I just got the unespected news about Mr. R. Robins, of his sudden dead. In a few seconds I had his face and his slim figure in front of my eyes, and of course all the old rememberance of those 4-5 days, that I had an opportunity to be with him and to share with him all his vast cricket knowledge with his calm voice.
The first and the only time I met him in June 1998 in Israel, and after that we had e-mail touch. He was the first to advise me and to my friend Mr Eli Jacob to become ACU&S overseas instructors in Israel and also to recomend our position to the higher committee.
He came to Israel as a tutor or as a senior instructor to conduct cricket umpiring seminar. Seminars took place in the evenings because all the candidates were working during the day. So I had full day to enjoy his company.
I remember one morning I took him to the once a week special typical oriental Bazar of Bedouins ( the Arabian desert community). I was concerned whether he would like it. But I was very much surprised about his big interest in learning their way of life, and even he liked the Bedouin ancient hand work articles and he even bought some lady's knitting work for his daughter and some Bronze plates.
The nest day we traveled early in the morning for a trip in the deserts. This type of nature was new for him, and I have seen him enjoing every minute on the desert hills and the valleys. Then all of a sudden we entered the oasis 'En abdad'. In that warm and very hot desert we entered in mild and cold place with every thing green serounding and also a small waterfall with a small pond. I remember still today that he told me that I have wandered to several places, but this is something new I have seen today.
On the way back to Beer sheva, we entered to the grave yard of our first prime minister Mr. David Ben Gurion. which is also on the top of the hill in the desert with a very simple tomb. and after that we entered to the Sade Boker kibuutz where he lived with his wife Pola in a very small apartment. We have visited his apartment which is very simple with a big books collection. He was very much surprissed to see the very simple way of life of our prime minister. I am having all these photos of these occasions.
I shall be able to send you these photos but only after the month as tomorrow I am travelling to USA for a month, and after my return I will have time to search for them and to send if you need.
I must say that in our 4-5 days togeather he never told me about his vast contribution to our cricket. He behaved as if he is only an instructor of cricket, but after his visit I use to read 'How's That' and another articles and only then I came to know he was Mr Cricket.
Leslie Cheeseman has sent me the following obituary (now complete version):
"Robbie" Robins, as he has been affectionately known throughout his long cricket career, had his origins and attended school at Birmingham.
In World War II, he saw four years service with the Fleet Air Arm. Returning to civilian life in 1946 as a teacher, he married Dorothy and set up residence in Liverpool. He completed his education in Merseyside and taught mainly in Primary Schools, all of which were in Liverpool and all of which played Cricket on his appointment to the school - even if the sport did not figure in the school curriculum. His personal credo was that early participation in the game developed "character" in his pupils; a non-aggressive form of discipline; a respect for opponents; individual opportunity and the value of teamwork.
Outside of his school commitments, he became a member of the Sefton Cricket Club and finding it difficult to turn down any pressing invitation, he became the Club's Treasurer and held the post continuously for the next seventeen years.
As might be expected from a person whose day-to-day employment involved contact with young people, his major contribution to Cricket at this time was a commitment to the development of young players. From 1953, he attended many meetings and a large number of matches as a member of the Liverpool Schools Cricket Committee, the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association and he also became Treasurer of the national English Schools' Cricket Association in 1963, staying in the post for over 20 years. He certainly did not do things by halves and once elected into any honorary post, his quiet efficiency meant that he was seldom likely to have to compete with an alternative nomination.
Thus, it was readily understandable he should become a close friend of Cedric S. Rhoades, the Chairman of the Lancashire County Cricket Club, who also gave unstintingly of his time to the development of Schools, Youth and grass-roots Cricket. Indeed, such was Cedric's admiration and respect for Robbie's involvement with young people's welfare, that he invited him to become Lancashire's Youth Development Officer, working from Old Trafford from 1981 -1990.
Other Lancashire "trivia" - his description ! - included him being Treasurer to the County Cricket Association from 1970 -1993; fifteen years as Secretary of the County Youth Cricket Committee; organiser of the Lancashire Youth (under 16 ) Cricket Festival for 15 years and Hon Treasurer of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition for 10 years.
With the formation of the National Cricket Association, it was no surprise when he was elected to represent Lancashire at this forum and his obvious administrative talent and wide experience were further recognised when he was appointed as a member of the NCA Junior and Youth Committee (15 years) and also as a member of the NCA Management Committee for 10 years.
Twenty years service as a teacher were rewarded in 1968 by appointment as Headmaster to a Primary School, a position held until he elected for early retirement from the profession in 1981. This gave him greater opportunity to become more active in his abiding passion - the development in all that was worthy in the best of all team games.
