Always known as Bert within the Probus Club, twelve members attended his funeral service at the crematorium on Tuesday 1st October 2019. What an uplifting experience it turned out to be.
Arriving differently to custom and practice, Bert’s wicker coffin was transported not in the traditional hearse but in a motor cycle’s side car that had caused quite an interest as it travelled through Basingstoke.
Family pall bearers each had a miniature whisky before they carried him into the crematorium where one of Bert’s grandsons played on an electronic piano during and at the conclusion of the humanist style service.
Led by Bert’s eldest son, Martin, this was very much a family affair along with the younger son, Jerry, grandsons and granddaughters celebrating Bert’s 96 years. Each gave a snap shot of Bert’s impact on his family as his career took them from Lancashire, Staffordshire, Scotland and eventually to Sherfield on Loddon. His profession as an analytical chemist progressed until his final posting at Burghfield where he was CinC – Chemist in Charge.
Typically of course we learned a great deal about Bert’s private passions – his two sons as they grew up as he taught them about the natural habitat and then their children, his piano playing apparently a daily occurrence, his interest in motor bikes even to having one after retirement, being a writer to his family especially when he was given an iPad which allowed him almost daily emails keeping his family up to date about his various activities.
A touching symbol at the conclusion of the service Martin handed out single stemmed roses for virtually everyone to place on Bert’s coffin.