Joined BCAL in 1973, left in 1988 after 'merger'. Worked in Revenue Accounting, MIS, Planning and Marketing. Currently working with Continental and Menzies Aviation as consultant. I am still in touch with Mike Cusack, Peter Smith and Malcolm Bromham (and a few others) at Menzies; and Mike Carter at CO. Great to see so many familiar names and remember, for better or worse, what the airlines used to be like.
Delighted to add my name to so many wonderful colleagues of the past and muse about my life with such a stunning employer- BCAL. Was lucky enough to be sponsored by BUA in '65 and sent to Blackpool to fly Dakotas and Heralds. Then the real fun started and went to LGW IN '68. Flew 1-11's , B707's, DC-10's and classic B747's and finally B747-400's. Retired in Aug 2000 and don't regret a thing! Many fond memories brought back to life through your pages but, on a more sombre note, I'm sure many of you will be saddened to learn of the death of my ex wife, Elaine, nee Woodburn, who passed away in April 2007 after along struggle. Anyone who wishes to contact me thru the web, I'd be delighted to hear from you.
Bill Familton Great to see some of the old names from the past. Certainly brings back some memories from my Load Control days.
Joined BCAL in 1974,many fond memories of working for the best airline. Joined B.A Security on the merger in 1988. In 1991 B.A sold off their security at LGW to Aviation Defence, and I re-joined B.A in 1994 in World cargo at LGW. Currently Operations Manager British Airways World cargo LGW.
Keith Farmer 16/06/20
Sadly we learn that Keith passed away, aged 71, on the 14th June 2020 after a long illness. My sincere condolences go out to his partner Viv Izzard, family, friends and former colleagues. Keith's work in Sales saw him working hard in the background to cover and control the many commercial agreements made between BCal and their trade partners. He is remembered as a true BCal man who always supported the company throughout. Keith Remembered
Joining BCAL in the early 80s as a staff bus driver and working my way up to ops I would love to hear from any of the old team. Remember if you wanted to know anything MT boys always had the latest news. ps if you are out there walnut brain give us a call
John Faulkner 13/08/20 Emails go to John's wife Barbara
I worked at Gatwick from 1953-1988 as an Aircraft Engineer, and I am looking for my best mate Bryan John who also worked for BUA, BCal, and then went to Dubai, to work on private jets for the Royals, We last had contact years ago, but I have not heard of anything since. I moved from Horley to North Yorkshire after retiring, and I now potter around doing up farm and lawn Machinery. If anyone wants to get in touch, please e-mail
Karen Faulkner (now McEwan)
I have just found the website, joined BCAL May '77 Ab 9. Brings tears to my eyes, what a lovely time we had. I still keep in touch with quite a few BCAL girls, will tell them about the site. Wonderful, just wonderful! The TV advert still makes me giggle, oh and very proud to have been part of such a great airline.
Christine Felton nee Wakelam 26/01/15
Sadly Christine passed suddenly on 22nd Jan 2015; my sincere condolences to Toby, Christine's partner of 10 years, her family, friends and former colleagues. Christine was very proud of her time at BCal and had been a friend of this website since its earliest days
I worked @ LGW from 1965-1968 and YYZ 1968-1978 ending up as YYZ Station Manager. In the 70's YYZ was one of the busiest stations in the world sometimes with 5 or 6 B707's a day in the summer. I "grew up "in the CA/BCAL family and many people used to come and stay @ the 'FENTON INN" having some great parties both their and the old Skyline Hotel I am still in Canada and would love to hear from anyone that remembers "young Freddy". Hope to hear from my many many old friends
Brian Ferdinando 03/08/15
I was the Flight Engineering Manager at Gatwick, previously with B.U.A., and transferred to BA with the same job until retiring in 1991. I knew your Father quite well we would meet regularly on the “ramp” during the VC10 days.
Karen Fernando (nee Turnbull) Nov 2008
I joined BCal a couple of years before the merger with BA. Long haul Gatwick, then Short haul Heathrow. Then transferred to tickets and reservations. Completed 13 years service in all. Said goodbye to airline life 11 years ago and have been a make up artist since. Really miss it, have to make do with trips to Brooklands Museum with my plane mad 4 year old son to see the ex-BCal VC10 that now lives there!! Maybe he will be a pilot for BA, who knows!
