Reflections on & Memories of Tony Aremia’s Life
Peter J Baugh, Chair, ADAS
In the late 1960s, Jane & I and Tony & Edith became neighbours in Timperley near to Navigation Road Station. Tony and Edith have lived in their house for about 45 years. Although Jane & I moved house in May, 1975 we have remained very good friends exchanging Christmas gifts ever since. We, until 2012 always got together just before Christmas for a drink or two.
Before our move, we had already organized bake & take parties with other friends and neighbours including Geoff & Ann Flood. Early memories of New Years Eve parties involved linking baby alarms from house to house so that we could listen for any wailing & cries. After the girls decided to have Thursday nights out, the boys countered by having Wednesday nights out at the Gardners’ Arms on Deansgate Lane. I remember exchanging tobacco with Tony on many occasions as we both enjoyed a pipe smoke in addition to more than several pints of Boddingtons.
Tony was always a good raconteur and good and bad joke teller. He reflected on his time in the army in India and used to break into a few words of Gujarati. On his way back from India, he had to stop off in Israel around the time of the King David hotel incident in 1946. During his army years, he was active in radar communications. He also related stories about his teacher training at St. Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, and usually involving sport. He was a better than average athlete and I think I recall a time of 50 s for the 400m was within his capabilities. After retirement he kept active and swam with a group at Altrincham Leisure Centre getting there before 7.30 am to ensure that he could lane swim.
In 1979 or thereabouts we both became members of ADAS, I with sons, Jonathan and David, and later, James. We met at the Obs. every Friday and monthly at Altrincham Library. The pub venue was the Quarry Bank Inn close to the Obs. Many happy hours were spent late at night outside the pub with James, aged 7, and his friend, Ste, exchanging jokes with Tony.
Towards the end of his working life he studied a degree in physics at MMU for which he was awarded a distinction. He also attended South Trafford College for language study, including Spanish, Italian and German for which he was awarded A level and GCSE certificates.
Tony was active in ADAS, holding the chair of the society in the mid 80s, keeping the log book up to date each week and banking the money for a variety of treasurers. He loyally assisted Ged at many of the Timperley Country Fair events. He has visited Jodrell Bank with the society on open night & national astronomy occasions and met up with the Astronomer Royal and Patrick Moore. With Edith, he went on several long haul eclipse trips including Curacao and India enjoying the observations in the sky and on the beach!!
His escapades with the Wednesday (and Friday) drinking group are well-known and on one occasion the group joined the music train at 18.50 h alighting at the Golden Pheasant for several pints, one of those occasions when fine weather allowed the group to imbibe outside. At 21.30 h the group decided it was time to catch the train back to Navigation Road. On alighting from the train a little after 22.00 h the group turned the corner and approached home. “Tony”, someone uttered, “We are stopping off at the Moss Trooper for a nightcap”, ok? Tony made no attempt to get his door key out to open his front door and proceeded to march rapidly in the direction of the pub. After several more halves (not pints) he made his way home unassisted, not feeling much worse for wear, such was his resilience with his favourite beverage.
As you will be aware, Tony was with Ged when he taken ill on his way to his favourite pastime, a pint in the local. He had recovered from hospitalization in 2013 and he and Edith had had their share of hospital treatment and operations over the last few years from which they had both recovered well, although Tony had not attended monthly meetings, recently.
Both Edith & Tony are an example to us all in their solid and admirable characters, their attitudes and interest in life and their family. Tony will be sadly missed by Edith & the family, many people he knew and his friends at ADAS.
Peter J Baugh, Chair, ADAS
It was so lovely that all Dad’s friends from the society attended his funeral on Friday. Here is a poem that we dedicated to him at his service on the day as an avid scholar and stargazer – it is a beautiful description of the keen astronomer that he always was:-
In Starry Skies
In starry skies, long years ago,
I found my Science. Heart aglow
I watched each night unfold a maze
Of mystic suns and worlds ablaze,
That spoke: “Know us and wiser grow.”
And with each season’s ebb and flow,
My soul with faltering steps and slow,
Still wanders up far-glimmering ways,
In starry skies.
Nor do I heed Life’s gaudy show,
But onward, upward I shall go,
Until new star-lands meet my gaze,
And where, perhaps in after days,
I’ll learn the things I long to know
In starry skies.