Obituaries

Alexander Grogan

Just before Christmas I was informed of the death of Alexander Grogan on 22nd of December 2018 at the age of 64. He had been ill for some time and was in care. He attended the school between 1965 and 1972. A funeral service was held in Bruree, County Limerick, Ireland at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on the 23rd of January followed later by a cremation of Alex and his Arsenal shirt. I attach the short reading given by Alex’s sister Maria, which could perhaps be used as the basis for an Obituary.
Tony Powell

Eulogy

Alexander Michael Grogan was born on 1St May 1953 at Paddington Hospital to the proud parents of James and Mary Grogan of Crouch End, London. He attended Rokesley Junior School where he passed his 11+ and went on to Stationers Grammar School also in Crouch End. He had a large capacity for academic studies for which he gained high grade qualifications, this enabled him to attend further education in Essex. However, after a year or so he realised that he was not happy at the University and returned home to his family.

He settled back in Crouch End working at an Insurance company and doing well, but there was another calling for Alex by way of him noticing there was a charity for disadvantaged young adults which he passed every day. After a short while he spoke to our mother, asking her for advice as to what he should do as he felt he wanted to help the young adults who had a bad start in life, our mother told him to follow your heart and shortly afterwards he joined the charity as a Community Worker.

Alex stayed for several years helping raise awareness of the charity, suffice to say he was very successful, using his academic skills he persuaded many people to support this charity, which included fundraising ideas which helped raise the much needed financial muscle to carry on the good work. He also made sure the money was directed towards helping the kids as much as possible so admin costs and wages were kept under control. He was dedicated to his work and in turn the young adults who came to the centre in Finsbury Park respected and liked Alex immensely, he was an honest man with a big heart.

Alex’s next challenge was Director of The Huddlestone Centre in Hackney, London which is a charity for disabled children and young adults. Once again Alex gave total commitment to his work and again raised much needed funds.

I, Maria, was witness to his dedication towards both these charities as he would often call me to volunteer whenever he needed an extra pair of hands. He was loved by those who knew his true worth and a great advocate for both the children and their parents. He stayed for many years and made many friends through his hard work and deep commitment to those with disability.
Alex was also a good friend to his Mum and Dad and indeed after the death of our mother became very helpful to our Dad, one of his happiest times was going to the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Dad, and he would make all the arrangements every year until Dad passed away. He was also travelling back to Tipperary on a regular basis to help both our Uncles who were in failing health. They both died having spent good times with their nephew Alex.

Alex loved music and reading and both of those interests served him well during his lifetime. He was a great cyclist and was well known where he lived in Highgate, often to cycle to a park with some sandwiches and binoculars to look at the wildlife and relax. He knew that simple pleasures gave the most reward. He followed Arsenal Football Club and was a season ticket holder for some considerable time, he enjoyed the atmosphere of a pub and would frequent the local ones in Highgate discussing his passion for literature and poetry. Alex was a member of the Labour Party and would campaign on behalf of its members especially around local elections. He was a man who had many interests and these are just a few examples.

With the passing of Dad he decided to move to Tipperary and left London for good, which was the right decision for him as it was time for another life, he attended Limerick University gaining a bachelors in Social Science which was a great achievement for him. He travelled extensively and would often write to our sister Sheila and her family with his news.

Alex leaves behind a wonderful legacy of hard work for what he believed in, the children and young adults he encountered were his family and for that he certainly demonstrated God’s love for all. We will miss him and remember him for who he was and for the love he expressed to those most in need. God speed Alex to the rightful place you deserve and we hope, when the time comes, we will meet again. Love you Alex, your sisters Maria and Sheila, brother Kenny, brother-in—law Adrian, sister-in-law Barbara, nephews and nieces, Kieran, Catherine (God-daughter), Robert, Ben and Claire.

Ralph (Ben) Batchelor

Ben lost his long fight (15 years) against cancer but is now out of pain. He will be buried in our wood. Being a very private man he only wanted very close family, his brother and sister, our children and grandchildren to be present. He will be remembered with a Cricket Tea, and his favourite bat will go with him.

Precis of Ralph’s Life Story

Ralph was born in Stranraer, in Scotland, on 12th May 1942 to Ralph and Betty Batchelor. His father was stationed in Scotland in the RAF during WWII. Ralph’s elder sister, Valerie, was born the previous year. Betty and the children returned to London in 1944 to live with her parents at 23 Cavendish Road, Harringay, where Ralph’s brothers, John and Phillip, were born.

His first school was South Harringay Primary. Valerie had the unenviable task of taking him to school and hearing constant reports of, “Your Ralph is outside Mr. Wilson’s door again.” Mr. Wilson was the headmaster and administered the cane. Ralph was usually in trouble for climbing on the roof to collect the football or fighting with his best friend, Eddie Plumb. When taking him anywhere, Valerie always said, “Ralph, please be good.”, but he never was.

Ralph took the 11+ exam and was not expected to pass because he had paid little attention to his lessons. The class teacher, Mrs. Gaze, asked those who had passed to move to the side, and when Ralph went to join them, she thought he had made a mistake and asked to see his letter. He had, in fact, passed the 11+ exam, and went to the Stationers’ Company School for Boys. His major interests were football and cricket, and he continued to be in constant trouble, leaving at 16 to work at Frederick Sage, shopfitters, specialising in buying timber and veneers, eventually gaining HNC in Business Studies at evening classes and becoming Purchasing Manager.

