In November, 2016, the Society learned of the passing of Reg Camble, someone who will be known to only a handful of current members as he has not appeared on stage for over forty years.
Reg first appeared in the Society’s production of The Mikado at the former Theatre Royal in 1937 – seventy-nine years ago! He was always happy to be just a member of the Chorus, and never aspired to greater things, simply content to be on stage and part of our annual show. With a much respected tenor voice, he took part in our productions until 1971, when The Student Prince saw his final appearance on stage.
Reg and his wife maintained their loyalty to the Society by continuing to support our shows, as long as they were able. For his long association with the Society, Reg was given Life Membership in 1987.
The Society offers condolences to the family.
The death of Eric Pickard, in October 2016, saw the passing of one of the Society’s long-standing members. Eric became a member of the Exeter Amateur Operatic Society in 1971, over forty-five years ago, when he joined the chorus for The Student Prince. Eric had been introduced to the Society by Victor Whitburn – another long standing member of the Society.
Eric was happiest as a chorus member, but did on occasions take minor parts. He remained on stage for over ten years, until 1981, when he became Vice-Chairman of the Management Committee. The following year he also took the Chair of the Social Committee, a position he held for seven years. In 1987 he returned to the stage as Orlofsky’s bodyguard in Die Fledermaus, and the following year he was Sergeant Du Boussac in The Desert Song.
In 1989 Eric was elected Chairman of the Society, when the show was My Fair Lady. He remained Chairman for three years, before relinquishing that position and taking on Front of House Manager for the following four years. In 1997 he was elected as President, and in 2002 he became a Patron. Only a handful of Members can claim to have served the Society for well over forty years, and in 2003, Eric Pickard was quite rightly elected a Life Member in recognition of his work on behalf of the Society over those years.
Failing health in recent years did not deter Eric from continuing to support the Society, and he did his utmost to be in the audience whenever he was able.
The Society offers Jean, and all of Eric’s family, its sincere condolences.