Au revoir, but not farewell to a much loved couple

There’s no easy way to break sad news: The time had come for us to bid adieu to Anne and Bill Hawkins. The pair will be leaving Timonium on September 10th to be closer to their family and to make a new home in Llanelli, the small town in south Wales where Annie was born.

The Parish Life Committee is planning a farewell picnic for the couple on the parish grounds at 4:00 PM on Sunday, September 9th.

There is a standing invitation to all Bill and Annie’s friends in Baltimore and beyond to join us in bidding them a fond farewell.

Bill and Anne have been a vital part of this parish for the best part of 20 years. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a major event that has taken place at St. Stephen’s in which they have not played important roles—visitations, confirmations, ordinations and, most notably, celebrations.

Annie defined the mission of the parish Director of Pastoral Care—keeping tabs on our sick and shut-ins and extending our outreach to the wider community. She has been a great favorite at the area’s retirement communites and a faithful pastoral visitor at the Joseph Richey Hospice.

Her talents, however, have been by no means solely confined to her ministry to the elderly and sick. She is a marvelous cook who, with my wife Charlotte, instituted the summer program of Wednesday night suppers.

Annie’s luscious monthly teas—which took a time-honored British tradition to hitherto unexplored sybaritic heights—have attracted an enthusiastic following that extends far beyond the parish boundaries.

Her Shepherd’s Pie, sausage rolls, and Welsh Pasties are to die for, and, for those of us who grumbled about the gastronomic gap she was be bequeathing us, she thoughtfully held a class in making her famous Welsh Cakes. Let’s hope the results match her expectations!

Bill is scarcely less talented in the kitchen than Annie. His chicken curry—a regular feature at the couple’s annual New Year’s Party—has been a revelation. “The secret is Patak’s Curry Paste,” he’d say modestly. May be so, but it takes a capable chef to produce the right result.

One of Bill’s culinary creations that will be especially missed is his Pavlova—a spectacular meringue confection that simply flew of the plate, most notably at Choral Evensong receptions.

But Bill’s greatest contribution to the success of the parish was his work as treasurer. Bill had scarcely crossed the threshold of St. Stephen’s when he was persuaded (“pressganged”, some might say) to take up the treasurership.

Seldom has a parish been so well served. Bill has wisely guided St. Stephen’s financial affairs for more than 19 years. Over that time he has conscientiously kept track of every dollar contributed to the parish, down to the last cent of the petty cash. On top of his parochial responsibilities, he managed the diocesan finances.

Bob Reynolds, who has been appointed to succeed him, will have his work cut out filling his shoes. Brice Richardson will be assuming his diocesan responsibilities.

Goodbyes are never easy. However Bill and Annie have been so important in our lives, this parting is especially painful. They leave America with our love and the assurance that they will always be in our hearts and in our prayers. Let this be au revoir; not farewell. Bon voyage! GPH✠

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