This was one of the first set of school exchanges between Lewes Grammar School for boys and Lycee Augustin Thierry instigated by Mr Donald Auld, Senior French Master at the grammar school.
Lewes Twinning Association’s first meeting was in 1966 and Phillip was present as the representative of Lewes operatic society (now LOS Musical Theatre).
He went on to be instrumental in setting up exchanges between Lewes Operatic and Chorale Honneger in Blois. Since then the Operatic have been invited to perform shows in Blois and the Chorale have visited Lewes on several occasions entertaining Lewes audiences.
In 1969 Phillip went to Blois, again representing the Operatic Society, for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the liberation. He was part of a group of 35 Lewesians who visited for this special event.
Phillip continued to visit Blois numerous times, often with Sylvia, making lots of friendships. An especially close one was with Jean and Marion Billeau with whom they often stayed.
Phillip told me that one of his proudest moments in twinning was being invited to the British embassy in Paris to see Jean Billeau receive his decoration as honorary member of the Order of the British Empire for his service to twinning.
In 2007 Phillip felt extremely privileged to receive the citizen of honour of blois from the mayor Marc Gricourt.
Phillip also had a great love for our other twin town, Waldshut-Tiengen in Germany. Again he was involved in arranging exchanges between Lewes Operatic and the Frohsinn Choir. He visited Waldshut-Tiengen, often with Sylvia and Sarah, for among other things festivals, operatic shows and holidays meeting and staying with very good friends Christa and Dieter Scholz, Annie and Sigi Schafstall and Cornelia Benedix.
Phillip was on the committee of Lewes Twinning Association for many years right up until his passing. He was chairman from 1983-1994 and again from 2004-2007.
Phillip gave valuable advice at meetings as well as regaling members with anecdotes of his twinning experiences. He was always so supportive of the committee and its work.
Phillip, of course, enjoyed meeting visitors from our twin towns in Lewes. He was always so welcoming and accommodating and was usually seen during these visits driving guests to and from their hosts.
As in all walks of his life Phillip’s love and enthusiasm for twinning shone through. He will be remembered very fondly in twinning circles in all three towns.
As former mayor of Waldshut-Tiengen, Martin Albers said when he heard of Phillip’s passing, “His laughing and joking made Lewes for me a wonderful place to be.” A very fitting tribute.