was they
course of the day the three    But wait… we’ve forgotten       who set the forces of change
hosts took time to present     something important here.       in motion. As to how the
an award to Alan Davis         Despite the many allusions      club has changed, these men
for completing 50 years of     to anno domini, and a           helped to break down barriers
membership, something          rising young generation,        in order for those forces
which of course meant a lot    it is easy to forget that the   of change to be activated.
to him.                        protagonists were themselves    Yes, there was over those
                               young, active athletes,         two days a predominance
Over £2,000 was raised in      serious competitors, and        of age over youth and of
donations for one of the       later on leaders of the club.   a culture representing
memorial charities, dedicated  They were also dynamic,         more certainty, in contrast
to Sydney Wooderson            spirited and maybe restless     to one of work pressure,
and much was talked of         for change in an institution    conspicuous consumerism
regarding fond memories of     steeped in archaic tradition.   and corporate loyalty. If so,
past heros and old friends,    So one gets the impression,     this is a constant reminder of
that one could easily forget   talking to a veteran athlete    the warmth and generosity of
the looming presence of a      who described the eye-          spirit that a club such as ours
new generation of younger      opening experience of           can and still should foster. In
members for whom the club’s    attending a club committee      extending heartfelt birthday
future has very different      meeting in the early 1960s      greetings I like many others
                               as being like a High Court      hope we can still find time
                               or Star Chamber hearing         for moments such as this.
                               where as a younger member       Here’s to the ‘auld fellas’
                               you were so overawed and        and evergreens. May they be
                               dare not speak out of turn.     forever young!
                               Then the club seemed
                               to some outsiders like a                                Wilf Orton
                               closed, masonic institution
                               which may not have been         Chris Haines with VP Julian
                               welcoming to ‘the infidels’,    Golding, Commonwealth 200m
                               an image that the club has      Champion 1998
                               tried hard to ameliorate.
                               However it was men such
                               as these three, young then
                               and influential in later years
                               who strove to break down
                               this perceived exclusivity,
                               and thanks to Chris, Ian and
                               Gary and others like them,
   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38