Life Argus

2015 report


The Last Assam Reunion in Eastbourne

April 16 2015

Final Assam Reunion             Eastbourne                 April 2015      


The Editor wishes to point out the hard work that Jimmy Robinson and Caroline Melling did to make sure the lunch was such a success
Jimmy's report


The final Assam Reunion took place on Tuesday 14th April at the Hydro Hotel in

Eastbourne. Originally established 50 years ago with a grant of £100 from the

Planters’ Amenities Fund by the India Tea Association, this is the last of the

Reunions to finally close. The last was the Aberdeen dinner and dance in 2008,
which was attended by over 80 guests. Cathie Campbell recalled being given a

presentation for 33 years of producing the Koi Hai Directory. Numbers have

been declining as age takes its toll and people find it increasingly difficult to

travel. Several members have sadly passed away. There were 50 guests at the
final Reunion, down from nearly 70 the previous year and over 90 in previous


It was suggested that those interested in continuing a reunion lunch could

organise a smaller scale one at the Hydro in the Orangery which seats 32.

Other alternatives would be to join the Junior Koi Hai Reunion usually at a

weekend mid-October in Oxford, although this year it will be held on 17th

October in Stratford, hosted by Diana Owen, Director of the Shakespeare

Birthplace Trust and daughter of Clive and Caroline Roberson. Some guests

have already booked or expressed an interest in attending this function and it

certainly looks like the way forward. The other suggestion was to attend the

London Curry Lunch at St Columba’s Church in Pont Street, behind Harrods in

aid of Dr Graham’s Homes, which will be on 28th October this year. Several

guests at Eastbourne already attend this popular event and will continue to do

so, although it is a mixed group of people, not just those in tea but also those

who were in the Indian Civil Service or Army.


Despite the sadness at this being the final Reunion there was a lively

atmosphere. People brought photo books, albums and memoirs and some

guests travelled far to attend. Vic and Jill Pearson travelled from Perth,

Australia, Barbra Marshall came from Spain, while Martin and Cilla Van Oppen

and Bob and Sarah Amy hopped over from the Channel Islands. Some guests

brought friends and supporters of the Reunion from a variety of backgrounds.

The hotel manager thanked guests for all the years they had been coming to

the Hydro, which is celebrating 120 years of business itself. Afterwards a

photographer and reporter from the Argus, the local Sussex newspaper, came

to take a group photograph and interview those with links to Sussex as well as

tea. Robin Humphries thanked Jimmy Robinson for his role as Convenor of the

Assam Reunion in Eastbourne over the past three years and Caroline Melling

who helped organise the table seating. David Somerville kindly organised a

collection for the staff, many of whom had fond memories of the Assam

Reunion and commented how much they would miss seeing them.

Jimmy Robinson

Convenor Assam Reunion Eastbourne







Bob Amy



Sarah Amy



Peter Bartlett


James Warren

Merle Bartlett


James Warren

Anita Batten


Williamson Magor

Nick Barham



Astrid Barham



Rose Bungay



Patricia Bryson



Ian Burns-Thomson



Barbara Burns-Thomson



Lalli Crow


Balmer Lawrie

Jim Dame



Lilly Dame



Adele Fletcher



Jackie Graham



Paul Graves


Octavious Steel

Tertia Graves


Octavious Steel

Pauline Hamilton



Pran Handa



Margaret Handa



Digby Hembry


Williamson Magor

Robin Humphries


James Warren

Maxine Humphries


James Warren

Babs Johnson


James Warren

Barbra Marshall


Williamson Magor

Caroline Melling



Caroline Morgan


Octavious Steel

Charles Miller



Jacqueline Patel


Williamson Magor

Clive Peacock


WD Goodricke

Leon Psyk



Sue Paisley



Julian Royals


James Warren

Clive Roberson



Caroline Roberson



Ross Robertson


Octavious Steel

Jill Robinson


Balmer Lawrie

Jimmy Robinson


Balmer Lawrie

Iain Ross


Williamson Magor

Judy Ross


Williamson Magor

David Rushton



Venk Shenoi



Anna Shenoi



David Somerville


McNeill Barry

Keith Taylor



John Thyne


Balmer Lawrie

Anne Thyne


Balmer Lawrie

Verity Whitworth


Williamson Magor

Martin Van-Oppen



Cilla Van-Oppen



 Vic & Jill Pearson





David Somerville                             Vic Pearson                    Jill Pearson

