Christmas Newsletter for 2015

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 2015 Newsletter.
Click to download a pdf version of our Christmas 2015 Newsletter (88 kb)

Earlier years: 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000
2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010
2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

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

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

Colin and Elizabeth

In March, Colin & Elizabeth went to Tenerife for a wet week (the less said about the weather the better). At least it gave them lots of time to practice their swimming in the hotel's indoor pool!

Eli Job Rose
In late July, Colin & Elizabeth visited Ypres in Belgium where Elizabeth's maternal grandfather (Eli Job Rose) died in WW1. His name is on the Menin Gate in Ypres as one of the 54,389 who died in battle in the first half of August 1917 and whose bodies were never identified. Until this year, all they knew was that he died on 4 August 1917 in the front line somewhere in Flanders. But combining original 1917 trench maps with his Battalion's diary for July-August 1917 enabled Colin & Elizabeth to find and walk the fields where he served and died. They also found his name on the Menin Gate (see picture at right of Elizabeth underneath his carved name).

French Holiday
All the family came to France for the August holiday this year. Heather, Robert & Gwyneth Carpenter (James' parents) and Donald & Joy Bell (church friends) also joined the family holiday. We rented a lovely pair of houses south of Nantes with a big swimming pool and extensive wooded grounds.

Caleb (7 this year) got on really well with the owners who lived on site. Each night they set a movement triggered video camera in the woods. One night they filmed a spotted genet (see picture) - this was the northern end of its known range.

Church and Other Interests
Colin & Elizabeth are still active at Teddington Baptist Church. Colin manages the church premises and its computer network as well as preaching occasionally, Elizabeth helps with children's work and leads worship occasionally.

Colin also administers a London Baptist Association (LBA) scheme which funds mission activity by member churches. This year is the 150th anniversary of the LBA - Colin contributed a chapter to a 150th anniversary book. Colin is working with the Teddington Society on three Teddington web projects: an Online WW1 War Memorial; a Directory of Buildings of Townscape Merit; and the 1841-1901 Census for Teddington. Colin retired in June from chairing Eurisy after nine years. This means less varied travel (and fewer Paris trips) but gives him more time for other interests.

Elizabeth is still making quilts for Project Linus. She is also organising visits for a church social group as well as running a monthly book reading club.

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Eli Job Rose
Eli Job Rose

Eizabeth at the Menin Gate
Elizabeth at the Menin Gate
(July 2015)

Spotted genet
Spotted genet
Our family (November 2015)
Our family (November 2015)

Rachel, Richard and Jasper

Jasper (18 this year) is in his second year at the BRIT School studying drama. In August he walked the length of Hadrian's Wall alone (camping overnight) and in November he passed his driving test. He is now in the middle of applying for a place at a drama school for September 2016. If you like, you can follow him on Twitter - - a page where you can see a short video of him being presented with the prize for Best Director at the end of his first year at the BRIT School.

Rachel is now in her third year at her Clapham school. Richard sang with a local choir to boost the male voices at Hampton Court's 500 year anniversary celebrations.

(mouseover for a photo of him as a German soldier from a film project)

James, Joanna, Miriam, JJ and Caleb
Miriam playing the organ
Miriam playing the organ

JJ in choir robes
JJ in choir robes

Miriam (now 14) is learning to play the organ as well as the piano and flute. In October half-term, Colin & Elizabeth took Miriam, JJ & Caleb to Bristol for a nostalgic visit to the city where they first met over 50 years ago. Miriam stayed on in Bristol for an organ playing course and travelled back to London on a coach by herself. She also went to Paris for a few days this autumn with her school and enjoyed revisiting places she went to last year with Colin & Elizabeth.

JJ (now 11) started at his preferred secondary school (Kingsdale) in September where he has a music scholarship. He has also joined a church choir at Croydon Minister which sings traditional choir music.

Joanna is currently doing a year of teacher training (PGCE) at King's College London. She is preparing to teach chemistry in secondary schools. James continues his research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and will soon be giving his inaugural lecture as a Professor of Medical Statistics.

Other Family News

Melissa with Elizabeth and Colin
Melissa, Elizabeth and Colin

We have seen more of Heather for this year because she has started studying for an MPhil at Oxford with a view to going on to a PhD. This means she is spending six months a year in England instead of living the whole time in India.

While in Paris in March and June, Colin & Elizabeth met up with Melissa Payne who is studying there. Melissa also came over to visit us in London this autumn. We also met up in London this year with other relatives from Elizabeth's West Indian side of the family: Joanna and Darryl Roque from Trinidad (with Stacey and Richard Roque who now live in England) and separately with Chris Landfried who lives in the USA.

In July, Colin's Uncle Ray celebrated his 90th birthday with a party in Exmouth. It was a good chance to meet up with relatives like Colin's aunt Sandra who has lived in the USA for many years.

e-mail and website addresses

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

Colinís web site: