David C.B. Mills       page 2

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From Tom Miller of PGCR. 

December 9, 2000 at John Harvard's Brew House, Washington DC.

I first met David Mills on Saturday, November 28, 1998, here at Saint Martinís, the day of my first bell practice.

I remember sometime in the winter of 1998 Ė 1999 as we left Saint Martinís tower; the weather had been especially nasty that day with snow flurries. Slush covered the ground as we all emerged from the tower after practice. I looked down to make sure of my footing and saw bare-foot prints in the slush. I cast my eyes ahead following the trail Ė to David. At that moment I knew that David was a special man.

He was special in so many ways. I regret that I didnít know him longer. He was a good friend and he had a Ė as he would say Ė MARVELOUS! ABSOLUTELY MARVELOUS! Ė sense of humor.

I had the privilege of being Davidís roommate in Toronto last year at the AGM. David and I took a day together to tour around Toronto and to visit the stately home, Casa Loma, which was near the area in Toronto where David lived as an evacuee child during WW2. We had a great time together.

When we were in Toronto he told me that he had been a fan of the satirical songs of Tom Lehrer. Tom Lehrer was an American and performed in clubs, and on TV, and recorded his music. His disks were released in England in 1959 and Lehrer did a tour of England in 1960. David became captivated with Lehrer and his humor, and by extension the United States. He said it was one of the things that led him to come to the States.

After David retired I bought a CD of Lehrer songs as a gift and sent it to him in England. When David first told me about Lehrer he quoted extensively from one of Lehrerís songs. So, since it was a favorite of his and since it is springtime, it would be appropriate to read it. Unfortunately I donít have the music or I could sing it to you Ė on second thought itís probably better if I recite it to you.


Poisoning Pigeons in the Park

Spring is here, a-suh-puh-ring is here.
Life is skittles and life is beer.
I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring.
I do, don't you?  'Course you do.
But there's one thing that makes spring complete for me,
And makes every Sunday a treat for me.

All the world seems in tune
On a spring afternoon,
When we're poisoning pigeons in the park.
Every Sunday you'll see
My sweetheart and me,
As we poison the pigeons in the park.

When they see us coming, the birdies all try an' hide,
But they still go for peanuts when coated with cyanide.
The sun's shining bright,
Everything seems all right,
When we're poisoning pigeons in the park.

We've gained notoriety,
And caused much anxiety
In the Audubon Society
With our games.
They call it impiety
And lack of propriety,
And quite a variety
Of unpleasant names.
But it's not against any religion
To want to dispose of a pigeon.

So if Sunday you're free,
Why don't you come with me,
And we'll poison the pigeons in the park.
And maybe we'll do
In a squirrel or two,
While we're poisoning pigeons in the park.

We'll murder them all amid laughter and merriment,
Except for the few we take home to experiment.
My pulse will be quickenin'
With each drop of strych'nine
We feed to a pigeon.
(It just takes a smidgin!)
To poison a pigeon in the park.

Good bye David. We all miss you very much.

Tom Miller PGCR



This picture is from Theresa Rice. 

From the Butler's tour, 2001, taken at Hexam Abbey.


Derek and Sue Sawyer wrote:

I was very distressed last week to hear that David had passed away.  I visited your picture site and realised that no-one had recent pictures of him with his cottage.  Sue & I visited him last September 11th.  (Yes THE day).  We had a wonderful day as he proudly showed us around his new surroundings in South Shropshire, a most beautiful part of England.  His cottage in Rushleigh is gorgeous, complete with a "walk-in" fireplace!