2 Verity Whitworth  Caroline Morgan   Tertia Graves    Paul Graves

            Caroline Morgan                  Tertia  Graves               Paul Graves

    Julian Royals     Anna Shenoi              Venk Shenoi                Clive Peacock

5             Clive Peacock   Johnny Paisley   Sue Paisley        Ross Robertson

6     Jim Dame  Lily Dame   Ian Burns-Thomson  Caroline Melling

7    Charles Miller              Barbara Burns-Thomson        Keith Taylor

8                 Keith Taylor                         Jim Dame                               Lily Dame

9   Jimmy Robinson       Patricia  Bryson            Leon Psyk

 Leon Psyk            Barbra Marshall        Pauline Hamilton         Jackie Graham

11 Babs Johnson  Verity Whitworth  Tertia Graves  Merle Bartlett  Peter Bartlett

12     Robin Humphries   Barbra Marshall      Maxine  Humphries

13      Peter Bartlett          Anita Batten           Lalli Crow

14  Robin Humphries      Babs Johnson   Merle Bartlett   Jill Robinson    Peter Bartlett

15 Babs Johnson  Merle Bartlett   Jill Robinson    Peter Bartlett

 16John Thyne  Nick Barham   Anne Thyne   Martin Van-Oppen   Cilla Van-Oppen

 17   Martin Van-Oppen    Astrid Barham   John Thyne   Anne Thyne   Nick Barham

 18  Caroline Roberson   Clive Roberson   Jacqeline Patel     David Rushton


 19  Jacqueline Patel  David Rushton   Jill Ross   David Somerville  Digby Hembry
                    An example of David R . putting his hand in his pocket

 20 The Hydro Hotel Manager delivering his speech with side view of Adele Fletcher


 The following photos were kindly taken by Robi8n Humjphries


21   Venk Shenoi  Anna Shenoi  Julians Royals  Jill Pearson   Vic Pearson
                                      Verity Whitworth

22 Maxine Humphries  Chearles Miller  Barbara Burns-Thomson  Keith Taylor

                           Jim Dame  Ian Burns-Thomson


 23      Iain Ross    Caroline Roberson   Clive Roberson   Jacqueline Patel
                             David Rushton    Digby Hembry


 24  Martin Van-Oppen    Cilla Van-Oppen   Bob Amy   Sarah Amy    John Thyne


25    Bob Amy                             Anne Thyne                      Martin Van-Oppen

26   Jimmy Robinson  Patricia Bryson     Leon Psyk     Barbra Marshall    Pauline Hamilton

27  Barbra Marshall                   Pauline Hamilton                      Jackie Graham 

28  Charles Miller  Barbara Burns-Thomson   Keith Taylor  Jim & Lily Dame

 29       Lily Dame                         Ian Burns-thomson          Caroline Melling



 30   Caroline Morgan           Tertia Graves        Paulo Graves          David Somerville

 31  Vic Pearson                Jill Pearson                            Verity Whitworth

 32  Babs Johnson,   Merle Bartlett    Jill Robinson    Peter  Bartlett

 33          Peter Bartlett              Anita Batten             Lalli Crow

 34  Johnny Paisley     Sue Paisley          Ross Robertson           Julian Royals


35    Julian Royals              Anna Shenoi   and   Venk Shenoi

36     Jill Robinson      and    Anita Batten

 37                                 Robin and Maxine Humphries