Founder’s day is held at Fairbridge annually on the Sunday that falls closest to the passing of Kingsley Fairbridge. Whilst the commemoration is held on this day, the focus of the day is on the life of Kingsley, and not his death.

 

The Old Fairbrigdians’ Society President, Secretary and committee members did a magnificent job in contacting old Fairbridgians and inviting them to the Farm for the day. Visitors were welcomed by Board Member Veronica Deveroux and OFA President, Graham Bennett, Secretary, Pam Wilson, and committee members David Buck, Jan Churchill, Liz Yates, Geoff and Kay Dix, Norm Henshall and Stuart Law.

 

The day commenced with functions in the church. A short speech was delivered by Stuart Law and a commemoration service followed.

 

After church, committee members and visitors retired to the Old Fairbridgians Clubhouse to enjoy a magnificent luncheon, to enjoy a final viewing of the museum (before temporary closure) and to meet and mix with old friends and to meet old Fairbridgians from different eras.

 

Distinguished visitors included the sprightly Mr John Lane who enjoyed chatting with guests and handing out copies of his “Fairbridge – The Vision Splendid” video to lucky recipients. Another distinguished guest was My Alwyn Bridges (Mr B.), who entertained his former passengers which amusing anecdotes he recalled from his time as the Fairbridge bus driver. Lois Elliott and Frank Richardson were also there enjoying the day.

 

In addition to those mentioned above, other Old Fairbridgians who were also at the Founder’s Day commemoration included (in no particular order and using maiden names) George Braithwaite, Lynne Rainey, Nigel Baird-Orr, Tony Cummings, Alan Pringle, Sandra Laird, Carol Laird, James Laird, Bob Mitchell, Nick May, Philip May, Norm (Pin) Heslington, John Sumner (all the way from Albany), Lusia Sumner, David Frensham, Denise Frensham, Gerald Frensham, Barry Stuart, and Gordon Stuart.

 

Camera flashes were popping everywhere and we can present a few of the photos taken on this website under the “Photos/Fairbridge Faces Recent” section.

 

The OFA visitor’s book accumulated a lot more ink and an appeal for more Old Fairbrigdians to join the OFA resulted in the membership increasing by about 20 (of far). A great effort and thanks to all those who joined up.

 

Some of the guests had not visited the Farm for many years and were interested in renewing their acquaintances with old friends and some familiar landmarks including (of course) their old cottage and places like the old swimming pool. We just didn’t have time to march up to Happy Valley although the hills were beckoning, although we would have dearly liked to. A group of guests went on a walking excursion that took in such places as the school, the dairy and notable public buildings including Nightingale.

 

Norm Henshall showed what a dab hand he is operating someone else’s digital camera (“it didn’t go off!!” he cried), Nick May handed out more business cards than a Las Vegas poker croupier (want a new fence or a haircut?), Norm Heslington was larger than life as always, Graham Bennett was passionately eloquent about the past and the future of the Farm, and all the while Jan Churchill sadly packed away (which a little help from her friends) all the museum finery, one day to re-emerge in a renovated OFA Clubhouse or another suitable showing room!

 

Alas, the day was too short and everyone had to head back home mid afternoon.