So we bid farewell to yet another Trinity stalwart from the Choir Stalls yesterday. Welcomes, celebrations and send-offs are a regular part of the Choir’s life. More than a duty we consider it an honour and a privilege.
Alex Lazarus was a friend of the Choir: quite naturally so, having been a Senior Chorister with his beginnings in the Gordon Burrows era. Sometimes we would suddenly discover him silently seated at the back of the Chapel during practice, enjoying the singing. Then he would join us for a cup of plain tea during the break. He would always say, with a tap on the piano lid: “A ‘Trinitian’ is a simple and humble human being”.
Whenever he heard the choir singing his favourites he would come up from “The Lodge” to listen and invariably strike up a conversation – always about the good old days. One of his regular statements was: “This is the place. The singing should permeate all over the school from here. How soothing it is”. He shared many stories that brought out the values of Trinity. Conversations with him, ranging from choir, to how the Chapel was built, to rugby, were always informative and invariably with a touch of humour. We always ended up having a hearty laugh.
After some time of preparation, he came to speak to the Choir. On the 29th of May 2018, he was there right on-time to share his experiences as a Trinitian. The choristers listened to him – awestruck. He spoke about Trinity as the school he knew, filled with anecdotes that inevitably brought up laughter. He spoke about his singing, bone breaking tackles, camps, excursions and days in the boarding. As a final thought in his talk, he shared his interpretation of ‘Respice Finem’. For him ‘Respice Finem’ meant “look to the end of whatever task you are doing now”. If everything was done that way, we would all end up doing a complete job every time!
He was always present at the events of the Choir. Not only at the event, even before the event he was always there to help and supervise the arrangements. Setting up the extra chairs from the hall, with the help of the boarders, and supervising the polishing was his speciality. He taught the workers how to place the chapel pews evenly using a wooden hall-chair to set the space. We could be rest assured that everything was just so. After the event he would never fail to come and say, with that ever present big smile on his face: “Hey la – you gave it! Super.”
Alex Lazarus, despite his great achievements, was a rare, truly simple man who lived his life as he claimed himself to be.
Another page of Trinity’s Life-book is no more. We have been so privileged to have had the opportunity of reading at least a part of it.