Colin Mead, Past President, d. 30th October 2013
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Colin Mead, Past President of the Association (1998), at the age of 77.
Colin was a great supporter of the Association and the Sports Club and Captained the OWRFC 1st XV in 1959/61. It is the widely held view that he was the driving force behind the improvement in the Club’s playing standards which culminated in the great sides of the late 1960s. The OWRFC history credits him with 118 appearances for the 1st XV.
A man of large stature, with a voice to match, he maintained a passionate interest in OW affairs and frequently corresponded with those in office regarding current and future strategy on which he always had a positive and helpful view.
Colin was extremely proud of his Scottish heritage and regularly attended the Annual Dinners resplendent in the full dress of the Graham Clan which only added to his presence.
As Landlord of the historic Red Lion in the Oxfordshire village of Steeple Aston Colin, together with his wife Margaret, played host to many OWs who frequently made the diversion from the M40. Firstly, to enjoy the delights of Margaret’s exquisite cooking and also, for the good humoured banter that Colin always encouraged between those on both sides of the bar.
The selection of malt whiskies available at the Red Lion was legendary and featured in a national press article. As a result, Colin’s generous hospitality frequently led to a slow and rather precarious drive back to Surrey!
Colin’s Funeral took place at 11.00am on Friday 15th November at the Banbury Crematorium, Hardwick Hill, Southam Road, Banbury OX16 1ST with a reception after at the Red Lion, Steeple Aston OX25 4RL.
Update 18th November:-
Jerry Evans (1946-55) writes, “As you know, I had come (almost) directly from the commemorations for Colin Mead and he was much in my thoughts. I am sure he would have been with us in spirit – and in person if he could possibly have managed it. One of the things that stood out in the ceremony was how much Whitgift and the OWRFC meant to him. On the front of the Order of Service (a Civil one) was a photo of him in his OW rugby shirt; there were references to both the school and and the rugby in the eulogy (given by a non-OW); the only musical item was a recording of the school song (‘Carmen’); and particularly poignant was the fact that the proceeds of the retiring collection were to be divided between the hospice where he spent his last days and the Gerry Bowthorpe Appeal. There are, I’m sure, many OWs who would have wanted to be at the ‘farewell’ to Colin but couldn’t make it. Best regards, Jerry”