Hundreds of former pupils, staff and friends bade farewell to Bob Bairamian, the well known former Headmaster of Holmewood House and Kent sportsman.
Four former Presidents of Kent County Cricket Club, Nick Heroys, David Kemp, Carl Openshaw and Charlie Rowe, who taught at Holmewood, as was Committee member, Jeremy Cowdrey. Also present were Nigel Wheeler, former High Sheriff of Kent representing the Scorpions CC and Lord Faulks QC, representing the Bluemantle Patron’s XI.
The chief of the Band of Brothers, Tony Monteuiss, was in attendance as were many members of Bluemantle’s Cricket Club and representatives of the following cricket clubs ; Old Amplefordians, Los Bolas Dorados, The Grannies, The Invalids, The Yellowhammers, The Moose, Falconhurst, Limpsfield and Waldron.
A message of condolence to Rupert and Justin and their families from the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo, an Old Holmewoodian, was read out during the service in which he explained that it was only the UN summit that prevented him from attending !
The service was conducted with considerable warmth and humanity by the Reverend Tom Holme. The congregation heard that despite Bob’s highly competitive nature, he always made learning in the classroom and participation in sport great fun and he inspired his thousand of charges to maximise their potential and enjoy their schooling. He also oversaw a truly multi cultural school with boys coming from all over the world to Holmewood. There were many stories about Bluemantle Cricket Week, all involving Bob’s passion for a high standard of cricket and insistence that there should be revelry before, during and after the game with his wife Ros providing memorable lunches.
During the service, a fire broke out at the Leicester Arms across the road from the church where the reception was due to be held, which meant that an alternative venue had to be found at the last minute. Quick thinking, of which Bob would have been proud, by Bluemantle treasurer Nick Ogden, sandwiched between two fire engines and the licensee, ensured that we diverted to the co-owned George & Dragon where many a glass was raised in Bob’s direction.
Bob’s son Rupert said “ The family were thrilled that so many of Bob’s former pupils and friends came to the service and the three tributes, from my brother Justin, Paddy Butler, and well known Australian film maker, Haydn Keenan, an Old Holmewoodian, were superb and captured Bob’s personality brilliantly.
The Holmewood House choir closed the service in a fitting finale to a memorable life