Melvyn Tarran, as founder, was the obvious choice for Chairman, and he surrounded himself with a rather large steering committee consisting of Sylvia and Richard Nixon, Alan Carter, Laurence Leng, Bill and Christine Colbourne, Chris Whitehead, Daphne Smith, Mary Gross, Malcolm Ford, Peter Parker, John and Clare Samson, and Barbara Sayers. We aimed to bring G & S to a wider public, especially to younger people, via concerts, talks, visits to relevant places, and theatrical performances.
We launched at Haywards Heath Town Hall on 6th May 2011, when some sixty people attended and enjoyed the singing of our tenor Vice President Stephen Brown, who sang six of the G & S arias, and nearly raised the roof. He was accompanied by Christine Colbourne, and supported by the assembled company as chorus. Various people spoke, and we were well and truly launched on a massive tide of goodwill.
Our inaugural Annual General Meeting was held al fresco on 30th July at Oak Hall, Sheffield Park when the first proper committee was elected. Alan Carter, Mary Gross and Malcolm Ford withdrew, but the other members of the steering committee survived, with Melvyn as Chairman, Bill Colbourne Vice Chairman, Sylvia Nixon Hon Secretary, newcomer Edwin Cowley Hon Treasurer, Laurence Leng Membership Secretary and Richard Nixon Designer.
At our second Annual General Meeting on 9th June 2012, in recognition of the fact that a number of our members came from other parts of the county and beyond, we decided to change our name to The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Sussex.
We are affiliated to the London G & S Society.
Chairman: Bill Colbourne
Vice-chair: Laurence Leng
Secretary: Sylvia Nixon
Treasurer: Laurence Leng
Membership: Christine Colbourne
Designer: Richard Nixon
Co-President: Melvyn Tarran