He attended the first ever ACU course for umpiring, convened in Merseyside in 1963, and qualified as a Full Member three years later. Even at this early stage of personal involvement with ACU, he began instructing others locally in the art, as there were no others prepared to do so!
The recorded history of ACU confirms that at any one time there never has been a sufficient number of qualified officials available to satisfy the national demand. From the Association's earliest days, too, it had been patently obvious that much future work was always going to be necessary to provide appropriate levels of training in all parts of the country. Before this could occur, it would become imperative to increase the number of qualified lecturers, by inviting Full Members with a known tutorial potential to improve their skills in training, sufficient to be recognized as "Instructors of Instructors".
"Robbie's" educational background and experience made him a logical candidate for this purpose and the first-ever course for potential instructors, in March 1967, convened in Liverpool, of course - to be arranged for Northern Branch applicants, saw him qualifying alongside such other colleagues and Association stalwarts as Harold J Smith, Norman Fairhurst and W J Tristram (the first appointed Chairman of the Merseyside Branch of ACU).
Although instructing, mainly locally, during 24 years service as an Association official instructor, he also tutored courses at several other venues in Lancashire, Cheshire, North Wales and Cumbria. (He was still Training Officer of the Merseyside Branch as late as 2000).
With the major re-organization of the Association's administration that followed the adoption of the recommendations of the Development Committee, in 1974-75 he became Regional Training Officer for the newly established North-West Region and a member of the ACU Training Board. He was elected Deputy Chairman of this Board in 1981 and was Chairman from 1997 to 200?.
His major contributions to the work of the Training Board included him becoming the Director of the Training Seminar at Keele University for a number of years; Chairman of the Assessment Panels from 1989 (during which year he also revised the Instructors' Manual); Edited the initial instructors' Newsletters and assisted in the production of two training videos.
He was elected as a member of ACU General Council in 1983 and Deputy Chairman of the Association in 1995. Earlier (1991), his tremendous contributions to so many facets of Association activity over many years was deservedly recognised with his election to a Live-Vice Presidency. In 1997/98 he chaired the Association's sub-committee established to consider and made recommendations to improve Player Discipline and the Assessment of Members' Competence.
Nor did his involvement in the higher echelons of cricket administration stop there. He responded to invitations to become a member of the Association's Technical Committee and one of two representatives of the Association invited to be members of the MCC Laws Working Party, whose recommendations for revision of the Laws of Cricket, was approved by MCC, to become effective as a new Code of Laws in October of the Millennium year.
Closely related to these last two appointments have been his assistance to Sheila Hill in producing new editions of Tom Smith's textbook: "Cricket Umpiring and Scoring" in 1993 and 1996, with similar work going on for the expected later revision, concomitant with the publication of the Millennium Code.
With such a dedicated history of personal involvement with so many facets of Cricket's administration, it is hardly surprising that he should have been awarded a series of Life Memberships to the English Schools Cricket Association; Lancashire Schools Cricket Association; the Lancashire Cricket Association; the Lancashire Youth Coaching Committee and the Sefton Cricket Club.
Further honours may have followed the writing of the above (in 2000).
He was an astonishing person who simply could not cease to become "involved" in anything that works for the good of cricket, all the while that breath remained in his body.
23rd July brought me HOT TEARS - one for deep sadness & other for joy (from our FR case)
It was in 1985 October, at CREWE Railway Station, we both met for the First Time and you so kindly took me "ON MY FEET" to Keele University to be met and greeted by two more very dear friends DAVID WHILEY and W.T. Robbie Robins, both of whom are very sadly no more with us. It was Robbie (with Ted Holden) who arranged very much for me CRICKET WISE in 1990 to be with Lancashire County umpiring even County Second 4 - day match at Old Trafford Main Square with Don Oslear in my first ever Cricket Umpiring on English soil followed by several Under -19 Schools (& top League) Matches --
He then with Sheila Hill & Ernie Johnson formed my Assessment Panel in qualifying same year July as a Grade - A Overseas Training Instructor. I also remember warmly Powley Twins for their Help and even visiting me at Stoke Mandeville. I last met Robbie when he visited Sri Lanka with KEIR HOPLEY (2001 like) and he presented my a pair of ACU&S Cuff Links (one of the two I have just lost - may be warning me ahead of his loss !!).
Thanks a lot my dearest Robbie, Mr W.T. Robins.!! He LIVES in the Blue Book - (Remember it ?) I still cherish with me
I lost touch with him after his arrival in South from Liverpool and had never met or known his second wife.