You are hereAbout Robert Bouffler

About Robert Bouffler


Robert Bouffler

Robert Bouffler

Robert Bouffler was a remarkable man. On these pages you can read an appreciation by Viv Edwards, one of our current trustees. If you have your own memories to add to this story, please let us know. You can email viv@rbmt.org.uk or create an account on this site and add your comments.

Sources:
Notes provided by Sue Simpson
Robert Bouffler Archive
From the Memorial Service Booklet:
    Jonathan Robarts, Jenny Fowler, Michael Nebe, Sue Simpson, David Birt

Doug Kohlkoff went to school with Robert. He read the mini-biography on the website and has shared these wonderful memories with us;
"Robert and I began our enduring friendship in 1955 when we had just turned seven. At that time he and his parents were living above the Bouffler Bros Butcher Shop in George St Bathurst. Later Jack, Claire and Robert moved to a house not far from mine, so in secondary school we would walk home together usually while partaking in deep and meaningful discussions and debates! Robert and I journeyed together through school, cub scouts, Sunday School and church as well as many musical activities including choir, recorder groups and various ensembles and performances. As your website notes, his parents adored him. Claire was enormously proud. I remember a beautiful picture of a bright-eyed Robert aged about 3 that hung above the mantelpiece in their new house in Howick St. Jack would chauffeur us off to many of the activities. I remember when Jack bought a property a little to the east of Bathurst which no doubt he did then farm - but to us it was just a place of entertainment.
In the latter years of Secondary School, Robert would take the 4.5 hour train trip from Bathurst to Sydney for lessons at the Sydney Conservatorium.
Saturday nights were practice nights for our “youth orchestra” - which was usually only stringed instruments plus Robert on piano. The best part was usually after the formal practice when we would just improvise - something that Robert was always brilliant at.
In 1965 Robert began full-time studies at both the Conservatorium and Sydney University but after a while he just focused on the Conservatorium studies. We kept in touch with occasional letters after he left for Oxford and we were hoping to one day visit him. I remember at one stage he brought a car back to Australia (the MG?) and it was somehow dropped as it was being taken off the ship in Sydney.
One day a bikie stopped near us when we were living at Kurrajong Heights (on the road between Sydney and Bathurst). We were rather surprised to find it was Robert under the helmet - although his receding hairline was also a bit of a shock. The wonderful thing was that although we only would meet occasionally the friendship continued just as if we had never been apart."

Thanks Doug!

"I knew Robert, both in Australia (Sydney) and in England, back in the
1970s.

We met at the house of a harpsichord teacher who lived in the North Shore
in Sydney - as both of us were having lessons there.

Robert was leaving for England, before I was, and went to stay with my
parents (Gerald and Anna Boyd) in Ipswich for several weeks before I
arrived (by sea!) from Sydney.We then shared a house in Laker Place,
Putney, for several months before he took up a place to read Music (for a
Masters Degree) at Christ Church (college) Oxford, where he had rooms
right under the famous Tom Tower there. It was fun to visit him there
in such hallowed quarters!

He wanted to marry me (we were only in our early 20s!) but his
father was rather less than enthusiastic about the idea than we were!

His parents (he was adopted by them, and was their only child) made sure
he was comfortable in England and, in addition to my Lipp piano at our
rented house, he added a Morley clavichord and a little MG midget sports
car in which we drive all the way, across Salisbury Plain in the rain and
wind, to stay with my parents in their new house in Somerset. Robert
enjoyed staying in that little village of Drayton and we used to go to
the village pub and drink the amazing scrumpy... and then try to stagger
home in the unlit village street! Robert always said his father was a
farmer, not a haulage contactor.

I never met his parents, but they wrote regularly to him and were clearly
very devoted to him. He was a very talented pianist and we enjoyed
going to many concerts in London together, particularly those of
contemporary music on the South Bank."

Many thanks to Angela for this fascinating contribution. Angela went on to spend many years with RCA Records, in Curzon Street, organising their classical recordings.