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Professor Guy Higgins

Red Collar Rat

Water Rat Number 820 - initiated on 19 November 2000

At some time time during their career, most professional entertainers and performers have a great desire to become a member of the Grand Order of Water Rats, the most select and prestigious show business fraternity who raise monies for many well and lesser known charities by doing what they do best - entertaining. It had been a long time ambition for Prof. Guy Higgins and he was 'over the moon' when he was made a Member of the Order on 19th November 2000. To wear at all times, the much coveted Gold Emblem of the Order meant so very much to Guy, and within days of being made, he had proudly painted the Water Rat Emblem onto the font of his Punch & Judy booth in Weymouth for all to see. Until he was taken ill, Guy rarely missed a Water Rats meeting where he shared his dedicated enthusiasm with Brother Rats bringing his unique and well timed humour for all to enjoy.

If because he was working, he couldn't attend a particular tribute luncheon or dinner or fundraising function, Guy always sent a monitory contribution, not that it was really necessary but, he sent it because he was an excellent Water Rat and he needed to contribute to the charitable work of the Order whether in person or not. Guy was also the very first to offer his services to appear in Rats Charity Shows his first being in ?A Tribute To Frankie Vaughan at the City Varieties, Leeds in 2001 followed by two consecutive years in Water Rats Sunday Matinee's at the Playhouse Theatre in Weston-super-Mare, and his final theatre performance on 21st January 2007 was at the Dudley Concert Hall in the West Midlands, where he proudly shared the bill with Brother Rats and a star-studded cast in 'Our Boy Bill', a charity tribute show to remember and place a Blue Plaque for Water Rat Billy Dainty, who passed away 20 years ago.

Guy Higgins was the very essence of what a real show business 'trouper' is all about. A professional and a gentleman both on and off stage, his contribution to the entertainment industry whether on the beach at Weymouth, in cabaret or on the theatre stage, has been second to none, and he will be very sadly missed.

On a personal note, because I happen to live in the West Midlands and because we and our families have been friends for many years, Guy and I often travelled to Water Rats meetings, functions and events together in the same car. Believe me, it was a privilege and most certainly a great and often hilarious pleasure to share this fine man's very presence and friendship.

Water Rat Barry Balmayne
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