Funeral of John Cator

John Cator
John Cator 4 July 1936 – 23 April 2015

The funeral service for John Cator was held at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in St Michael’s Road, South Ham, Basingstoke on Wednesday 13 May 2015 officiated by Fr Benjamin Theobald. This was followed by a celebration of John’s life at Basingstoke Crematorium where his son in law gave the eulogy telling of John’s life initially in Thetford, Norfolk, National Service in the Suffolk Regiment only 12 miles away at Bury St Edmunds and his escape to Norwich working for Post Office Telephones. His career stayed with the Post Office advancing to be the manager of the London Foreign Section and latterly as Head of Operations City District (Square Mile). John took early retirement in 1992 and lived at Reigate in Surrey.
For 13 years John was a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Engineers of the Territorial Army rising to the rank of Major. He also worked for 4 years as a volunteer at his local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Having been a widower since 1984 John moved to Basingstoke in April 2012 to be near his eldest daughter, joining the Probus Club soon after. The club was represented at the funeral by President David Tivey and Hon. Secretary Paul Flint.

Probus Ladies’ Spring Lunch 2015

Tuesday 12 May 2015 saw the first Spring Ladies’ Lunch at the Test Valley Golf Club, the usual venue for our monthly lunch meetings; our previous venue for the last two years, Oakley Hall, having priced itself out of the market since a revamp. The weather was kind although the terrace ceased being used once the clouds came over but the club came up trumps with a good spread of menu options and room layout.

Alan and Liliane May, once again, were the organisers of the day. They produced all the name cards and menus with photographic quizzes about various scenes around the town in additional to the logistical difficulties in co-ordinating the arrangements with the golf club with our members’ lunch selections. Rob Hopkins had obtained fourteen raffle prizes, mainly of the alcoholic variety with the occasional box of chocolates, which were very well received by the lucky winners.

Fond Farewell to Mel Kent

Mel Kent 7 February 1929 – 17 April 2015

On Wednesday 6th May the funeral took place at Basingstoke Crematorium of Harold Melville Kent who was known to his friends as Mel.

In September 2013 he gave a presentation to us in the Probus Club of Basingstoke about his exploits in Sudan when as a young RAF officer appointed as Crash Inspector Middle East Air Force he was a passenger in a RAF plane that crash landed in a swamp. Under Mel’s command its subsequent repair and recovery back to Egypt was something akin to a Boys’ Own yarn.

Mel’s rise through the ranks of the RAF included three years in the British Embassy in Washington DC as a military attaché. He retired at 55 with the rank of Group Captain and then spent leisurely years in ocean sailing, skiing, golf, walking, model aircraft building and ballroom dancing which he kept up until last year.

Mel features in the Hobbies section of our web site talking about the radio controlled model aircraft he built and flew.

He never attended our lunches as he and his wife Betty always ate together but until this last Probus year he was a regular at the evening meetings and for several months brought with him his prepared presentation about his Sudan adventure, in case the appointed speaker failed to show up.

Mel had been far from well since before Christmas and was still in hospital when Betty died in February this year which meant he could not attend her funeral.

The Probus Club of Basingstoke was represented at Mel’s funeral by President David Tivey, Vice President Alan Porter, Hon. Secretary Paul Flint and Past President Ron Baxter MBE.