It is with a sense of deep sadness that we say goodbye to one of the club’s most loyal and popular stalwarts, Rupert Bairamian, who died after a short illness in Sydney on Saturday 28th November 2020.
Rupert, it is fair to say, was the heartbeat of the Bluemantle’s Cricket Club. He played for many others, including Band of Brothers, Stragglers of Asia, The Grannies, IZ, Highclere, Moose CC, Yellowhammers, Old Eastbournians and Scorpions. But it was the Bluemantle’s, and the week in particular, that would give him most joy. Great friendships were made. Deep bonds that went beyond cricket were forged on the Nevill. His laughter, wise-cracks, hilarious (and sometimes wise) observations illuminated our days playing cricket with him. He was someone everyone wanted to be around and was the first name on any match manager’s list, as an excellent opening batsman, comedian and in-house wine merchant. With his late father, Bob, and step-mother, Roz, the Bairamians kept the club going, providing endless days of fun, competitive spirit, side splitting laughter, lunch and lashings of wine.
Rupert’s gift was his ability to mix with anyone. He was as popular with the groundman or scorer as he was with Test or county players, old friends from Eastbourne College or London. Whilst we were constantly reminded of his family’s aristocratic connections with Kent CCC, Rupert’s deep passion was for the game itself and all those involved, at whatever level. The Summer brought him out of Pimlico hibernation and back to life, injecting a buoyancy and sense of fun as the cricket season approached. Nearly every fixture card received had Rupie’s name on it, either as match manager, committee member, social secretary or, following his move to Australia, self-styled Foreign Secretary!
Happy memories are plentiful. From Eastbourne College 1st XI to Mosman Over 50’s, the game of cricket was more fun when he played. His familiar gait, ever-present smile, club tie and green towel, Rupie provided the fun. More often than not, he provided the runs as well, an accumulator rather than big hitter. The less said about his bowling, “the whippies”, the better.
The club has lost some great people in recent years…..James Wesson, Rex Roberts, Tom Simpson, Bob and Roz and now Rupert. If one thing has shone through, it is the light of their humour, character and sense of fun that they brought to us all.
There will never be another like Rupert. We, and thousands of others across the cricketing firmament, will miss him acutely.
Thank you Pertus. Take care.
Ed Atkinson 1/12/2020
The Old Eastbournian flag at half-mast in honour of Rupert, overlooking College Field, where he loved playing for Eastbourne College, OECC, Stragglers of Asia and Scorpions
Message from Justin Bairamian, Rupert’s brother.
“Ed’s tribute brilliantly captures Rupert, the man & the cricketer, but also just how much this club meant to him.
It was of course part of Bob’s legacy but Rupert was his own man and made his own unique contribution to the club over the years. It also gave him enormous pleasure. Bluemantle’s week was when Rupert really lit up and was at his happiest, surrounded by his friends, playing the sport he loved – and with Bob and Ros in the stand and in the kitchen.
It’s poignant to me – but somehow appropriate – that the last time I saw Rupert was when we scattered Bob’s ashes at the Nevill last year, on a beautiful English summer’s day. He loved that ground; and loved this club.
So it’s no surprise to me that Rupert asked that any donations be made to the club, to ensure that future generations enjoy it as much as he did. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if James, his son, could walk out one day, wearing the Bluemantle’s colours like his father and grandfather before him? “
Rupert asked, for anyone wishing to give donations, they should be made to:
Bluemantle’s Cricket Club
Sort code : 30-98-77
Account number : 00064583
Swift/BIC code : LOYDGB21074
IBAN : GB41LOYD30987700064583