Ralph married Stefanya on the 1st of May 1965; having bought a house near Royston and commuting to London, Ralph was “headhunted” by one of Sage’s suppliers and after working in Stourbridge and living in hotels searching for a new home for 9 months only meeting up at week-ends, they moved to The Farm in 1971. Villagers apparently commented “What do those two young people want a big house like that for?”. Three years later Grey was born, followed by Abigail in 1977 and Hannah in 1984, so the house was soon filled.

You may be aware that Ralph better known at OS as Ben formed part of a famous half back line on the football field together with Charlie Cruden and Mike Hasler that carried the team through various school years with a great deal of success. He continued to play football and Cricket for the Old Boy’s Association, however this now had to be limited to yearly visits. Despite working away regularly, Ralph was always active in village life whether playing cricket or in more recent years sitting on the recreation ground committee and working for the youth club.

Two years after moving to The Farm, he was out of a job and decided to start his own business as a Steel Mill’s Agent finding customers for German and Italian producers of very specialised steels. This entailed a lot of travel throughout the UK, Europe and latterly India, travel was always something to be relished and enjoyed. His young German and Italian colleagues, now some 40 years older, have all said that his experience and tutoring taught them a great deal about negotiating and business, expressing their admiration for his generosity and honesty.

A wonderful father and grandfather, savouring all the humour and love that these roles bring with them. He recently said that his only regret in life was not living long enough to see the grandchildren grow up and flourish.

He and I had wonderful memories of happy times with old friends at OS Football Matches and Cricket matches from the early 60’s until our last visit to Botany Bay a year ago. I have lost a good man.

Stefanya (Steve)

Ernie Stone

I have been informed of the death of Ernie.  He recently moved to his daughters in Stevenage. The funeral arrangements have been confirmed as 11.00am on Tuesday 11th December at New Southgate Crematorium, Brunswick Park Road, New Southgate N11 1JJ. After at Oakleigh Park LT&S Club, 100 Oakleigh Road North, N20 9EZ. Roger

Barry Macrae

Following another forced visit to Barnet General I regret to announce the passing of another one of our football greats. Barry Macrae died on 8th October after a long illness. The funeral is on Friday 2nd November at West Herts Crematorium, WD2 50JS, North Chapel, at 1.20pm. Then back to the Bay. Gordon

Geraint Pritchard

Geraint Pritchard

Geraint, was very supportive to many of us during our school days and took a keen interest in our career paths and lives after leaving school. He played a huge part in the Old Stationers Association as editor and major contributor of ‘The Old Stationer’ Magazine, serving on the Committee and as a past President. His dedication to the School and Association influenced much of the OSA as we know it today and his passing will leave a huge void. Geraint, had an unquenchable appetite for travel and enjoyed sharing his experiences through the Magazine travelog and in encouraging us to explore the wider world. The funeral will take place at 2pm on Wednesday 2nd May in Anglesey, at Barachia Chapel, Llandegfan, LL59 5PY. Could those wishing to attend let Tim Westbrook know to anticipate approximate numbers for catering.

Richard ‘Dickie’ Rundle

Dickie Rundle

We are sad to announce the passing of Dickie Rundle on Saturday 17th February at the age of 90. He died peacefully at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester. Loving husband of the late Barbara, cherished father of Nick and Mandy and devoted grandad to Charlie and Sam. His funeral is to take place at Worthing Crematorium at 1.20pm, on 6th March. Family flowers only.

Dickie was a true stalwart of Old Stationers FC from the early 50s onwards. He was 1st XI captain for 3 seasons (1951/52-1953/54) and led the side to the club’s first 3rd Division Senior SAL Title in 1952/53. He served as Hon Secretary from 1956/57-1960/61 and then as Club President from 1976 to 1994.

Dickie was one of life’s great administrators, he served on the SAL Committee for many years having joined in 1960. From 1967 until 1986 he held the office of Vice-Chairman of the SAL Committee and in 1987 he was elected Vice President of the SAL.

Friends and colleagues will recall his infectious enthusiasm and cheery demeanour which will be sadly missed.

Our thoughts are with Dickie’s family and friends at this sad time.

All enquiries, including donations, in Dick’s memory, to 01798 813967.

David Michael Johns

David died on December 16th 2017 aged 76. He attended the school from 1954 to 58 and had been living in South Africa.

John Fiddy

John was born in Haringey on 23rd May 1944 and grew up in North London with his parents Joan & Stan. He went to school at the Old Stationers and then went on to study Chemistry at Nottingham University. He just about passed his degree, mainly in his own words due to mostly playing the guitar and chasing women. However, this lead to a successful career in music starting out as a session player and arranger for the likes of of Alvin Stardust, David Essex, Lulu, Tom Jones, The Beach Boys, Barry Blue and many more. He worked closely on many major albums including Olivia Newton John, Dana, Kimera, Lena Zavaroni, and the legendary Frank Pourcel. John also did all the arrangements for Alain Boubil who went on to write Les Miserables, so indeed he worked with some of the best in the industry in the 70’s and rose to the top of his game.

John then went on to work for Sonoton, composing library music for Gerhard and Heidi Narholz and he ran the UK arm of the business for many years from his home Fruit Farm in Foxton, Cambridgeshire. He continued as a composer under various aliases including Barry Ryder, Jean-Pierre Fabien, Peter Guntherson, & Jean-Claude Madonne, writing over 2000 library titles which are still used widely Internationally today. John spent his later years living in Norfolk and continued to write music often recording at the Angel Studios in London with the likes of David Arch, Martin Taylor and Mitch Dalton.

John had been married to his wife Glynne who sadly passed in 2014 for over 35 years and has three grown up children Pru, Joe and Georgia. HIs legacy continues though his children and music.