QUI GOBULAT VINCIT [ who gobbles wins ]
I was introduced to golf by Andrew Richardson about 25 years ago. We played Burgh Hill at 7:30am every Wednesday morning for awhile and I joined his golf society called The Turkey Club.
Well talk about " you find out who your friends are when the chips are down. "
I played several golf days with the Turkeys in the late 80's and got to know a great bunch of lads. There was Andrew and his brother, Jeremy, Alfie Searle, the Evans brothers, Kevin & Chris, Neil Spinney, Peter Wisdom [ Norman's nephew ], Matt Self, Des Daly, Harry White, Malcolm Youkee, to name those that I can recall right now. the last named, Malcolm, unfortunately died some years back in the mid 90's and it got me thinking about how nice this group of chaps were then. Malcolm was in Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon and he had had a biopsy for suspected brain tumor. The Turkeys decided to visit him to be supportive, but so as not to overcrowd him, we would pair up and visit two at a time. I paired up with Jeremy. Now my father had died about ten years earlier of a brain tumor and he had been in the same ward as Malcolm was in. I walked in with Jeremy and there was Malcolm in bed in black pyjamas with his wife, Jill, and their two young children by his bed. I was somewhat emotional because of the memories it evoked of my father and because of my feelings for Malcolm and his family. People who know me will know that when I am nervous my sense of humour kicks in. I said " Hi Malcolm, what's happening? "
He had a dressing on his forehead where the biopsy had been done. He replied, " to be honest I am pissed off because they have said I can't drive my Ferrari. "
I thought that is not the main worry but I said, " Why is that? " He said, " in case I have an epylectic fit. "
I turned to Jill and asked " do you know what to do if he has a fit in the bath? "
She looked concerned and said, " no, what? "
I said, " chuck in your washing and a packet of Persil. "
Thankfully they all laughed a lot and it broke the tension.
Malcolm survived that episode in hospital and when he came out he told me that he knew all the Turkeys had visited him in hospital but he only remembered Jeremy and I visiting because he laughed so much. Now this is so relevant in my memory because I have sincere regrets about what happened thereafter and it leads me on to my initial point regarding " you find out who your friends are when the chips are down. "
Malcolm and I became a lot closer after this as I found I could laugh and joke with him about his illness and he enjoyed that as many people can be awkward and stand offish around seriously ill folk: tell me about it.
Malcolm was an excellent financial advisor and I took him on at Goodfellows. He was still having treatment and sometimes this affected his concentration, understably. I have recently found out for myself what my former partners attitude to sick people is as when I became too ill to attend my office they cut me off without pay [ after I had loaned the company a lot of money ] and then mismanaged the business for another year before selling it , resulting in me getting nothing including any repayment of loan, to ensure they could secure jobs for themselves.
The same people insisted I tell Malcolm he had to leave and I know this upset him and Jill and that is why I didn't attend his funeral.I dIdn't want to upset Jill at the funeral. I was very fond of Malcolm and it remains one of my regrets that I did not redress that situation.
Andrew and Jeremy are partners in Christies Estate Agents in Cheam, next door to where I opened a Goodfellows office, later to become Fine & Country Homes. Over the interveening years the fact that we in direct competition and the fact that Andrew had been too busy to organize regular Turkey events we became disconnected. Until about a year ago when I was encouraged to become reaquainted with the Turkeys at Cuddington Golf Club. They made me feel as though no time had elapsed since we last met. I was blown away this week by what is now proposed by Christies, Andrew and Jeremy, and by the Turkeys.
Andrew and Kevin Evans visited me on Wednesday and said Christies will pay us an ammount of money for every completion that Christies do next year. And the Turkeys will hold a golf day at Cuddington to raise money to help Julie and I because they can't believe how we have been hung out to dry by the bastards who are my former partners. You only find out who your friends are when the chips are down, for sure. It is quite humbling, and Julie and I are most appreciative. Guess which agents we reccomend?