Georgius Piscator: gone, but not forgotten

It was ten years ago today
That my dear father passed away.
Were he still here, and in his prime
He’d walk ten miles to drop a line.

Dad’s Eulogy, by R.

R: Can you hear me talking?
M,C & V: Only in words!
R: Splendid, I shall just use words then.

Ladies and gentlemen, Dad was a great fan of the Goon shows, and you will be delighted to hear that the only quote from those shows has already happened. I am R, G’s eldest son. G’s widow, M, extends her warmest thanks to you all for coming here today to celebrate G’s life.

GFR was born in Marylebone, London on 8th September 1927, the 3rd and youngest child of F & A. He grew up just a stone’s throw from Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Not content just to indulge his love of watching cricket, at the age of 7 his family moved to Wembley. All this was just a disguise of course, as his real objective was the Grand Union Canal just ¼ mile away where he could indulge his passion for fishing. More on that in a minute.

G attended Barham Primary School, as did 3 of his sons later on. He passed the 11+ with flying colours and went on eventually to Willesden Technical College. He left aged 16 to join the General Post Office (later known as British Telecom) as a telephone engineer. He stayed with them for 40 years and retired early, aged 56.

G was too young to fight in WW2 but the war still took its toll as his elder brother and best friend F was killed in action on the last day of fighting in Tunisia. G&M visited the grave several decades later; M still feels that G never really recovered from this loss.

G was called up to the army in 1946 and later served in Trieste, Italy until 1950. Upon his return home he rejoined the GPO and in 1951 having learned there was “a young French lady on the loose” (those are my mother’s words btw) he decided to show her the sights of London, as you do, especially as the Festival of Britain was in full swing.

G&M started going out a lot, especially during the close season for fishing. After 18 months, M went back to France, closely followed by G at Easter 1953, which just happened to be a few days into the close season for fishing. They became engaged and married on 1st August 1953, which is well INTO the fishing season so clearly he meant it. They did however, get the boat back to England 1 day later.

I was born a year later and my brother M in 1957. Soon after this, G joined the Emergency Reserve of the Royal Signals. He was promoted to sergeant and travelled all over the country to check on the fall-out shelters. M thinks he had the easier job compared to looking after 2 young sons. Then C was born in 1960 and V in 1962 so G became president of the Wembley and District Angling Society. By this time we had moved to within 30 yards of the Grand Union Canal; I remember many fishing trips with Dad.

During his working life, G, amongst other things, joined the Viatores (a group of walkers) and became the first president of the Central London Group of the BT International Twinning. After M retired, they moved to F, where they indulged their passion for gardening. Dad had long since given up fishing but did like to go for walks. In F they became an integral part of the local community and I extend my own thanks to those neighbours and friends who helped and are continuing to do so.

In later life, he suffered from dementia and for the last 18 months he has lived at a residential home, to whom we extend our thanks for caring for Dad; he wasn’t easy but he remained a lovely man, the perfect gentleman. We lost Dad a long time ago but there were still little glimmers of him there. Just a few weeks ago we caught him dancing, a slow dance, with a blonde 25-ish lady carer.

I finish with a reading from the book “The Wayfarers’ Journal” published by the Viatores (G’s walking group). Not many people can claim to be referenced in a published work, but G achieved that too. One of G’s skills was in calligraphy and the author, John Lloyd, called himself the scribe and appointed G as his apprentice, or sub-scriber, a pun on the word BT used to use for their customers.


George, Coarse Fisherman
The Wayfarers’ Journal, p123
by John Lloyd and Pat Sellars
(Webb & Bower, 1991)

Now George has quite an interesting line –
Coarse Fisherman. On Iter Thirty-nine
When rain came down all day, he didn’t care,
He just likes being in the open air.
Next time they walked him twenty miles and more,
No wonder that his feet were very sore.
Half-way he had to buy some brand new shoes;
He’d not give up. What! Give up all that booze?
Coarse walking he did readily embrace
Despite the wettest walk on Cranborne Chase.
He dresses like the other vagabonds.
At any rate his clothing corresponds.
That’s not surprising as their walking code
Is that “all men are equal on the road”.
With his calligraphy they’re satisfied
That he is very nearly qualified
To understudy John as a “subscriber”,
Not only that, he is a fair imbiber.
And if you want to know how much, I reckon
He does some thirty miles to the gallon.

George Reynolds
In Memoriam, GFR 19272012

Related: On the way in and on the way out (music at Dad’s funeral).

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
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29 Responses to Georgius Piscator: gone, but not forgotten

  1. Hugs. A lovely Eulogy. Most definitely not forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sending tender thoughts of comfort your way.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Anita Bowden says:

    A wonderful eulogy to your father! <3 And I know from my own experience, that your love and connection to your parents never disappears, so matter how long they have been gone from us. <3 As a side note: Though I am an American, my grandfather (through my mother) was British (and was born on May 10th), and he was serving with the RAMC in Trieste in 1945 -1946. He passed away there in 1946, and is buried in the Udine War Cemetary. Wishing you happiness and peace as you remember your father. <3

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Such a heartfelt tribute. 🙏🏼

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hugs. A beautiful eulogy. Lots of beautiful and wonderful memories

    Liked by 3 people

  6. jilldennison says:

    This was a beautiful tribute to your dad! He sounds like a fun guy … thanks for sharing with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • peNdantry says:

      No mushroom, he; but certainly ‘fungi’ –
      There was always a twinkle in his eye.

      I think I inherited my love of nonsense and gibberish from him (he was an ardent fan of the Speverend Rooner, for instance). Whenever I need a chuckle, I think of Dad doing his ‘wood pigeon’ call; that always makes me grin :)

      Thanks for your comment, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. bigm57 says:

    He was a great dad with a terrific sense of humour – which we loved but our mother did not always appreciate! C’est la vie.
    I still remember the evening (in 1968) he taught R how to do algebraic cross multiplication. I earwigged this, lapping it up faster than my older bro. A very simple process that our teachers had failed to explain effectively.
    Suddenly, I was an algebra superstar! I passed it on to my school friends, and they lapped it up too.
    I expect/hope all children are impressed by their parent’s abilities, but my Dad could do almost anything. I hope my daughter feels the same way about me.
    Rest in peace, Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • peNdantry says:

      Hi BigM, nice of you to drop by!

      As counterpoint to the aspersions you cast on R’s abilities (you vile cur), I remember R teaching me (in a matter of minutes) how to do long division – something that had escaped me entirely up to that point. On the other hand, I can only concur with your other smear, the one levelled at our schoolteachers (although perhaps it may have been simply a symptom of the failings of the ‘SMP maths’ system they used to try to lever the knowledge into our heads?)

      I agree with you; Dad was a superman, in many ways. Of course, he never wore a cape…

      I’m sure K thinks you are a (capeless) wonder, too!

      Like

  8. A beautiful tribute on the anniversary of your dad’s passing and I feel both pride and such love within your eulogy.
    I’m sure that pride is still a two way thing as he watches from afar.
    Sending thoughts your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My first reaction was – Are any of your siblings famous soccer players? Living in Wembley and all?
    Can you believe that was 10 years ago? Time warp.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A lovely tribute to your Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Forestwood says:

    A memorable life and a lovely tribute from a son.

    Liked by 1 person

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