50 Years – a celebration!

A church jam packed… people from far and wide… certainly Martin, Organist and Director of Music, knew that something was up when he spotted colleagues from Arnhem, clergy and friends from the UK, other friends and family seated in the pews. It was Harvest, a service which attracts a wide range of congregation, but this many? Of course, there was an excellent reason for it – we had all come to celebrate an amazing achievement – Martin van Bleek, Organist at the Anglican Church Haarlem for fifty years!

It was some feat to keep the special service a secret and perhaps there were some small clues but essentially Martin was surprised and delighted when, half way through the Harvest Service, he discovered this service was also a celebration of his musical contribution to the church.

When asked to speak, he reminisced about being a teenager in need of ‘engagement’ and, as he had a keen interest in the piano and organ, his mother suggested he sit by the Organist and learn a little. The rest is history – he has played ever since! Luckily for us!

It was a wonderful moment when a fellow Organist stepped forward and the choir sung the anthem, Christ whose Glory fills the Skies by Harold Darke. Martin conducted and it was a fitting moment as the glorious notes and harmonies filled the church.

Glasses of bubbly were handed out after the service for speeches and presentations. It was a wonderful afternoon – a very happy Harvest and a magnificent celebration of a man whose musical contribution has amounted to so much.

Cheers to you, Martin!