Peter Robert Voice Henson (1950-1955)

Died on 16th March 2020, aged 82

Peter sadly lost his fight against cancer, primarily Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and died on 16th March. He was at the School between 1950–1955 and was a Vice President of the OMT Society and brother of Brian Henson, a Past President. I will let others more knowledgeable than I to comment on his long association with the Society.

Peter Henson at his silver wedding anniversary, flanked by his two daughters, Mary and Sarah

In working life, he was an accountant and eventually became Director of Finance of the UK subsidiary of the US Multi-National, Armstrong World Industries, based in Uxbridge. Upon retirement, he continued his association with the School and became their Development Director.

My friendship started in 1975 when he joined the Pinner & Hatch End Operatic Society (PHEOS) where I was a member having joined them in my last year at school. Thus started a shared interest in the performing arts where he was particularly good, performing many leading roles.

Before that time, he performed with the St Lawrence Church Players based in Eastcote, where he was also an active member of the Eastcote Lawn Tennis Club. There, he became Treasurer and Chairman as he also did with PHEOS. His musical tastes ranged from Folk to jazz to musicals, but particularly Gilbert & Sullivan. It was this aspect that brought him to PHEOS, who specialised in performing G & S. He will be fondly remembered for his renditions of the Major General in “Pirates”, Lord Chancellor in “Iolanthe” and King Gama in “Princess Ida” to name but a few. He and I trod the boards until PHEOS sadly decided to close down in 2016 after being in existence for 94 years.

Perhaps an unknown fact to many, he was also quite an accomplished tap dancer!

It was through mutual friends at PHEOS that he met his second wife, Jan, and through their shared love of G & S and the Charity, Cancer Research UK, they persuaded the society to put on a sponsored 24 hour ‘sing in’ of all the G & S Operas. Very successful it was too and was repeated a number of years later. During the intervening years, they couldn’t see their support for the charity dwindle so they organised a fund raising G & S concert at the Royal Festival Hall in the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra. A few years later with the help of the BBC, they organised a broadcasted St George’s Day Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. All in all, Cancer Research benefitted from over £100,000 being raised by their efforts. Peter was honoured with becoming a Life Governor of the Charity.

Peter and I also sang, on and off over the years, with the Malcolm Sergeant Festival Choir and with customary generosity of time and talent, he volunteered to be their treasurer a couple of years ago when they needed someone to assist in their run down to closure.

As well as musical theatre, Peter and I shared the same joy of Freemasonry. He was a member of four lodges and chapters and, typically, was Treasurer and/or Auditor of all of them. One of his lodges was the old school lodge, Sir Thomas White Lodge, where he was looking forward to being their Worshipful Master a couple of years ago until his illness sadly prevented this.

Peter was a devoted father to Mary and Sarah and a beloved grandfather to four, who gave him so much pleasure in seeing their own interest in the performing arts take hold and grow.

RIP dear friend.

Ian Crawford (1960-1965)


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