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Andrew Lloyd Williams (Sh. and V. 60 - 64)

News has reached Aunt Agatha of the death of Andrew Lloyd Williams  (Sh. and V.1960-64) who died on 5th November in Sydney, Australia, brother of Robert Powell Williams (B. 1960 - 64). Andrew and Robert were identical twins. Both were excellent sportsmen.


After a brief stay in the Headmaster's House, Andrew joined Shallow and then somewhat uniquely went to Venning where he was a House Prefect in 1964. He was a member of the Sports Club, Mammon and Tennis Club. Even living far away in Australia he often spoke of his fondness for Allhallows. The Club extends its sympathy and condolences to Andrew's widow, Clare and his sister, Susan. Below is the eulogy that was given at his funeral:


Andrew Williams came into this world late and now he has left it too early.  Born in Cardiff on 24 July 1946 he arrived twenty five minutes after his twin, Robert.  Andrew was always peeved by this time deficiency as it accorded Robert the status of elder brother.  Sons of Margaret and Emrys, the Welsh blood flowed strong in the Williams family.  They are survived by their sister, Susan, who has had to bear the loss of both her brothers from the same insidious illness within the space of a few short years.


When the boys were ten the family settled in Canford Cliffs on the south coast of England near Poole Harbour and it was here that Andrew and Robert developed their love of sailing.  Their academic performance at the local school left much to be desired – not from a lack of ability but from a scandalous lack of application.  This led to them being packed off at age 12 to the stringent discipline of boarding school, some eighty miles away, where they received a family visit one day a month.  For the rest of the time in this gulag these two young boys only had each other to rely on and a special bond grew between them.  Their parents intended the boys complete their education at Sherborne School – an internationally known college – but Robert broke his nose a week before the entrance exam and was in hospital until the evening of exam day.  Andrew passed but Robert failed by half a mark.  Typical of Andrew he refused to go to Sherborne without Robert so they were sent to All Hallows, a Gothic pile of a boarding school in the county.  It was here that the Williams twins would make the high and perilous climb onto the rooftops in the hope of spotting their housemaster’s daughter in the shower.  Andrew excelled at All Hallows opening the batting, playing on the wing in hockey and at centre in the first fifteen for rugby with Robert playing at fullback.


The twins’ final day at All Hallows fell on their 18th birthday when they were driven to the local pub by their father and instructed to shout him a pint.  Leaving school Andrew briefly worked at Lloyds Bank then moved on to a legal firm for a number of years but this was not to be for him.  In April 1970 – fifty years ago – he took a leap of faith and set out for Sydney which – to our great good fortune – was to become his home.  He began his career in stockbroking with Joseph Palmer & Sons and in later years moved on to Ord Minnett and finally, Bell Potter for his last 21 years. 


For many of his early years in Australia he lived the life of a reclusive bachelor devoting long hours to his work and dedicated to his clients.  He loved sailing, the bush, horses, Welsh rugby – his Boyos as he always called them – and              Southampton football team.  He was especially fond of dogs and had a cocker spaniel called Janie.  Above all he loved the company of friends, preferably over a long lunch or better still - a very long lunch.  He was a tolerant man but there were three things that he had an acute aversion to – loud mouths, cigarette smoke and New Zealanders (with a few very notable exceptions).  Perhaps this was given birth at Eden Park Auckland in June 1988.  Andrew, resplendent in his scarlet Welsh jersey, was in the crowd while the All Blacks annihilated his Boyos by 54 to 9.  Throughout the game Andrew was constantly heckled by a loud mouthed, chain smoking New Zealander in the row behind.  Finally, Andrew had enough and it was one small angry Welshman ready to take on 40,000 kiwis.  Mercifully the game ended before blood was spilt but ever afterwards all New Zealanders were known to Andrew simply as "effing kiwis".


The years rolled on and Andrew was happy enough but there was something missing for him.  Then in 1987 out of the blue he was struck by a thunderbolt in the form of Clare Mellors.  The poor bloke had no chance.  The quiet and reserved bachelor was stupefied by the bubbly party girl.  They were to become a special team forever after to be referred to as simply Clare and Andrew/Andrew and Clare.  Like any relationship there were some initial ground rules to be resolved.  On one of their first dates Andrew took Clare to his favourite restaurant – the Double Bay Steakhouse.  This establishment specialised in large, very overcooked steaks with an exotic jacket potato, sour cream and chives washed down with a cheeky Mateus rose.  The happy couple reached about half way up the stairs before Clare made it abundantly clear to Andrew that her expectations of fine dining were somewhat different to his.  It was not long thereafter that Andrew found himself enjoying the duck at Tour d’Argent.


In 1990 Andrew chose to become a citizen of his adopted country and there has been no prouder Welshman and no prouder Australian.  He was loving life with Clare and in 1997 they were married at St Mary’s Cathedral by Clare's uncle Dunstan – apparently the Pope was not available.  Many happy years and marvellous trips to France and Italy followed.  Through Clare, Andrew was introduced to a circle of wonderful new friends but regrettably some of these hailed from Victoria.  It was through their malevolent influence that Andrew turned to the dark side and was converted into a follower of Aussie Rules – a remarkable name for a game that apparently has no rules.  Andrew became a devoted Swannie’s supporter and in typical Andrew style would arrive at the SCG hours before kick off in order to save seats for his friends.


Throughout these years Andrew, Susan and Robert maintained regular contact and saw each other whenever the tyranny of distance permitted.  When Robert was struck with pulmonary fibrosis it was a great comfort to Andrew and Clare that Susan was able to be there for him.  When Andrew was diagnosed with the same illness he knew his days were numbered but determined to live to the full the time that was left to him.  Despite his deteriorating health he continued to work for his clients, love the company of his friends and take a genuine interest in their lives, the lives of their children and, of course, their dogs – or his godchildren as he called them.


The Welsh national anthem sung before every rugby test begins “This land of my fathers is dear to me, land of poets and singers and men of stature”.  Andrew never claimed to be a poet, nor a singer but he was indeed a man of stature, of dignity, of honour and goodness.  He bore life’s turmoils and the affliction of his illness with courage and grace.  He was an example to us all.  We will all – but none more than Clare and Susan – miss his companionship, his quiet ways, the gift of his presence among us.  These are and will be hard days but let us celebrate Andrew and a life well lived and conclude with a line from Vera Lynn’s iconic wartime song -  “I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.