We said "Goodbye" to Eric on the 13 August, 2007 at a wonderful Memorial
Service conducted by the Rev. Martin Lovering. Much of its content was
of Eric's own choosing, with the Eulogy given by his friend of very long
standing, Harold Simmons, reminding us of their boyhood days together
in Wallingford. Closer to home, Malcolm Sutcliffe read the poem, Hinge
and Bracket (written by the wife of Hinge or was it Bracket?). Eric and
another great friend of his, Dickie Johnstone, earned these names by
helping with the myriad of jobs needing to be done around both the
Church and the Village Hall. After the service, we joined his loving
family for a great "farewell" party in the Village Hall, just what Eric
would have wanted.
But Eric was not only generous with his practical skills, he was also
Chairman of Brightwell Bridge Club, always there early putting out the
chairs and tables ready for we late comers and sorting things out when
there were enough of us to play duplicate. Again he took on that awkward
job at fetes, sitting at the gate collecting the entrance money and
missing out on the fun.
I had coffee with Eric a couple of times in the few weeks when he knew
his time was limited. Far from being dismal meetings they were full of
laughter and cheerfulness, a true example of courage and humour. Betty
Johnstone, author of the poem read at the service, finishes it thus;
"But they'll carry of regardless while they have their health and strength,
Till they've finished off their list,
And then won't they be missed!
St Peter will say "Come, but first take off your jacket,
There's plenty of work up here for you, so, welcome, Hinge and Bracket."
Farewell, Eric, we will miss you much, and think of you often.