Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekly Words No. 14.

Names: Names are a funny thing and can be quite interesting.

Family crest of The Viscount Falmouth

I heard last night that an old school friend had passed on. Sad, but he went quick and it did happen some six months ago, so all the grief is lessened.

Funny thing, His name was Michael, however, we called him Mike. He lived with his dad Mr John Farr, a council accountant, so Mike was 'Mike Farr'. His dad took up with a local lass, Sarah Cornell. After a while it dawned on us that if his dad married miss Cornell, Mike could become Mike Farr-Cornell!

We had another school mate, a pommie kid. His name was Chumley - Chumley Fenshaw - but we just called him 'Chum'. He spoke with a real upper crusty pommie 'toffee' accent but he was an OK kid - would knock around and 'rough and tumble' with the best of us!

 His dad was some big executive in the Shell Petroleum Company and they lived at Longueville  - a very posh area of Sydney - with a big Edwardian brick home that looked straight down the water to Sydney Harbour Bridge. It had a huge front lawn, more like a small park, and every year on his birthday he was allowed a 'school birthday party' whereby he could invite twenty or so of his school mates home for an afternoon birthday party on the front lawn (He would have his 'family birthday party' on the weekend, when all his family and relations turned up - we were excluded from that shindig - don't know why? lol!)

It was always in February, so normally the weather was really great - real Sydney late summer weather  -and it was always catered for with some real schoolboy treats - lamingtons, sticky buns, eclairs, cup cakes, heaps of soft drink and bags of lollies, etc - and there was always some form of entertainment organised which went right up to 7.00pm. That was when Mr Fenshaw walked up from the public wharf after his ferry ride home from his city office.

That signalled that the festivities were all over and it was time for us to depart.

Anyway, throughout his junior high schooling, right up until he left to go to high school and then on to university, we only ever knew him as Chumley Fenshaw. On our graduation day we all lined up and walked onto the podium of the Assembly Hall and received our "Intermediate School Certificate".

There was a gathering with family members after the proceedings and an afternoon tea was served. Chum and I were talking when he was called away for a photograph with some friends. He handed me his school certificate and asked me to take care of it and he'd be back shortly.

Can you imagine my astonishment when I looked at his certificate and there upon it was his name:

The Hon. Cholmodleigh Boscawen

We never ever knew it but old "Chum's" dad was The Viscount Falmouth and Featherstoneshaw was his mother's maiden name which had been abbreviated down to 'Chumley Fenshaw' for the purposes of his schooling.

So there you are - names are quite interesting, arn't they!


Maria said...

Wow. I always wanted to say that I grew up with a bigwig...

JohnD said...

True - but it was a well kept secret and we never knew of it! Apparently his father wanted him to get some 'earthy grounding' in an everyday Australian school - but Marist Hunters Hill was never any 'ordinary' school. lol!