Susana Ferrario 05/08/11
Sadly we learn that Susana passed away on 30th July 2011, she was very poorly with advanced Alzheimer’s. Susana joined BCal as a Rio based Air Hostess circa 1976. In 1977 she moved back to Buenos Aires when BCAL opened their crew base. She married Brian Russell from Passenger Services in 1978 and became part of the Cabin Crew Briefing unit until March 2000 (as Susana Russell) when she left the company to accompany Brian to postings in Tripoli, Caracas and then Houston. Susana Remembered
Have just stumbled on this site. It's great to see so many old names and how fondly everyone remembers their time at Cale. I started in 76 with Mike Adams and Bob Simmonds in IR in Hangar 1,then went on to work for Bob Coleman in Operations and finally worked for Nic Boize, who I see is mentioned quite a bit, on the 3rd Floor in Caledonian House and finally left in 83 to run a pub. Well done for keeping the memories alive - best wishes to all my old colleagues.
Well done, what a terrific site. I was an ex British Eagle man who joined the 'original' Caledonian in February 1969. Along with Roy Marshall, Jim Spalding, Tim Gibson (and many others) we set up Caledonian's Passenger Handling Unit at Gatwick, using our old Eagle Traffic manuals. After some time in Ops (with Roger Wood) and Crewing on the 7th floor at Sussex House, I found myself 'running' Manchester during the summer charters and working 'overseas' during the winter. I became Airport Superintendent for the start of New York services in '73 and stayed for another 14 years (I guess I must have like it!) until I moved across to Calair in 1987 as Manchester Base Manager. I'm still living in Manchester. After 15 years with Emirates I decided to retire in 2005. Wherever you go, you always meet someone who worked for BCAL. They were good and happy days.
Elizabeth Feijó de Figueiredo
I joined Caledonian in 1975. Prior, I was air-hostess with Varig. I left BCal in 1977 in order to go to Deutsche Lufthansa A.G. I was based in Rio de Janeiro, but I was the only Brazilian on my training course in Gatwick. I would love to meet some colleagues, as Sylvia Beats, Carole Sinclair, Peter Oliveira, but maybe they married and I have no idea of their surnames now. Both girls were at my training. Sylvia Beats old address was Station Rd, Redhill and Carole Sinclair old address: Lonesome Lane, Woodhatch-Reigate. I would love to hear from them, if anyone knows them, please drop me a line.
Ron Fink 15/04/20
Great site!! I worked for BCAL from 1982 to 1988 at DFW airport. It was a sad day when BA took BCAL away from us all. Our friend is gone but not forgotten.
Pete Finlay 17/03/18
Sadly Pete passed away on 15th March 2018. My sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues. Pete Remembered
Pete's original Crewroom entry. I joined BCal from the RAF in 1980 as a Flight Engineer on Boeing 707s, then onto the DC-10 for 4 years, before flying the Boeing 747 from 1987. Then, like many of us, I became a 'Prisoner of War' in April 1988 when British Airways took us over! I carried on with them on the Boeing 747 before ending up on Concorde. I took early retirement in 2005 and I now spend my time in retirement giving lectures and talks on British Cruise ships, which is turning into a full time occupation! We still plan on building our own house up in Scotland, probably in the next 2 or 3 years. I can honestly say that the years I spent with BCal were the best I ever spent in my 30 year flying career, and the people I worked *for* and worked *with* were some of the best in Civil Aviation. Shame BCal never ordered any Concorde! ex BCal Flight Engineer 1980 - 1988
Group finance from 1974 to 1986. Lots of memories, mainly good. Learnt a lot, great apprenticeship in financing aeroplanes which paid dividends later. Now retired but in contact with several past colleagues. Anyone remember me ?
