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Following on from the autumn 2010 celebrations, “Founder’s Day” is now an established annual event in the camp’s calendar, with Choral Evensong sung in Morland church on a Saturday close to the Canon’s birthday in November.
Autumn 2010 celebrations
The 40th Camp took place in 2010, and the Founder of the Camp was born 100 years ago on November 7th 1910. Two special events were held to celebrate these remarkable anniversaries: at Winchester College (where Canon Markham was educated) on Saturday October 30th and at Morland Parish Church on Sunday November 7th (the day of the Canon’s 100th birthday). Over 100 singers took part in these events (a choir of nearly 60 at each) and were joined by substantial congregations of choristers’ families, friends and Morland parishioners. At each occasion Happy Birthday was sung and a 100th Birthday cake consumed with relish.
The 40th Morland Choristers Camp took place in 2010, with many references to the ‘Ruby’ anniversary and a birthday cake at the Sunday afternoon tea where choristers, parents and friends sang Happy Birthday.
‘Something Good to Say’
Canon Markham’s fascinating memoirs, titled ‘Something Good to Say‘, were published in 2009. Written in the last few months of his life, they are based on the many volumes of his diaries which he had kept for most of his 97 years. Details of the book are available here.
Thanksgiving Service for the Life of Canon Gervase Markham
Canon Markham died peacefully on December 29th 2007, aged 97. The funeral and thanksgiving service at Morland was attended by hundreds of people including a choir (mainly comprising former Morland Camp Choristers) of over 100. Details of the service may be found here.
In December 2006, Canon Markham stood down as ‘Camp Chief’ after 37 years, at the age of 96. To ensure the continuation of the Camp, he had established a Board of Trustees as long ago as 1990. The Trustee Board is chaired by the Dean of Carlisle, and includes senior clergy and church musicians together with residents of Morland and members of the Markham family and Camp staff. The Senior Staff of Camp continue in their customary roles.
A Part of Channel 5 Documentary
On December 18th 2005, the Camp featured in the programme “Andrew the Chorister” as part of the Channel 5 documentary series “A Different Life”. Andrew (Swait) also sings, with the Tewkesbury Abbey School Choir, on a CD “Light of the World” which was released in November 2005 on the Signum Classics label.
Morland on Sunday Breakfast Radio
The Radio Cumbria ‘Sunday Breakfast’ programme was broadcast live from Morland Church on the last morning of the 2004 Camp. The programme included interviews with choristers and staff, the Camp’s Choral Evensong that had been recorded the previous Friday at Carlisle Cathedral, and two hymns sung live by the whole Camp. The broadcast was also streamed live on the internet. Additionally, extracts from the Carlisle Evensong will be broadcast at different times over the coming months. The Camp greatly welcomed Radio Cumbria’s interest, and the professionalism and help of the people involved. The Producer was Richard Corrie. The Sound Engineer, for what were technically demanding events, was Adam Mart who attended eight Camps as a chorister in the 1990s.
Members of the Morland Camp past and present were pleased to gather in Morland over the weekend of 4th/5th November 2000 to wish Canon Markham a happy 90th birthday. They augmented the choir at the Sunday morning Eucharist and presented him with a garden seat (with special plaque) and an “I am 90” badge. Both were warmly received, the latter with the comment “the last time someone pinned anything on my chest she didn’t give me a kiss” (see the last entry on this News page).
Report by Dr John Bertalot
The Camp was delighted to welcome back Dr John Bertalot, MA, FRCO (ChM), ARCM, HonRSCM. Formerly Organist of Blackburn Cathedral then Director of Music at Trinity Church, Princeton, USA, Dr Bertalot has an international reputation in the field of church music and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Royal School of Church Music. He inspected the Morland Camp in 1989, giving it a glowing report, and readily accepted the invitation to return in August 2000. His latest report [the full text of which is available here] includes the following: “You organise and promote one of the most successful choir courses that I have ever experienced. The standard of singing for Choral Evensong in Carlisle Cathedral could not have been higher. It was one of the most thrilling choral services I have heard. What you have created and sustained in Morland is a precious jewel in the crown of the Church.”
Award of MBE
The excellent reputation of the Morland Camps has been publicly recognised by the award of MBE to Canon Markham. Her Majesty’s comment on the Camps: “What a wonderful idea!” (May 3rd 2000 at Buckingham Palace).