On Thursday 30th August, 2012, the Freckleton Band lost a true stalwart of our organisation.
Harry Latham was our biggest fan, but much more than that, he was our biggest supporter, in the most literal form of the word. Harry had supported the band for decades, but of my eight years as Chairman of the band, Harry was Vice Chairman for five, and an invaluable asset and help to me personally. Always with a wise, experienced head, he had a ‘Salt of the Earth’ understanding of what should be done. Altruistic to the core, you nevertheless definitely knew where you stood with Harry.
His physical support was just as exemplary. For many years he ran the band Lotto and Patron’s schemes, along with his expertly cajoled army of ‘volunteers’. Those same volunteers were also seen collecting as we played Carols around the streets of Freckleton at Christmas, again, all encouraged by Harry. He organised many concerts, most notably our annual Christmas and Summer Charity engagements, and would usually be seen (and heard) organising audience members and interval raffles, as well as arranging promotional posters, advertising and ticket sales.
Harry also provided marquees for our outdoor concerts at the Coach and Horses in the village. These were also put to good use for his legendary annual band social events, hosted superbly by Harry and his extended family with extreme generosity and warmth. Many tales will be told of customs and rituals at Harry’s annual band BBQ, some influenced by the free flowing refreshments, a trademark of ‘Harry’s do’s’.
Besides the help he gave us all, he genuinely loved the brass band sound. He would sit through rehearsals, and then all the performances at every contest the band entered, no matter what he (usually quite vocally) thought of the piece. Whilst he never played in the band, Harry adjudicated very well, and was always keen to let people know his thoughts after the results!
That sound he loved will accompany his funeral and burial, as he wished. I can’t think of anyone more deserving, nor a more fitting way for us to thank him for everything he meant to us.
Andy Cattanach, 31st August 2012.
Harry’s funeral is at Freckleton Methodist Chapel, at 1.30pm on Thursday, 6th September, 2012. The band will play from 1pm, during the Service, and will then march behind the coffin to the Cemetery.