Frances Firmin (nee Lightfoot) 16/06/12
I joined BCAL in April 1970 and stayed until 1984 when I left after several years as a "Superchief" on the DC10. What wonderful times we had, such parties and such fun, totally outrageous so often. After flying I started to take life a tad more seriously and did a Law Degree and have now been working as a qualified solicitor and in house lawyer in the financial services industry for fifteen years. Its not as dull as it might sound! I met my husband in March 1992 and we were married in September that year. I have now moved to South Cornwall near Mevagissey, and I would love to hear from any old friends and colleagues particularly those living in the West Country
Richard Fisher 24/07/17
I applied originally with a phone call to Caledonian's Horley office aged 21 or 22, soon after arriving at Gatwick on a short term contract with Air Links at the end of 1964. My only previous flying job was for most of 1964 as a civilian 'monitor' flying Vampires and Piston Provosts at the RAF's Radar School, Shawbury. I had also trained and worked shifts in coms and cargo reservations control with Pan American in 1962/3. Unfortunately I held only a basic commercial pilots licence that didn't cover Astro Navigation, and anyway didn't have sufficient pilot experience for Caledonian's only types, the DC7 and Britannia. Captivated by the originality of introducing the Scottish heritage to transatlantic charter, and the obvious enthusiasm and glamour of Caledonian's people I met at work or socially, I re-applied in writing later, having got by now a bit of four engine piston and turboprop time.....Nope, still needed more. The next stage was pure luck......my then employer Transglobe 'rented' me out to Caledonian who were short of a Captain and F/O for the 1967 Haj. My Captain Keith Campbell had flown Caledonian's DC7s previously, so we were quickly amongst friends. With Caledonian's plans to expand, and the HQ now established at Sussex house, I got my name approved and on the waiting list. I joined permanently in 1968. Never looked back. A little later on, having happily merged with BUA in more than one way, married her in 1971...(Richard was F/O Britannia and 707, F/O and Captain 1-11, Captain 707, Captain DC10 then Captain 747 )
John Fitch 15/04/20
I joined BUA in 1962, and left BCal in 1975 (I rejected the possibility of joining BA family), having started at the Brompton Road Terminal, worked at VAT and LGW as Supervisor pax svcs partnering Len Bunn, and overseas as Acting Station Mgr at CSM and BAH. I joined GF in BAH, having got a job as proxy for one of the LGW Duty Officers who pulled out at the last minute, as Asst. Traffic Procedures Mgr assembling and editing their first Traffic Manual, on to Saudia, then back to UK with JY at ESH - with Mike Reynolds who I'd worked with at LGW.....
Michael (Mick) Fletcher 01/09/10
I joined BUA in July 1966 in the small Cargo department at Gatwick and moved to Heathrow in 1969 where I stayed until 1986 having helped to develop our BCAL Cargo and third party handling business. Made so many friends amongst our customers, other airlines and colleagues and still in contact with them today. Back to Gatwick in 1986 to work with David Brooksbank and continued with BA until 1991 managing and developing their Express business product, Speedbird Courier. Joined a private Distribution company, Crossflight, which was fantastic before taking up a Director position with the Swiss Post Office in 2003 where I stayed for five years. Thought about a rest in 2008 but in the summer was invited to the Board of Crossflight and am still there today enjoying it very much. Wherever I go and whoever I see in this industry there is always a very warm welcome and often great support for us BCAL people and whenever I meet BCAL people its just like we were working together yesterday! Truly unique, never to be repeated, the memories will live forever.
Captain David Flett 11/02/14
Sadly David has passed, aged 91 years. Our sincere condolences go to his family, friends and former colleagues. He retired in 1962 after accumulating 25,000 hours in 42 years. David remembered
Bill Florey 08/10/17
Sadly Bill passed away on 22nd September 2017, aged 96. Our sincere sympathies go out to Bill's family, friends and former colleagues. He had been ill for some time and spent his last few weeks in North Devon Hospice. His funeral took place on 5th October 2017 at the North Devon Crematorium, Barnstaple. Bill's original crewroom entry : Ex Flight R/O, ex-crewing and crew planning, Transair, BUA and BCAL between 1950 - 1986. Hello to to all who knew me. 93 years young but not as strong as I was.
Joined BCAL in ’78 and left after the merger. Joined Caledonian Airways, then Monarch and finally US Airways in Boston. Returned to the UK following 9/11. I am still working but not in the aviation industry. It is great to see some familiar names from the past. Please feel free to contact me. Great website, keep up the good work.
