THE REVEREND CANON
ROY HENRY BOWYER-YIN
Roy Henry Bowyer-Yin was born in1910, the second son of a well – respected medical doctor in Singapore, Yin Suatchwan and his wife Lydia Florence Bowyer. Roy was sent to preparatory school in Surrey from where he received a scholarship to Marlborough College, Wiltshire, in 1924. In 1929 he followed his elder brother, Leslie, to King’s College, Cambridge, to read Mathematics, and later Law.
After a year’s theological training at Cuddlestone Roy was ordained in the Chapel of King’s on the 18th October 1933, a date of some historic importance as it was the first ordination to be held in the College. Roy reach the age of 23 on 7th October 1933, the minimum age for ordination to the deaconate and thereupon assumed duties as Chaplain of King’s. After only four years in that post, he told Eric Milner White, the Dean of King’s that he wanted to seek appointment as a schoolmaster and school priest.
In September 1937, he was appointed Chaplain of Hustpierpoint College, Sussex, where he spent eight blissful years teaching mathematics in addition to his duties as Chaplain. During Roy’s time at Hurstpierpoint an extremely talented student Meredith Davies, was brought in as organist. Roy and Meredith formed a friendship that was to last the rest of their lives.
At the end of the war, an Anglican school, S Thomas’, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), was looking for a chaplain. Roy sailed to Ceylon in December 1946 to relieve the incumbent chaplain for a period of six months, but stayed on for 17years, a period remembered as some of his happiest years.
The instance upon the use of Sinhala as the medium of instruction compelled Roy to leave Ceylon in 1962. He returned to Singapore, the land of his birth, where Roy was given a number of appointments including vicar of St. Hilda’s (from 1972 to 19878) and was subsequently made Canon of the cathedral in 1980. He was appointed preceptor of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in 1982, a post that allowed him to indulge in his love for music. He loved engaging with young minds, and enjoyed taking confirmation classes. He continued to tutor O and A- level Mathematics well into his eighties.
In his later years, he gave up his flat a Newton Court to live with Andrew and Valarie, he continued to receive visits from many people who loved him.
Rohan & Ishan De Lanerolle end this note on the life of Reverend Canon Roy H.B.Yin with words of one of the hymns he loved.
There is a green hill faraway,
Where the dear Lord was crucified who died to save us all,
We may not know, we cannot tell
What pains, he had to bear,
But we believe it was for us
– Rohan & Ishan De Lanerolle pays a tribute to the highly respected former chaplain choir master.