In Memory of Patrick (Pat) Keast
05/10/1946 - 18/05/2020
The choir are sad to announce the death of one of their members, Patrick Keast, on Monday 18th May 2020 aged 73 following a long battle with Coronavirus (Covid 19). Pat joined the choir in December 2010 and became a valued and popular member of the Bass section.
Pat was born on 5th October 1946 and attended Maidstone Grammar School. He later went on to study at Manchester University, obtaining a BSc in Electrical Engineering then attending Cranfield Institute of Technology where he obtained an MSc in Aeronautics. He then became an Aeronautical Engineer.
Pat met his wife, Wendy at University and they were married on 4th September 1970. They had two children, Tim and Jo. Pat retired about ten years ago.
In his spare time, Pat was a member of three choirs, Sittingbourne Orpheus Choral Society, Upchurch Choral Society and of course the Kent Police Male Voice Choir. He was also a member of the Parkwood Camera Club and the Medway Woodturners Association. Having seen some of the pieces Patrick made I have to say he was very clever and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge wood-turning brings. Pat also loved to play golf and was a member of the Bearsted Golf Club.
As a fellow bass member I have known Pat since he joined the choir and both Carole and I became good friends of the family. Pat loved singing and his beautiful bass voice will always be remembered by myself and the choir. He introduced me to singing in 'The Really Big Chorus' with a concert at The Royal Albert Hall in May 2015 of 'The Armed Man'. I enjoyed it so much we continued to sing at various concerts including 'The Messiah' every Christmas. Our last concert we did together was in December 2019 at The Royal Albert Hall. I took a panoramic picture of the event which you can see below with Patrick on the right.
Finally, I know that Patrick had a favourite song that the choir sings called 'An American Trilogy'. I have posted this song, sung by the choir, for you to listen to. Just click on the arrow below, to hear it.
Please click on the image to increase the size
Our thoughts and wishes at this time go out to Wendy and Jo.
Our Nominated Charity for 2019/20
Every year in Kent over 10,000 people are newly diagnosed with cancer. The emotional and psychological impacts on patients, their families and friends can be devastating. At this early stage, lack of knowledge of the range of treatments provided, the possible outcomes and the extent of available support can be daunting and lead to feelings of hopelessness.
Macmillan Cancer Support is a UK-wide charity committed to offering cancer patients and their families emotional, clinical and other forms of support and advice at every stage, before, during and after treatment. By giving them knowledge and understanding of their specific situation, treatment options and ongoing progress, patients may make informed decisions about their treatment options, potential for recovery and future impact on lifestyle.
Macmillan Community Nurses are familiar figures in most areas, attending patients in their homes offering clinical and emotional support during and after treatment. But there is so much more besides. Macmillan information leaflets covering every aspect of cancer and its effects are available in every hospital and almost every GP surgery. A 24/7 telephone helpline is staffed by trained volunteers. A fund has been established to offer financial support to those in dire need as a result of their cancer.Less well known is Macmillan’s programme of identifying existing Health Service Professionals to be trained for specialism in cancer-related posts; Clinical Nurse Specialists, Radiographers, Physiotherapists, Dieticians, Nutritionists, End-of-Life Counsellors, in many cases funding their specialist training and on-going support, so that in almost every NHS hospital there are to be found staff in all such disciplines, proudly wearing the green Macmillan badge. Beyond the hospital there are Macmillan-trained doctors visiting GP surgeries to train and advise practitioners on the identification and management of cancer cases.
The charity is almost entirely dependent on charitable donations to allow it to fulfil its stated commitment in one of their slogans:
“Whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you.”
Holding On Letting Go
During our concert at St Peter’s Church, Pembury on Saturday 2nd November 2019 George Rogers, our Chairman, presented a cheque for £3,050 to Caroline Gaskin, Fundraising Officer for Holding On Letting Go, the choir’s appointed charity for 2018-19. The charity was nominated by Rod Stevenson (above left) and this remarkable amount was raised primarily through retiring collections at concerts throughout the year. Caroline thanked the choir and all the audiences over the year that had contributed. The Kent based charity helps children to cope with the death of someone close to them. Support is given to children, young people, parents and carers at their bereavement weekends which are offered free of charge.