I joined BCAL in May 1976 as a steward, working on BAC 1-11, 707's and then graduated to DC 10 when they arrived. Also had a great time on the leased 747 from BA - Paddy McZulu, to serve Houston. Did the occasional horse freighter flight as well... They were, as everyone says, the very best days of my life. Whilst flying I was given the opportunity to have a go at sales - Alan Painter's 'Sales Blitz', using uniformed staff to try and get more business from companies throughout the UK. Even the tough nosed buyers would see a 'Caledonian Girl' without an appointment. Moved into Southern England Sales for a while, and then was tempted away into hotels. Still at Gatwick though. Have stayed in contact with David Williams since leaving BCAL, so get the gossip from him. Looking forward to the 40 year reunion.
Brian Folley 22/02/17
Sadly Brian passed away on 22nd February, after a long stay in hospital. My sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and former colleagues. Brian was in Press / Public Relations and held positions, Manager Press Office, General Advertising & Publicity Manager before rising to Manager Corporate Relations. Brian's service was held on 7th April. Brian Remembered
Peter Forbes 29/09/18
I was previously Controller, Economics and Computer Systems at BCal in the Engineering and Ground Operations Division from 1983-1988. I subsequently joined the CAA and then Alan Stratford and Associates, a specialist aviation planning and economics consultancy, where I am now Director.
Frank Ford 03/05/18
Sadly we learn that Frank has passed away. Frank was BCal MT workshop manager. My condolences to Frank's daughter Lyn, his family, friends and former colleagues. Frank's service was held on Friday 25th May at the Surrey & Sussex Crematorium with a gathering afterwards at the Heathy Farm to celebrate Frank's life.
Keith Forrest 17/05/13
1978-1983 LHR Import Cargo & LHR Cargo Sales. Probably the only person to have been hired by BCAL for the ability to pull on a set of football boots but you’d probably have to ask Mick Fletcher about that one. In case you missed it at the time, BCAL was the best airline football team at LHR and regularly walloped British Airways as well as anyone else who’d show up to take their licks. BCAL to me was not just a company and not just an airline; it was a family. Mr. Evans and Mr. Fletcher didn’t run the facility, Pat and Mick ran it. Great days! 12-hour shifts, 7 to 7 and didn’t want to go home. Tell me where else you’d say that.
Best wishes go out to all that had the misfortune to know me - and you know who you are. Pat, Mick, Phil Rawlings, Carol Spear, Roger Moore, the McCarthy brothers, Paul Kemp, Dennis Simpson, Graeme Smyth, Dave Redshaw, Martin Russell, Chris Hill (bon chance avec les gites, mon ami), Richard Wright…and the list goes on. Apologies to those not included. Worked in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando and now working in Cincinnati, Ohio (that’ll teach me)
Pam Foster 09/02/13
Sadly Pam passed away on 3rd January 2013, at home in the United States. My sincere condolences to Pam's family, friends and former colleagues. Pam is remembered in a photo tribute from her family and this can be seen here. Pam Remembered
Pam's original Crew Room entry from 30/08/12 : I worked for Caledonian Airways and then BCAL for Ian Ritchie, Director of Sales & Marketing from 1969 to 1971 when I left to have my son. At that time I was married to Peter Foster who worked in the Far East Sales Dept. I went back to BCAL right when Ian Ritchie passed away and helped to finalize his work affairs - then moving on to work with John dela Haye on the new livery, new stationery, update the LGW lounges, and bring in the new customer contact uniform using lighter fabrics and newly designed tartans. I also worked on the interior of the launch A320 aircraft with the team headed by Ernie Bracken (also Pam's ex-husband, sadly Ernie passed in October 2018) and was taken on with BA immediately after the "merger" to change the interior to BA design. I still have the brochure which we produced for the A320 Inaugural flight. I loved working at Caledonian Airways and BCAL and look back on that period of my working life with great affection
Peter Foster 30/09/20
Sadly we learn that Peter passed away on 29th July 2020. My sympathies go out to daughter Nina, his family, friends and colleagues. Peter Remembered. Peter's crew room entry from 02/09/14: In 1968 I was taken on without airline experience by John Hughes and Gordon Mason with approval from Ian Ritchie and placed in Far East Sales under the management of John Warren and Martin Harewood. It was a fast learning curve and a very enjoyable time, helped by friendly and helpful colleagues on the 7th Floor of Sussex House. In 1971 when the proposed almost daily charters to the Far East, especially to Singapore I joined the main charterer, Far East Travel/London as their Charter Manager liaising with Cale on a very regular basis for several years before setting up my own agency specialising in world wide Marine travel. Cale taught me a lot and they were very happy years.
