Fine send-off for Cantamus co-founder Pam Cook

1980 Cantamus and Award
1980 Cantamus and Award

Hundreds of mourners filled Southwell Minster on Monday to pay their respects to Mansfield woman and Cantamus Choir co-founder, Pam Cook.

The ceremony at the Minster was standing room only as people came from all across the country to bid her a tearful farewell.

2002 Mansfield Pam Cook founder of Cantamus

2002 Mansfield Pam Cook founder of Cantamus

Those in attendance included Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale, Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton, and former Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Sir Andrew Buchanan.

There were also many former singers from the all-girl choir.

Pam died on 11th July after suffering a stroke. She was 76 years-old.

Close friend and Cantamus co-founder Sheila Haslam said it had been a fitting send-
off for a much-loved local woman whom she 
described as a ‘loving, caring and exceptionally-talented lady’.

The 83-year-old said: “The Minster was full to capacity, and with all the Cantamus family there it was a reunion but a sad occasion for us all.

“We did expect that many people with all the tributes there have been. Some people came up from London and far and wide.

“It was a glorious ceremony and a great tribute to her.

“The day was tinged with sadness but it was a lovely meeting of old friends.

“There were people there who we had not seen since the 70s, who were part of the original choir.”

There were songs performed by the choir, including a rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ which Sheila said was one of Pam’s favourites.

Singers from Cantamus past and present were each invited to each take a bloom from a display of flowers, which Sheila said Pam would have thought that to be ‘wonderful’.

Following the ceremony there was a private cremation ceremony with close family and friends.

Pam, who started out as a professional soloist founded the group with Sheila back in 1968 after they met at the National Coal Board in Mansfield Woodhouse.

A year later they were tipped for greatness at the Birmingham Choir Festival.

And the prediction came true with Cantamus going 
on to win dozens of international prizes all across the world.

The jewel in the star-studded crown was perhaps taking first prize in the 2006 World Choir Games in Xiamen in China.

More than 400 girls have sung for the world-famous group since its formation.