Christmas Newsletter for 2007

from Colin and Elizabeth Hicks

Each year we send out a Christmas Newsletter to family and friends.
The text below is a slightly edited version of our Christmas 2007 Newsletter.
Click to download a pdf version of our Christmas 2007 Newsletter (500 kb)

"We have seen His star in the East" Matthew 2:2 (KJV)

1967 wedding photo for Colin and Elizabeth
Colin and Elizabeth in 1967
Special Celebrations in 2007

This year was our fortieth wedding anniversary. For evidence of the passing years, see the photos on this page. Colin's brother, David, transferred the original Super-8 film of our wedding to DVD - this took Elizabeth by surprise when it was played at the celebration dinner table on a portable DVD player. We don't think we had seen the wedding film for 40 years.

Click here to see a 17 sec video clip of our wedding (1 Mb download in WMV format) - it is in colour but has no sound.

To his great surprise, Colin was awarded a CB (Companion of the Order of the Bath) in the New Year Honours List 2007 for "services to science". So in May Colin, Elizabeth, Rachel and Joanna all went to Buckingham Palace for the award ceremony by Prince Charles. The formal 2007 photo in the panel below was taken in the main courtyard of the Palace after the ceremony had finished.

Click to see Colin and Elizabeth's eChristmas Card to You!

Colin and Elizabeth

Colin is still President of a European organisation called Eurisy which works to ensure that space applications are properly applied to down to earth needs. This takes him back to Paris (and other major European cities) for various meetings and conferences. Sometimes Elizabeth has managed to accompany Colin on his trips. That means she has to explore places by herself while Colin is chairing the odd meeting or two. Elizabeth has also got into various receptions and dinners including one at the former Intourist hotel in Tallin (Estonia) - rumoured to have had every room and closet bugged during construction.

As last year, the whole family rented a house in France for two weeks in August. The party included all our children and grandchildren, plus Richard's mother (Rose) and Elizabeth's sister (Heather). Our friends, Donald and Joy Bell, joined us for the holiday, occupying the spare room! Once again this year we were in the same village as Richard and Rachel's house.

Elizabeth is now teaching a few hours a week at the school from which she retired in 2006. It's a job-share with another semi-retired teacher so we have still managed to make a number of holiday trips together including New Zealand (Feb), Barcelona (April), North Wales (July), France (August), Estonia (Sept), Turkey (Oct), and India (Dec). The NZ trip was the longest and best of these with the renewal of friendship and family relationships - we spent time with Colin's Auntie Audrey who has lived in NZ for many years. We also stayed with some church friends now resident in NZ - Ian and Janene Chapman in South Island and Wayne and Liz Eichler in North Island.

We are still managing to maintain Monday as our day together and keeping a steady string of holidays and trips in the forward diary. We will be spending Christmas 2007 in India with Elizabeth's sister, Heather. In the spring of 2008 we will be visiting Japan.

When our youth pastor left in early summer, Colin took on responsibility for running the church's holiday club (The BIG Top) for over 120 children with 75 volunteer staff. This year he added to his voluntary portfolio the administration of Baptist Union grants to London churches for the London Baptist Association (LBA).

Elizabeth has continued to be on the leadership team at church with responsibility for the buildings among other tasks. This is very rewarding because we are now seeing the church buildings being used almost every day for community activities.

Colin and Elizabeth in 1985
Colin and Elizabeth in 1985

Colin and Elizabeth in 1997
Colin and Elizabeth in 1997

Colin and Elizabeth in 2007
Colin and Elizabeth in 2007

family in 2007
Our family in 2007

colin in 1957
colin in 1958
colin in 1961
colin in 2007
Rutlish Reunion

In September, Colin helped organise a 50th anniversary reunion of his year's entry to Rutlish School in 1957. His rôle was to track down all 118 people in his year - a task he accomplished in good time using family history techniques, with help from many of his classmates as each was found. It turned out that (so far) only 7 of the 1957 year had died. Of the surviving 111 classmates, 65 attended the reunion (20 bringing their partners) and a few others attended a mini-Reunion in July.

See: Rutlish 1957 - the website

Rachel, Richard and Jasper

Rachel is still working at Esher College but is 5% short of full-time - she likes it that way as it means her working hours are more flexible. She was appointed the College's International Development Officer in January 2007 - facilitating international connections, teacher and student exchanges. Richard continues to enjoy his work and is still singing in the local choir.

Jasper travelled to and from France with Colin and Elizabeth during August visiting a very French theme park called Puy de Fou on the way down. On the way back Jasper and Colin went go-karting and ten-pin bowling in a wet week in Britanny. Jasper is now 10 and a real book-worm.

Jasper in August 2007
Jasper in August 2007

Miriam in August 2007
Miriam in August 2007

JJ in August 2007
JJ in August 2007
James, Joanna, Miriam and JJ

Joanna and James are about to move to a bigger house in Beckenham. James is continuing his research collaboration with Freiburg colleagues. Joanna has completed her MSc at Imperial College in science communication. Her MSc thesis was "The Storage and Transmission of Knowledge of the Natural World in an Oral Culture". She is now looking for paid work as a freelance science writer.

Joanna took Miriam back to Freiburg for a few days in June to visit friends. Then the whole family went there again for a autumn half-term week. Miriam (now aged 6) has caught up well with the year of English school she missed while they were living in German. Miriam and JJ (aka Joshua) are both keeping up with their spoken German - they have a German nanny one afternoon a week. Miriam is learning to read German.

JJ is now 3 and typically his first loves are Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder. He attends nursery most afternoons.

e-mail and website addresses

e-mail to Colin:
e-mail to Elizabeth:

Colin’s web site:

e-mail to Richard and Rachel:

e-mail to James:
e-mail to Joanna at home: