You will remember Joel Richards, a young man aged 19 with a great future ahead of him. He was a student at our University, a sportsman and someone who was liked by everyone he met. He was killed along with Uncle Adrian Evans, 49, Grandfather Patrick Evans, 78, and 35 others near Sousse whilst they were on holiday in Tunisia last year. A terrible day, a day that tore into a family; as Joel’s mother said, “It’s been nine months and it feels like nine years of pain. I don’t think we’ll ever get over losing them. To go from six to three just by going on holiday. It’s just unfair. That’s what we struggle with. It doesn’t feel real”.
The Duke of Gloucester, Chancellor of Worcester University, dedicated the Conference and Media Suite at the University’s Worcester Arena to Joel Richard’s memory – an area in which Joel was himself taught. The Duke unveiled a plaque in his honour, describing the murders as “an act of hate.” It was a very emotional day; most present were close to tears and Suzie Richards, Joel’s mum, spoke very movingly. Whilst this event will preserve Joel’s memory in a place he loved and it was a lovely thing to do, it was still a sad day.
Lord Mervyn King came to Worcester to promote the launch of his new book, titled The End of Alchemy, at a reception held in the Arena. He spoke about world finances, the Euro, countries within the single currency and the recession. Much to my surprise, I understood everything he said! Lord King has a way of talking and explaining things that makes even the most difficult concepts comprehensible and I gather his book is written in the same vein. I have yet to read it, but I have bought a copy.
The Worcester Competitive Arts Festival held a final concert in the RGS Perrins Hall, and what a show that was! The performers were of mixed ages from very young to those of a more leisurely age. From a six year old right through to the rather more mature choir called Anvil Chorus, all were great, but it was the young pianists that amazed me. Two of them were so small their feet did not reach the peddles, but their music was superb. A young man sung so well and with such a mature voice that I thought music would be his future and whilst it may well be, his next step will be off to Cambridge to study maths!