Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 28 January 2013 page 9 ( of 17)
Teesside Topics 39
Today we are delving into the past, both distant and recent. The distant past is 65 years ago and concerns the dreaded photo and here it is, [Ed note: see below] although a bit difficult to reproduce. Are any of the readers on it? As I have previously explained, we held a meeting of the National Executive of FZY and decided to come North for the Annual Conference. The War was over, so I got leave from the War Office where I was stationed and travelled to Sunderland where I was the guest of the Maccoby family, whom I had never met before. Quite a number of others who came were also in the Forces, so it was a joyful occasion meeting old friends and celebrating the Peace. Other Executive members came, so you will see John White, Debbie Wiseman and the Kadish sisters on the photo. And I wonder if any readers are on the photo ?. Can you see Sheila Maccoby and Charlie Gillis? Anybody else? Answers please to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I shall then know if I have any readers other than Martin, Brenda, Betty, Peter, Stephen, Gloria and Gwen. I know they do, as I have had kind and unkind comments hitherto.
So much for the distant past. And now I turn to the more recent past. I have to tell you about the Holocaust Service. As I have previously mentioned, we were at the new venue of St Barnabas Church – a most impressive church and to use the same adjective, a most impressive service –at least that is what many people said. Thankfully the weather was much better than last year. We had a large congregation and many dignitaries, including what I called a chain of Mayors. I was pleased that Ray Honeybourne managed to come – he keeps Darlington going, following the departure of the Finn family. I wonder if I can persuade him to help out at Stokesley sometimes, as my congregation get a bit bored with my efforts so much of the time.
It is pleasing to realise that the Service appears to have an established place in the annual Teesside calendar. We lacked the Bishop of Whitby, who had to be in Cambridge, but I intend to redouble my efforts to lassoo him for next year! The format was more or less the usual in content. Margaret Thompson welcomed those present and then there were the addresses, interspersed with hymns. The Vicar of St Barnabas, the Rev Erik Wilson, delivered a powerful and impassioned address and then shook us all up by showing a video - I was told that he is a person of surprises. (No, I and the Editor are not at fault - it really is Erik. And the explanation is that his mother was Scandinavian). Meg Robb recited the Niemoller poem which was so appropriate, as the theme was “Speak Up, Speak Out”. This was followed by the 2 minute silence. Then Joe Gellert and Gwen Lamb together dealt with the lighting of the candle. Sadly, both had lost many relations in the Hitler Holocaust. Joe intoned most relevant words, whilst Gwen did the lighting. The representative of the British Legion recited the memorable words of Binyon. Finally, I spoke about the origin of the Day, its importance and how vital it was to keep it going, adding an explanation as to how I started the Service on Teesside. I should have read the closing prayer but with failing sight I could not, so my daughter Gail read it from my prayer book.
Plentiful refreshments followed and plentiful fellowship, which is a good thing. And another good thing was that Joe managed to get to the Newcastle Service with 5 minutes to spare. Thank you, Joe, for your help at our Service. David Simon Stokesley