Phil Robertson 1937-2018

 

Phil Robertson – Memorial Service announcement in the Boston Globe
Philip Swing Robertson 1937-2018 Obituary, Boston Globe Feb 16, 2018
Phil_Robertson_Boston_Saengerfest_Mens_Chorus
Phil Robertson, Tenor 2, 1937-2018

 

 

1998 Salisbury Cathedral (Phil – left, back row next to Jim McArdle)

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 BSMC Christmas Concert 2017, Regis College 

Reminiscences about Phil

We have just lost one of Saengerfest’s founding members, who contributed a lively love of singing that will be missed by all who knew him. His contributions to the chorus were exemplary.

-Jeff Garland


Phil finished the Stockton Bonspiel (a curling tournament of significant standing) as he has for decades, by leading all in a round of Auld Land Syne. He then went home, went upstairs to change, and was found sitting in a chair by Anne. A shock, but not a bad way to go.

-Ben Wellington (ex- Saengerfest).

 


Dear Brothers in Song,

I am so sad to inform you that Phil Robertson had a massive heart attack and passed away Sunday night. Anne Robertson’s address is 36 Randolph Ave, Milton, MA 02186.

Have no further details.
From Florida,
Tingey Sewell


My dear friends

I am so sorry to hear this very sad news – Betsy called last night to let me know. I knew Phil from my very first rehearsal with Saengerfest in 1992; we subsequently used to meet for dinner almost every time I came over, along with Gordon & Betsy, John & Martha Ross and others in Falmouth and West Falmouth.

Over these past 25 years years, I regarded Phil and Anne as very good friends; I stayed with them overnight in Milton just last April after coming along to your rehearsal prior to the 25th anniversary concert  – Phil then drove me to West Falmouth the following morning. There was always much music and lots of laughs whenever we met.

He was such a dedicated Saengerfest singer – whenever I caught his eye, knowing he was struggling with the Welsh words, he would always give me that cheeky grin! He will be much missed.

– Haydn James


Dear Haydn,

Thank you for sharing your reminiscence, and for your filial connection to each of us. Phil actually attended our concert the day he died.  Saengerfest to the end…

We will all miss him keenly.

Matthew D. Gold, M.D.
“Matt”
President
Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus


We are all feeling the loss of Phil Robertson this past Sunday.  I always appreciated Phil’s well-tuned sense of humor and his generous spirit.

-Tom Berryman


I can not find the words to say good bye. to Phil. I felt comfortable talking and being with him. He represented all that is beautiful about singing and socializing with a men’s choral group. His presence will be missed.

Sadly,

– Art Marsh


What a wonderful man and friend to all.
– Tim Borchers

The days do indeed dwindle down to a precious few. Sadly, so do our good good friends. Ave atque vale.

– Linus Travers


Back in the mid-1970’s when I joined the Saengerfest, we met quarterly at the Tennis & Racquet Club, Dr. Bob Daley was Meistersinger, and the room was full of dozens of larger than life characters like Abe Collier, Jim Dennison, Sherm Russell and younger guys like Bill Bovey, Gordon Heald, Pete Jones and Phil Robertson.

Over the next forty some years much has changed. Yet throughout it all there’s always been the core, and at the center of that core there’s been Phil Robertson. He embodied the Saengerfest mission: He believed that music defines us, tradition unites us and fellowship enriches us.

Like the rest of you, I will miss him.
– Larry Langford

I remember walking into the Spee Club at Harvard for the Saengerfest meeting when I was being introduced, sometime in the 80’s.   My sponsor wasn’t there yet, but one friendly guy came over, introduced himself, and then said “Let’s walk around, and I’ll introduce you to others:  Twenty minutes later my sponsor showed up, found us, and said “You’re in good hands already”.

It was Phil.  And I was.

Steve Foote


Phil was a plank owner of Saengerfest and always cared for the best interests of the group. He will be missed.

– Dave Harmon


Thank you, Tingey, for letting us know. Anne an Phil have been long time friends. He will be sorely missed. He was with us when the chorus was formed in 1991, but he had been a long time member of the olde Saengerfest.

– Pete Jones


Fellow singers,

Phil was a second tenor and over the years he and I settled into a “back row” camaraderie, often sitting together, chatting about this and that as we all do.  We happened to sit together at the concert on Sunday and shared some stories about growing up in simpler times.  I am comforted by knowing that in the final hours of his life, he sang with all of us and those talented young men, took part in his beloved sport of curling and then, sitting in a comfortable chair, ended his time with us in this world.

Rest in peace, Phil, and may all who knew and loved you be blessed with the comforts of memory and hope.

– Steve Cook, Second Tenor


That is a very painful loss.

– Bob Dickie


This is a remarkable outpouring to show how many members of the chorus he touched over the years!

– Herb Motley


Phil and I always kidded each other about Latin pronunciation. In his time at Milton Academy and Harvard, Phil never took Latin. When we sang Ecce Quam Bonum Phil insisted on pronouncing Ecce as Ecke (classical pronunciation) vs. the liturgical echeh.  He’d flash me this vicious grin and sing louder.

Good fun: I miss him.
– George Ecker

This is what Saengerfest is all about.
– Tom Rowen

Many years ago I inherited the management of chorus CD sales from Jack Finlay.  With the help of my wife Nancy, we began promoting CDs at every concert.   Nancy soon brought in Ann Robertson  and of course Phil joined the team as well, ready to help where needed.  He would always make sure our wives had drinks or food at the Regis Christmas reception.  We had a great team.  Phil was a good man.  I will miss him.

-David Richardson


I remember walking into the Spee Club at Harvard for the Saengerfest meeting when I was being introduced, sometime in the 80’s.   My sponsor wasn’t there yet, but one friendly guy came over, introduced himself, and then said “Let’s walk around, and I’ll introduce you to others:  Twenty minutes later my sponsor showed up, found us, and said “You’re in good hands already”.

It was Phil.  And I was.

-Steve Foote

 

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