Recognition Of 70 Years Service To The Choir

Monday 19th April, 2021 - 11:49am

Derek Harvey is the elder statesman of Mousehole Male Voice Choir. He joined when he was 17, on 19th October 1950, before many of us were born.

In honour of his 70th anniversary – surely unprecedented in the history of the choir – five of us (the maximum allowed under the present restrictions) went to the Solomon Browne Hall to present him with a Nigel Hallard print of the harbour. The five of us were very glad to represent the choir and show Derek how much we value what he’s put into supporting Mousehole over such a long period. The label on the back of the picture says:

“Presented to Derek by his fellow members of the Mousehole Male Voice Choir as a mark of their affection and in recognition of his outstanding and remarkable 70 years of service to the choir.“

It was also good to put on choir uniform for the first time in more than a year, not since our concert in February 2020 in Chapel Street Chapel to help raise funds for Julyan Drew’s memorial seat in Newlyn. Getting dressing up wasn’t as easy as you might think – buttoning up a shirt collar, remembering how to knot a tie, wondering why the trousers had shrunk so much, and dusting a pair of black shoes took some doing. 

But it was worth it to stand in the sunshine in Mousehole with Derek and to thank him with a gift that shows how attractive the village is. We hope it will also bring back happy memories for him. Derek brought along a big album of choir photos going back many years and we spent some time looking through them and putting names to some of the faces – Cecil Blewett and Garfield Ladner, Sidney and Tommy Waters, Ivor George and Edgar Wallis, and many more.

Derek has sung under five Musical Directors, and he could probably tell you exactly how many concerts he’s performed in and what pieces each one contained.  In all these years, he missed only two Summer Festival Concerts and he sang at another despite hurting his back after falling off a roof. He’s been Attendance Officer for over fifty years and, with the late Harry Pender, was awarded the annual Achievement Cup at the last AGM.

Hopefully when the choir is back together, we can in person thank Derek for his dedication to Mousehole Male Voice Choir and wish him even more years as a member.

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