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   Brod Purdy


Ronald Broderick (Brod) Purdy

Nickname: Brod (or just Purdy!)
House: Rhodes
Years: Jan 1958 - Dec 1961

  • Joined the School in Form 3b.
  • School Cert in 1959.
  • Higher School Cert in 1961.
  • Member of Brass Band (Won Nairobi festival in 1959/1960?) playing E flat bass - see below ..... (Have photo of band in 1958 or 1959).
  • Scottish Country Dance Team - Won Festival in 1960, beating Duke of York / Limuru team for the first time! (I still have the photos to prove it!).
  • Prefect: Oct 1960 to Nov 1961 (Rhodes 3rd term 1960, Junior House 1st & 2nd terms 1961, Rhodes 3rd term 1961).

  • Married (twice), one son (Computer 'fundi') and one daughter in the FCO; now married and with one daughter. Current wife, Carolyn (nee Henderson) ex-Boma girl!

    Left the PoW in 1961 and taught English and History at African Secondary School in Kapenguria before starting University in Northern Ireland in Oct 1962. Left Jan 1964 to join RAF as aircrew officer. Flew for nearly 20 years. Retired to join industry. Redundancies followed. Dropped out to become mature student reading Hons Oriental Studies with Chinese at Oxford ... how many members of staff would have suspected that? After graduation taught Chinese language at Portsmouth University and Chinese history at Southampton University for short period before taking contract as Business Development Manager at an electronics factory in China; subsequently ‘promoted’ to General Manager. Left Hong Kong just after the Handover – a very interesting period being able to talk to the Chinese on both sides of the border and listen to their different perceptions of each other’s point of view.

    Appointed as Staff Officer in a RAF 4-star HQ on contract as a Full Time Reserve Officer for one year (extended to very nearly 8 years!). Contract with the RAF ended in April 2005 and I moved up to Lincolnshire where I had previously bought a former RAF Officers' Quarter that I am in the process of dragging into the 21st Century. Slowly. Whilst not having joined the green revolution, at least I can now grow my own fruit and vegetables to add to my various pensions.

    I am a freelance tutor in GCSE English and advise mature students at local University on writing theses and dissertations. I was diagnosed with cancer in late 2006 and have survived chemotherapy and various indignities consequent upon the complaint. However, Carolyn and I now use our rallying expertise to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support by taking part in long distance classic car tours in our 1966 Porsche 912 SWB Coupé. So far we have raised over £6000 and are currently (Feb 2010) looking forward to yet another classic marathon from Cape Cornwall to Cape Finisterre to raise further funds.

    Another challenge looms – I have just been selected for training to allow me to take part (on a single leg) in the 2011/2012 Clipper Ventures ‘Round the World’ yacht race.

    Colin Townsend's memories of the Nairobi Festival in 1959 (or 1960?) certainly stirred a few chords!

    We were the last to compete and our fellow competitors were a small string group (all violins) from a local Indian Girls School followed by the 'Boma' Orchestra in which my sister (Barrie) played a recorder and 'Flea McLennan hit her African drum half a bar too soon to ruin the climax of whatever piece they were playing!

    We started with 'Men of Harlech' played con brio, and segued into 'Nimrod', a more tranquil piece in which I managed to overcome my nerves sufficiently to play the bass solo. And then we were asked to finish off with the 'National Anthem'...and none of us had the music!!!! Bertie was not a happy man! Memory was playing jazz in the back of the School Lorry from the centre of Nairobi, all the way back to School! Led, I believe by one Roger Taylor ... who I met many years later when he flew as a 'Taceval' assessor in my Vulcan!

    What memories they were!

    (Registered - 21st July 2003) (Updated - 24th Feb 2008 & 22nd Feb 2010)

  • If anyone wishes to contact Brod, please e-mail webmaster@oldcambrians.com to obtain his contact details