Sadly Jim passed away on 4th January 2011 at the age of 81 years. Jim was the Security Superintendent in British United Airways, British Caledonian Airways and, until his retirement, British Airways. Jim became ill in the Nursing Home that he had been living in for several years and passed in hospital with his son Stewart at his bedside.
"Jim will be remembered for his professional competence at a time when there was increasing threats to airline security, especially in the 1970s when there was the very real threat of airline high jacking and sabotage. He was a Gentleman and a gentle man and had a wicked sense of humour. Rest in peace old friend ." From Derek Jenkins
Ron Francis First joined 1972 and retired in 1991. Happy Days
John Francke 11/05/16
Sadly John passed away on 2nd May 2016 aged 82. My condolences are with John’s family, friends and former colleagues. John joined BUA in 1970 and retired from BCal in 1987, he worked in Maintenance Planning, latterly in Hangar 5. John’s service was held on 19th May. John Remembered
I was with BCal from '81-'86 in the Houston office. I am probably best remembered as the guy who always had a tool or cable in his hands despite my management position. I saw former friends Alan Ash, Shannon Reed and Bet Townley and would love to hear from them and anyone else of course. I stayed out of the business after the '86 layoffs. Houston was no place for airline jobs. Unfortunately it isn't any better these days. I am currently struggling to find work as many of my fellow citizens are. I spent several years in Texas Government agencies during my IT career (which I would like back). Please do not associate that tenure with any form of support for G. W. Bush. In fact quite the opposite for which I paid dearly.
Sue Freeman (now Hamilton)
What a fantastic site - keep up the good work! I worked for BCAL for 9 years between 1978 and 1986. I was in Export Cargo with Diane Lane, Roger Moore, Peter Casey, Peter Mauchel, John Smith, Ian Marchant then in Southern England Sales with Barry Ashton, Lyn Barnard, Barbara Pattison, Paul Fogg, Tony Farrugia, Robert Gibbens, Lorna Gurton, Keith Farmer and finally worked for David Radford when he was Marketing Manager UK. Left in 1986 shortly after I got married when Marketing was re-locating to CLAT. Now live in Suffolk with my husband and 3 children. My time at BCAL for absolutely fantastic, many happy memories. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers me.
I joined BCAL on All Fools Day 1981 as Director of Personnel reporting to Alastair Pugh. I spent four colourful years with the airline. Much of my time with BCAL was spent dealing with industrial relations problems which seem endemic in the airline business. I left in August 1984 to set up my own consultancy business and to write books the most recent of which is entitled WANTED (How to be the most wanted employee around). I retired to the Philippines at the beginning 2008 and am currently engaged in writing my memoirs (especially of my time with BCAL). I would be very interested in receiving anecdotes and experiences of anyone who was in the airline 1981 - 1984 with a specific reference to unions, management and industrial relations issues.
Although I didn't work for BCAL I had many friends in the company. I was with the Golden Lion Children's Trust and would like to say hi, to all the Ground, Cabin & Flight Deck crews who looked after the kids over the years whenever we had a flight. Many happy memories. Isn't it always a shame when you lose touch but I wish you well wherever you are now.
Bill (Bungie) French My best regards to all my mates that were in the transport section, as well as all that were Tuggies and who finished like me working for British Airways.
Started May '69 with BUA then came Sir Adam to make it the best airline ever. I felt like it was working a family business. Its great to see the family getting back together. So sad to hear of Sir Adams death, he will be proud of how well we all think of him. BCAL lives on in all our memories.
Barry Friend 28/11/15
I started in July 1965 with BUA (CI) at Southampton on a six month seasonal contract, in 1966 transferred to BUAF, then BUIA, BIA, Air UK and finally with KLM uk until 1999. Joined NATS in ATC at Southampton Airport until retirement in 2009. I am still interested in airlines and aviation particularly the Herald aircraft, if anyone worked at LGW in August 1962 and can remember Herald CF MCM visiting please get in touch.
Steve Frohlich Wonderful, so many pleasant memories.
