We are sad to report the passing away of John Ford on April 22nd, peacefully at Medway Hospital, after a long illness.
John was at Borden from 1962 to 1970 and was a regular at the annual OBA Dinner. He had been both Chairman of the OBA in years gone by and an organiser of the Dinner as well.
His contemporaries at school will remember his acting and musical abilities and his powerful voice put to good use in the Debating Society where he became Vice President. His acting roles over the years in the School Play included the Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe, Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest, the Emperor in Brass Butterfly, Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd in Ruddigore and the Younger Spencer in Edward Ⅱ. John returned to tread the boards in 1971 as a leading light in putting on a hugely successful Old Bordenian Revue at the School."
John spent his life in Educationl and as well as being a church warden, was the choirmaster and Director of Music at Saint Peter and Paul Parish Church, Borden, where he was also actively involved in leading retreats and in spiritual direction.
Our thoughts are with his wife, Christine, and sons, Richard and Alan.
Comment received from Martyn Calder:
The way I remember John is as someone who was always brave enough to be an individual, slightly eccentric even, as a teenager (and no doubt beyond!). Of all of our year he seemed to be the one most interested in the performing arts, and I do remember him standing at the back of a London theatre we were visiting (can't remember the play) shouting hugely loud encores.
Iolanthe and Ruddigore were of course joint Gilbert & Sullivan productions with the Girls Grammar, rather than Borden school plays (though I recall we also had girls in The Importance of Being Earnest). I remember the G&S productions well as I was in them (along with Ian Baron, John Clements, and Tony Young from our year, if I remember correctly). John (Ford) was always one of Borden's best voices.
Comment received from Tony Young:
Further to Martyn's comments about John (and yes all of those mentioned were in the G&S, John 'Filmer' Clements still has the programmes for the four that we did - Mikado, Iolanthe, Ruddigore and Pirates) - I believe John Ford was in an earlier one - the Gondoliers. He was, as Martyn says, eccentric - which pretty well summed him up. I remember a fairly rotund, jolly character - who loved being able to call the G&S performers out of class for rehearsals at the Girls School - beats Latin any day!!!
Tony Young 1962-69