Rhubarb 2019

54 ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b

Genial Barry Pelmore, 74, an avid walker, who joined the team in 1989, came from a military background and was described as a ‘true gentlemen who loved people’ in one of many touching tributes at his funeral. Born in 1944 in Swanage, Dorset, Barry grew up with his sister Bronwen and twins, Michael and Susan. He went to school at St Edward’s, Oxford, followed by Sandhurst. During his time in Oxford he was introduced to rowing and on behalf of Sandhurst reached the finals at Henley Royal Regatta in 1964. He then spent six and a half years with the Royal Artillery during which time he served with the British Army on the Rhine. Barry’s late uncle founded the Bentley Drivers’ Club in 1936 and, following in his footsteps, Barry was a self-confessed petrol-head. He was a Member of the High Performance Club and enjoyed many drives both in the UK and abroad. The final one was to the Ardennes in May 2017. He was also delighted to join locally-based SCARCE – the Saddleworth Classic and Rare Car Enthusiasts club. As far as the Mountain Rescue Team was concerned, his vast experience with Land Rovers and off-road driving were an invaluable asset. An OMRT spokesperson paid tribute:

‘Barry was always one of the team’s ‘go to’ men when members got the vehicles stuck in particularly nasty spots. As he stepped away from front line operational duties in more recent years, he was never happy to take a back seat. He took on a significant role as head of our fundraising section and, as it turned out, far from wanting to wind down he threw himself at his new role with some gusto. He was very widely known in the locality for being the main liaison between the team and the community when it came to event planning and fundraising. Barry truly was one of the unsung heroes of the Mountain Rescue fraternity, one of the cogs in the wheel without whom the team could never function — yet never seeking any recognition for what he did. In truth such was the bravery and the enthusiasm of the man that he was still arranging events up until a few days before his death and insisted he stayed ‘on call’, to help where he could, right up until the end. For many of the team and the local community, Barry will perhaps be best remembered as master of ceremonies at team events, including our anniversary dinners and the many public events he covered over the years.’ Barry was famous for his special ‘Rhubarb’ blazer and boater, which he wore when hosting events. These legendary garments have been donated to the Team by his widow, Steph, with the brief: the blazer can’t be altered, whatever the compère’s weight or height. It was fitting that a poignant poem by Rudyard Kipling was read by Roger Fielding at the close of the service at Oldham Crematorium as it encapsulated Barry’s love of dogs and life. It included the lines: ‘Now I must go by some other round - which I shall never find - somewhere that does not carry the sound of Four-Feet trotting behind...’

Barry is survived by his wife

Baltimore. In September 1991 he was awarded an MA from the University of Oxford. For most of his working life (1989 to 2011) Ravi worked as a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital. During this period, he was also a Senior Clinical Lecturer attached to the University of Oxford. During his tenure at Oxford, he was involved in many pioneering achievements, such as a fast-tracking protocol for early extubation of patients following cardiac surgery and setting up a homograft heart valve bank. He was a member of the John Radcliffe Hospital Board and Chairman of the Cardiac Clinical Centre from 1991 to 1996. Dr Pillai was responsible for the major expansion programme of the Cardiac Services Centre of the John Radcliffe Hospital. He was also a Director of Cardiocore Ltd. Dr Pillai performed both adult and paediatric cardiac surgeries. He was a master surgeon who could perform five or six open heart operations a day and still turn up smiling to perform a major emergency surgery at night. We young trainees were run off our feet trying to keep up with him. He maintained a cool and unflappable demeanour under extreme pressure. Ravi was a prolific researcher with over 100 publications in international peer-reviewed journals to his credit. He performed pioneering research into stentless heart valves. He also contributed book chapters to two textbooks ( Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation and The Oxford Textbook of Surgery , 1994). He also co-authored the book Surgery for Ischaemic Heart Disease with John Wright. He taught undergraduate medical students at the University of Oxford as well as postgraduate trainees in cardiothoracic surgery. He

Steph, his sisters Bronwen Hickmott and Sue Lester, and Sue’s twin brother Mike. PILLAI – On 9th December 2018, Ravi Gnanasundram Perumal Pillai (F, 1964-1968). Brother of Ranjit (F, 1970-1975), father of Rajesh (F, 1990-1995) and Shahila (D, 1996-1998). Governor of St Edward’s School 1994-2011. This is taken from the obituary written by Dr Chandima Amarasena and published in the Sunday Times (Sri Lanka): Dr Ravi Perumal Pillai, a highly-respected Sri Lankan-born cardiac surgeon, who practised in the UK and Sri Lanka passed away after a brief illness on December 9th. He was born on 1st April 1951 and after beginning his education at Trinity College, Kandy, subsequently studied at Comboni College, Khartoum, and St Edward’s School, Oxford. After qualifying as a doctor in April 1974, Ravi did his internship in Jaffna. He then served for a period as a lecturer in Anatomy at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. Subsequently he returned to the UK to train as a surgeon obtaining Fellowship of both the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Edinburgh in 1979. He received the Certificate of Higher Surgical Training in Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1987. His training was at some of the major London hospitals including the Royal Brompton and Harefield, National Heart, London Chest and St George’s. He was mentored by eminent surgeons such as Sir Magdi Yacoub, Sir Donald Ross and Chris Lincoln. He went on to do a Fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, He studied medicine in the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London.


Barry John Pelmore

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