Lynn Fry 14/05/12
Sadly Lynn passed away suddenly on Friday 11th May 2012. Our sincere condolences go out to Lynn's family, friends and colleagues. Lynn worked as a Crewing Rosterer for both Flight Crew and Cabin Crew in those 'Golden Days' and was well known to many. Lynn Remembered
Captain John Fugl 27/11/15
Sadly John passed away on 26th November 2015 after a long illness. John progressed through the ranks, qualifying as a BAC 1-11 First Officer for BUA in 1970 to British Caledonian's Flight Operations Director. John's service was held on 18th December. John Remembered
Paul Funnell 05/08/15
Although am now the other side of the world my life was and will always be with BUA and BCAL. So many memories of good times, the friends and colleagues, they will never pass. Dad (Ken) was always the same and I know that he was, and would continue to be, proud to be part of a such a prestigious Airline. To all Dads’ and my past work mates, especially in Engineering, and the flight crew who I came to know, I would like to say “Hi”. I haven’t forgotten you. You and BCAL have made my life. Long live the memories of BCAL.
Warren Funnell 16/06/20 ( Warren can be contacted via Dave Thaxter at email@example.com )
I saw an advertisement from British Caledonian for a position as publicity assistant. I applied and was required to visit Gatwick Airport for an interview with Chris Kewbank in the British Caledonian offices which were then housed in The Terrapins! I was fortunate enough to be successful and I started work on Monday, 20th May 1974. My wife Pat was successful in securing a position with Dan Air in their customer relations department based in London (and later moving to Horley)
The names that I can remember for those involved with the advertising and publicity department and some other departments are Audrey Bateman with whom I’m still in contact, Valerie Houston, Jeremy Dixon, Graham Broadbridge and I also recall Derek Russell, Richard Heywood, Richard Havers, Chris Gilbert, Brian Hopper, Alan Painter, Alan Reeves, John Rickman, Frank Skilbeck, Charles Goodrich, George Banks, Marshall Tilley, Bidde Geohegan, Trevor Warburton, Jackie Turnbull, and so many others whose names escape me at this time but also sadly Deidre Drewett, Chris Tear and Silvia Morant who have all passed on. Pat and I were very close to Deidre who actually flew out to Harare for the day to be Pat’s Maid of Honour at our marriage.
Soon the Terrapin days were over and we all moved temporarily to Haywards Heath before the new HQ at Little Dallas between the airport and Crawley. If we had to work through the night on a project it was pleasure and a compliment…it was very much one big happy family. I applied internally for the position of Senior Sales Executive-North Africa which I commenced in September 1977 and I reported to Marshall Tilley who in turn reported to Chris Tear. During my tenure we inaugurated services to Tangier and Oran and we therefore operated to 6 destinations in North Africa (in addition to the above mentioned two destinations we also flew to Casablanca, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli (and Benghazi?)). I was stationed in Oran for six months to set up a ground operation.
When BCal was awarded the licence to fly to Hong Kong it was necessary for the DC-10 to make a stop to refuel and the company chose Dubai. I was told that as I had had experience in North Africa I was the logical choice for posting to Dubai to coordinate with the general sales agent in the preparation for the launch of services. At that time Dubai was quite a backwater and many of the roads were still just sand. (In order to meet and transfer Alastair Pugh from Abu Dhabi to Dubai on an official visit I co-piloted a Partenavia P68 for the flight as it was quicker and more safe than driving!) However things improved greatly and the route flourished and my final involvement was the opening of prestigious new BCal town offices.
I took a two-year sabbatical. By this time Pat had joined South African Airways where she stayed for the next few decades. I then rejoined the world by managing one of the major travel agencies in Dubai. Pat and I had visited Thailand several times and were particularly taken with Chiang Mai and the North of the country. So I decided I would retire here where I have been settled for almost 20 years now. I purchased an extensive tract of land high in the hills surrounded by National Park and jungle to the north east of Chiang Mai town. I landscaped and planted on about 60% of the land and initially kept the farm as a sanctuary for abandoned animals which included any creature that required a home!
I am now approaching my 70th year and I can reminisce with much pleasure and especially the exceptionally good fortune I was afforded in working for the best airline ever!…. my years with BCal were surely the happiest one could ever wish for and I look back with much gratification and contentment.
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Crewroom - F
Latest page update : 30th September 2020
Text in Orange = Updated email address needed please Text in Green = Sadly that person has passed.