West Ham remembrance celebration honours Newham choir master
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Geoffrey Lennox, who made invaluable contributions towards the Newham community in the 1970s and 1980s, will be remembered at the fundraising concert on March 12.
Not just a church warden, choir master and organist at West Ham Parish Church (All Saints), Geoffrey gave his own time to train young voices in the church’s two choirs.
He also provided financial support for choristers to take short holidays and supported many charities in Newham.
The east London resident’s death at age 67 in 1990 from a heart attack left many in mourning, including Vincent Fitzmaurice who took over from him as church warden.
The impact was so great that when Vincent founded a children’s charity two years later, he named it after his friend – the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund.
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“Geoffrey was still very raw in my mind and the memories of others,” says the charity chief executive of his decision. “He was just a wonderful kind-hearted man. He wanted to give all the time.”
Although he lived in Wanstead, Geoffrey “spent all his time in Newham” according to Vincent, who says the charity’s first office in 1992 was a small desk area in the church’s chapel.
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So it is fitting that the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund is to honour its namesake with a musical concert on March 12 at the church.
Handel’s Messiah will be performed by All Saints Chorus and Orchestra and everyone in Newham is encouraged to attend.
“I would like to see as many people who can remember Geoffrey to come and for other people to enjoy the music,” says Vincent.
The decision to hold the remembrance celebration at the West Ham church is supported by Jon Cullen, its musical director and conductor of the All Saint’s Chorus, which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary concert season.
“Geoff loved English choral music and would have been very proud that the Messiah is being performed in his name.
“He was a champion of young musicians; giving his time to train Newham’s young voices, including myself.
“Some of the musicians that benefited from his musicianship and support are actually singing in the choir for the concert.”
The concert starts at 7.40pm, tickets are available on the door, or in advance by calling 07912 580677. £12 adults, £10 concessions. Funds will support Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund.