One man. One birthday. One aim. Seventy church organs. One year.
‘Do more of what you love in life!’ It’s a sentiment you hear a lot these days across social media.
When Malcolm Hawke prepared to celebrate his 70th birthday, he decided to put that saying into action.
‘Lots of people do something for their 70th birthday, I wanted to do something that was enjoyable and not entirely self-indulgent,’ he remembers.
70 at 70
It may not have been self-indulgent, but it was ambitious: Malcolm decided he wanted to play the church organ – and not just one of them, but 70. ‘I started out as a novice organist in my late teens. I've had great fun playing pipe organs at various churches around the country ever since. I decided I would like to revisit places that have allowed me to play over many years.’
It was also a great opportunity to raise some money for Tearfund, favourite charity of Malcolm’s for many years. As he explains: ‘The concept of helping people to help themselves is something I really like.’
The plan was to reach his target of playing 70 different church organs by the time of his 71st birthday – in fact (spoiler alert), he managed it last week with three months to spare.