11 November 2004
November 4th was a joyous celebration of Jules life. There was standing room only at the crematorium and the service was almost a hoot! The planned music "Morning has broken" by Cat Stevens didn't happen the first time round and nearly didn't happen the second try. David, the vicar brought out of retirement especially for the occasion, was the exactly the right choice. I think Jules, in his new capacity, was medalling again (just like he did with his computer). He even managed to make the CD player hiccup in the middle of "Red Red Wine" by UB40!
Back at the Fox the spread laid on by Simon and Erika was, as always, brilliant. The drinks flowed and the conversation was animated. There was the Biggles Club in attendance, six guys that were on the same pilots training course as Jules. Peter and Paul, Jules brothers, didn't realise that their brother was quite an icon.
Below is the tribute that Mike Carter delivered with great aplomb at the service.
I’m going to break from tradition in that I’m not going to give you a précis of Jules’ life.
Instead, because I liked Jules, I want to remember him, and I’m going to tell you how I’ll do it. Self indulgent – I know, I don’t care.
I have a series of images in my mind’s eye; snapshots if you like of Jules and I’d like to share them with you. I hope that they might ring a bell.
I can see Jules in the Fox - possibly that rings a bell with someone – but I can see him over 20 years ago welcoming me to the gun club. I didn’t know anyone in the gun club at that time but Jules immediately made me feel welcome and we’ve been friends ever since.
I can see Jules walking up Church Street – and I know John Linnell shares this one- Jules is walking his dogs. He has them at arms length on their leads and they are bouncing up and down like balloons. With a well-timed toot, you could make them run round him and tie him up like a maypole.
I can picture him caught in a summer shower. With shorts, wellies and brolly he looked like Christopher Robin.
Huge flip-flops spring to mind and then this leads me to picture him on the golf tour in Spain strutting his stuff round the pool in scanty Speedo swimming trunks. It’s odd I can see this, as I wasn’t even there, it’s just that those who were have relived the moment many times since.
Jules could be relied upon to stop an intelligent pub conversation in its tracks. One discussion I recall concerned the Who wants to be a Millionaire programme. Jules’ contribution and I quote “ I think all the questions are easy if you know the answers.”
Another quote, “ I don’t like sheep, they stare at my dogs provocatively.”
I sometimes think of him just about a year ago at his birthday party, which Sandra had arranged for him at the Fox. Sandra asked me to say a few words and this gave me the opportunity to again poke fun at him and subject him to the customary humiliation, which he took, as always in the way it was intended.
Then I feel a little guilty that he was always the brunt of my jokes and I think of his strengths involving shooting and golf. Strengths, I hear you say. Sadly he was lousy at both but the point is he kept trying. You may be forgiven for thinking he just enjoyed the company. It’s true of course, he did, but deep down he really wanted to do better and he just kept on trying to improve. Whatever his level of achievement, he has given more to the gun club over the years than any one else.
Another snapshot! – Patrick and Jules, considering their golf, making a solemn pledge that next year they would strive towards mediocrity!
Then I can see Jules patiently listening to me over many evenings, by the fire in the Fox as I came to terms with the death of my Dad.
I can see him communicating with young adults, making them feel they have a point of view, asking them for an opinion, being interested in what they do. Our two children were very fond of him, knowing they could confide in him and chat to him and Sandra. I know other parents will feel the same.
I can see him with one of his dogs, Beau in this case. He and Beau had won a prize at the village fete and Jules was pleased as punch.
So two final images; First, Jules and Sandra, Krysia and myself, with friends at the Fox for dinner and laughing more and more loudly as the humour and the alcohol take hold.
My favourite thought comes from just a few weeks ago. It’s Sunday lunchtime and Jules is sitting at one of the big round tables outside the Fox with members of the Gun club. Jules is lucid, the sun is out and he is in his element. He loved the chat and the company and he was happy.
Without Jules, the Golf Society, the Gun Club and The Fox will never be quite the same.
I liked Jules, I respected him and I’m proud to say he was my friend.
November 4th, 2004
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