Buckfast Abbey held a special place in the story of John Bradburne and thus it was appropriate that JBMS decided to celebrate John’s 102 birthday in South Devon and we were very grateful that the Abbot, the Right Rev David Charlesworth O.S.B. graciously agreed to allow us to use their excellent conference facilities.
The gathering started with a Celebratory Mass taken by the Abbot after which we adjourned to the Conference Centre for a buffet lunch followed by talks given by Didier Rance from France who gave us an insight into Bradburne and his love of music. Didier’s excellent biography of John is without doubt the most authoritative book on his life and copies are available from our website www.johnbradburne.com Didier was followed by Dr Enrico Solinas who had flown over from Perugia, Italy and gave us an update on the Cause. This was hugely appreciated as it was also Enrico’s wedding anniversary! Finally, Professor David Crystal who has done so much along with Didier to promote John’s life gave a talk on the power and continuing relevance of his poetry.
The talks were interspersed by short musical pieces based on Bradburne’s poems composed by Philip Berthoud, John Bradburne’s godson, Daniel Gillingwater and Father Dominic White OP and played by the excellent Haldon String Quartet.
The Zimbabwe Catholic Community England and Wales choir topped and tailed the event bringing a touch of African singing and music to South West England.
This celebration was very well attended with a number of attendees coming a very long way to be with us and we owe a huge debt to everyone who made it such a magical day, but particular thanks should be given to Kate Macpherson who masterminded the whole event.
To watch the talks and music please go to the John Bradburne Memorial Society, JBMS YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpUaA0JOp8Q