Roderic Wilfred John Long ‘known as Roddy’.
It is with great sadness that the OH club announce the passing of our esteemed former President Roddy Long on the 9th of June 2023.
Roddy was not only the longest-serving President of the OH club but also a gentleman, a leader, an all-round sportsman and a good, learned friend to so many multi-generational OH's. It seems without doubt that the OH club continues today due to the singular commitment and hard work of Roddy and of course his wife Sheila and we remain indebted to them both.
Roddy had a remarkable school career at Allhallows culminating in his Head of School appointment in September 1962. Before that he was Head of Baker House, Senior Under Officer in the CCF and of course School Prefect and House Prefect. He had many sporting colours, playing Cricket, Rugby and Hockey and he continued to play sports with and organise sporting events for OH's many years after leaving the school in 1963. Roddy was a stalwart of the OH Golf Society and a champion of the OH Cricket week and his work in organising these events over the years is appreciated by many. The OH club has received letters and emails each affirming gratitude to Roddy, a deep respect for his nature, his work, his sportsmanship and of course of how much he will be missed with a common theme that he emulated the values and ideals of his school days and applied them to his life thereafter -something of a role model to us all.
“RIP Roddy; the memory of your wonderful, trademark, smile lives on.”
"I remember so well how very kind and welcoming
they both were to me, the new boy at my first OH function. Everyone there was kind, of
course - that is the OH way - but Roddy and Sheila were even more so and Cricket Week,
a super event, was to become one that I frequented for many years afterwards".
"It goes without saying that Roddy was a first class president and a very active golfer and organiser....Roddy you gave your all for school and club...Fantastic..You will always be a star and fine example".
"Aside from golf, Roddy was a quite outstanding President of the OH Club and nobody
could have done more than he did not only to ensure, but to strengthen, the health and
vitality of a club that sought to continue on even after the closure of Allhallows."
“He had a tactical brain and was a great motivator to team players.”
“He was a serious and responsible leader at school, but enjoyed his more relaxed times, normally with a pint in hand. I will miss seeing him at our golf meetings. We have lost a great guy, kind and generous by nature, and good company on and off the course”.
“How clever that his grandchildren called him 'Groddy'!”
“I liked Roddy Long even before I met the man.
Roddy’s easy-going jollity always ensured a good atmosphere wherever he presided, and anyone who went to club events benefited from that”.
“Instead, quite to the contrary, thanks to Roddy’s hard work, much of it
behind the scenes, enthusiasm and sense of fun, the Club flourished and
arguably became more active.”
“His sense of humour was ever present….we seemed, at those cricket
weeks, to play card games, designed to reduce one’s bank balance, until the dawn or more
likely, mist rose over the Rousdon landscape. I am not sure who, on one of those weeks, left
Derek Crawshaw’s car minus its wheels on the hard tennis court but Roddy seemed to have
an excess of oil on his hands the next morning”.
“Roddy liked to claim, rather than admit, that the only examination he ever
passed first time was his Driving Test! His success and popularity in everything else stemmed from his unconcern about his lack of academic achievements and other things that he could not control.”
“I found Roddy a brilliant leader. Explain a complex difficulty to him by email and he would email back with a simple few-word solution that would have you wondering why you ever thought you had a problem to start with.”
The spirit and memory of Roddy Long will live on in the OH club: "He was, quite simply and in modern parlance, a legend".
Addendum: The OH club sincerely thank the many individuals who contacted us regarding Roddy Long and the significant number of contributions from OH’s and friends that have gone into this final piece. Quoted directly above are John Pagliero, Dudley Hopkins, Nigel French, RF Sherwood, George Hayter, John ‘Sid’ Harper, Giles Blomfield, David Shaw and indirectly many, many others!
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