I am very sad to have to announce that after a long illness - that he didn't tell anyone about, our Father Chick (Rowland) Anthony has died after a short illness that he eventually mentioned, in Jersey Hospital yesterday. He died peacefully after requesting no further medical assistance holding my sister Biddy's hand at ten past six on the 1st July 2017. He has asked for there to be no funeral. Arrangements are yet to be made for his cremation which he didn't want a fuss to be made about either.
My Father, Chick Anthony ( Rowland really, but no one called him that ), has died aged 87 one month short of 88. He grew up in Jersey, the son of a second generation emigrant from Kerala in India. His Father became a headmaster and his mother had the foresight to buy a place for their retirement. It was there, in Grouville Jersey where Chick and Joy eventually lived.
His name, Chick, comes from his Christening - when he wore a yellow suite. This prompted someone to say he "looked a real Chick" - and the name stuck. The religion didn't, he was a life-long agnostic, not bothering with that sort of thing.
Chick met my Mother in Salisbury when he was working in his first job at the Met Office - judging the way the wind blew gas around the Army base at Salisbury Plain. He lived in a hostel for several years, spending his free time at an amateur theatre group as a stage manager. There he noticed the leading lady and married her. It was about then that he first attempted to join the BBC but there were no openings until ITV started up and there were plenty, he got in on his second attempt. At his interview he noticed his original application letter on the desk - written on blue paper. This was the start of a long relationship with officialdom at the BBC.
Joy and Chick started their married life in a flat in Acton but soon moved to Hanwell where I was born. He was very pleased as my birth got him off doing Grandstand - a show which I also tried to avoid working on in VT Tel.Rec. some years later. He, like me had a hard time coping with the Evesham training centre at Wood Norton but he got through without being terminated and his first role was as a Boom Op. He was seen on telly from Jersey handing a microphone to David Jacobs on the Six Five Special - or so he told me - but it was probably Pete Murray. It was a live show so no recorded evidence exists. Over the years he rose to the top Sound job of Senior Supervisor working on a wide variety of shows, from the first use of VT on air - Vera, through Grandstand and Doctor Who, via I Claudius and loads of Shakespeare and several major music productions to mention but a few - some are now lost. A fuller list is on IMDB, which is, despite it's length, not complete.
Biddy was born in Mum's family home in Salisbury and shortly afterwards her father, William Forder ( a master builder who built Laverstock ) helped finance a move to Ealing where the family lived for around twenty five years - just up the road from Ealing Film studios where we sometimes had tea. Chick cycled to work at TVC with ease from there.
Chick was a leading light in the ABS, which lead to the only argument I know of between him and Joy when a strike was called. He had used his great abilities with language to act as an arbitrator in the hope of preventing it, but as a true democrat he supported his representative's views and went on strike with them.
Outside the BBC, Chick and Joy lived an 'Upper,Lower,Middle - Middle Class' life working hard and long for many years with the Ealing Civic Society. After a decade's battle to "Put the Heart back in Ealing", they won and the - locally approved - Ealing Broadway Centre was opened by the Queen.
He was a long standing Liberal and worked for the party just as much as for the Civic Society, but not so sucsesfully. One way or another, everyone who lived in Ealing would have had a leaflet through their door from him on his bike - often.
Joy became ill with an M.E./Thyroid related disease - for which she trailblazed a treatment regime during and after her recovery. Sadly this didn't last and her returning disability resulted in their move to Jersey where she did indeed recover somewhat. In Jersey he took up the mantle left by his Father in the Jersey Battle of Flowers association, helping with the flowering of many a Grouville float over the years. His speciality was brushing down the "Mare's Tails" used for detailed work. He was very particular about detail. Chick also became very active in Jersey Heritage, becoming Chair of the Jersey Environmental Society and making many media appearances until Joy's illness returned.
This illness then escalated to dementia and Chick has been acting as full time carer for many years - ignoring his own deteriorating health and keeping it secret - presumably so as not to bother us. He gave up cycling after his second hip replacement - he never had a car nor learned to drive, "you don't need one in London" he said. Joy disagreed and got one, but couldn't learn the thing. Before her illness, she did manage the far harder task of controlling a tricycle which defeated the rest of us.
Both Chick and Joy are deeply proud of all four grandchildren - one of the last things he did was prof read David's Master's presentation. He was awarded a 'First' on the same day his Grandad died.
His final illness was recognised by a Doctor that he had called to attend to Joy. He was told to go to hospital at once, but, he took Joy to a nursing home by taxi first, then on to the hospital where he had an emergency bowel operation. This triggered a heart attack and he died of complications after requesting no further treatment.
He has gone, but his work shall live forever - unless the BBC wipes it again.