Email from John Hobbins

Dear Clive:

I came across your oldies site and realized that I was an oldie. I was a Millfield boarder at Chilton Cantelo for four terms – Summer ’62 to Summer ’63. I transferred there, despite the long bus rides, because Capt. James allowed pipe smoking a couple of years younger than Boss. Discipline was also less rigid than other houses which suited me.

We always called the family James without the Cotes. Their daughter Sally (?) had just finished at Millfield and their son Richard (?) was still there. For whatever reason I don’t recall mixing very much with the CC boys except in summer sports. I can only recall two female students – Ruth Thomas (?) who was the daughter of one of the staff called, I think, Dolly. The other girl, again if memory serves, was an American with a name like Mary-Texas Crewe (she may have had a brother there).

I left for Canada in 1963 where I spent my life to date and lost touch with many friends from CC. Seeing you site recalled long forgotten names such as John Church. When the A level literature class I was in went to London to see a play at the Old Vic, Church asked us to bring back a beer. This was delivered late at night on our return when he was in the bath. The bottle had been given such a good shake that when he opened it that it was a good thing he was naked in the bath. Following the ensuing explosion, I doubt there was much beer left to drink.

Another difference was the dormitories where we were actually in bunks. I shared mine with Sam Munap, who later joined me in McGill University. He joined the student socialist party, but I later discovered he was a member of the Royal family in Brunei – his full name being DATO SERI PADUKA HAJI SELAMAT BIN HAJI MUNAP and he became important in Brunei finance and the IMF. I should definitely have kept up contacts with him.

Also in the photograph was Mr. F.G. W. Phillips, who I suppose must have been our housemaster or at least the liaison with McGill. Certainly the Capt. did all the official duties of housemaster. I knew Mr. Phillips well as he was my A level history teacher and perhaps the best I ever had at Millfield. A few years later my mother told me he had died in tragic circumstances.

Anyway, this is just a note to thank you on the site that brought back many memories.

Best wishes,


I found this link on the web which leads to a tribute to John Hobbins … link added by Clive L-H.

John Hobbins
Emeritus Librarian
Life Sciences Library, McIntye Medical Building, 3rd Floor, 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3G 1Y6

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One reply to “Email from John Hobbins”

  1. Hi John,

    I don’t think Sam was of royal lineage, although he did end up along with our friend Haji Yakub as a senior member of the Brunei government. My recollection is that the Sultan provided funding to promising students and that Sam’s father was an ardent opponent to the royal family.

    David Wisenthal
    Montreal QC

    Orchards 1960-65

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