A Felixstowe-Sydney-Darien Circle


This is a story about how this blog brought together two members of a 1959 Bible Quiz team from Felixstowe, England, in Darien, Connecticut in 2009, via a link in Sydney, Australia.

Two months ago, I wrote a post about my deep affection for Felixstowe, England, where my partner, Clive, grew up.

A comment on that post led to an unexpected meeting in Connecticut.

Once upon a Time

Many years ago, in 1959, there was a Bible quiz team from the Bethesda Baptist Church in Felixstowe, on the coast of Suffolk in East Anglia, England.

According to The Children’s Newspaper of 28 February 1959,

Every week Sunday-school classes at Felixstowe (Suffolk) prepare for the Annual Bible Quiz. This event attracts over 1000 people to watch teams from all over the town competing for the coveted St. George’s Challenge Cup. Now the idea has spread via the columns of a local newspaper, sent out by a reader to a relative in Canada, and children of Orillia, Ontario, are following their example.’

On the 1959 Bethesda Baptist team were Clive W., Sue C., ‘my’ Clive, and David R. The quiz was held at the Spa Pavilion, an art-deco style building on the Felixstowe seafront where, in later years, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Led Zeppelin all performed.

The Winning Team

After weeks of preparation, the Bethesda Baptist team brought honour and pride to their church community when the two Clives, Sue, and David won the annual Bible quiz.

Each team member received a small silver cup. My Clive remembers that Clive W. got to hold the large winners’ cup because he was the captain and oldest member of the team.

Clive W, Sue, my Clive, David - Felixstowe, England, 1959

The Years that Followed

Clive’s family moved to Australia at the end of 1961. Clive kept in touch with many of his Felixstowe friends, including David R. We’ve had many pleasant get-togethers with David and his wife and other Felixstowe friends. Clive had heard some years ago that Sue had left Felixstowe and moved elsewhere.

I Join the Circle

As described on the About page of this blog, I moved to Sydney from Darien, Connecticut in 1995. Clive and I met in 2005, as I wrote about in How I Met My Valentine.  I started this blog in 2008.

When Martyn commented on my Felixstowe post, Clive responded that he remembered Martyn and his sister Sue, especially that Sue was a member of the 1959 Bible quiz team.

Then Clive and Sue exchanged e-mails, and we learned where she had moved to over 30 years ago.

Felixstowe to Connecticut

As fate, or luck, would have it, Sue had relocated to the U.S. in 1977 and was living and working in lower Fairfield County, Connecticut, within minutes of my former town of Darien. Sue’s daughter and grandchildren live in New Jersey, my home state.

It really is a small world. Clive went from Felixstowe to Sydney, Sue from Felixstowe to Connecticut, and I completed the loop by going from Connecticut to Sydney and meeting Clive there.

Thanks, Martyn

Thanks to Martyn finding my blog and commenting on it, and with the lovely coincidence of his doing so just before we were travelling to the U.S., we were able to connect with Sue last month in Darien.

What fun we had, sharing our respective stories, and for me, especially, what a strange and wonderful experience it was, to sit in my former town in Connecticut with Clive and a friend from Felixstowe.

Martyn, Sue’s younger brother, captained the Bethesda Baptist Bible quiz team himself in 1961.

Thanks, Martyn, for bringing us all together.

Clive and Sue C. - Darien, Connecticut, USA, 2009

Cheers to blogging and friendship all over the world.

8 Responses

  1. Fantastic blog, Carolyn!
    I was so pleased that you, Clive and my big sister were able to meet up and reminisce.
    Hope to meet you both one day.

  2. Carolyn,
    Do you have David R’s contact details?

    Martyn C

  3. An excellent story Carolyn, Strange what blogging does, isn’t it !!!

    And if you hadn’t of started this blog, they would never of met up..and very odd that Sue moved to NJ too..life moves in strange ways !!

    Take care, yes I hope to meet up with you again .. need to get some work to get some money together, if it was in Paris,..never mind, I am sure I can raid the savings!!

  4. What a great story! I love how blogging can connect new people and bring old friends back together again.

    John’s 87 year old cousin Mary was with us over Christmas and we talked about you and I showed her your post about your brother as John described his communication with you. Then I went on to show her the post you and Kim sent me from Paris and how you two met through my blog.

    After that, I showed her the pictures and read aloud my posts about her brother Michael.( who died earlier this year in Cornwall while on holiday ) I think we may have sparked a new interest in her as she so enjoyed the stories and new friend connections made possible through blogging.

  5. It is a small world, isn’t it? I haven’t reconnected with anyone with my blog, but I sure have made a lot of nice cyber friends.

  6. A most interesting story! It truly is a small world, isn’t it?!

    I sure enjoyed seeing the pictures of your world at Christmas time. It is places like that where people who live in places like this travel to! (Does that make sense?!)

    I have a friend who tells me that Australia is, by far, the best place in the world — and he has traveled to many parts of it.

    Take care.

  7. Hi Carolyn & Clive,
    Happy New year to you my friends !!

    I’m feeling all ” warm & fuzzy” reading your beautiful post. What a disfference internet makes, sometimes bringing people together.
    I’m so happy that you all met up with Sue ! You won’t get upset at me Carolyn if I say this ” Clive was a cute lad “; Their team must have been like a celebrity at this time.

    I’ve had a couple of reunion stories, esp with finding distant cousins and recently through FB, former classmates. It’s a very good feeling to have been reunited.


  8. Thanks for the wonderful comments, everyone!!

    Martyn, we really appreciate your original comment which brought us all together. We definitely have to meet in person sometime.

    Anne, please do raid the savings so we can all get together in Paris again 🙂

    Elizabeth, I’m very touched by your comment – thanks for sharing the Elizabeth/Kim/Carolyn ‘connection story’ with John’s cousin, and the post about my brother with John’s photo of the Cornwall plaque. Wouldn’t it be amazing if Mary gets into blogging herself.

    Linda, my new goal is to be the first person who connects in person with you via your blog! Hope we can do that sometime this year. (We have to get Elizabeth and Anne over, too!)

    Russell, Australia is definitely one of the world’s great places. Hope the snow isn’t too high in Iowa.

    xpat92, what can I say but Clive was definitely a cute lad 🙂 — thanks for that observation!

    Cheers and happy new year, all.

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