If I should go before
  the rest of you

  Break not a flower,
  nor inscribe a stone

  Nor when I'm gone
  speak in a Sunday

  But be the usual
  selves that I have

  Weep if you must

  Parting is hell

  But life goes on

  So sing as well

  This verse by Joyce
  Grenfell was
  reproduced for Martins

" How lucky we all were to have know that great man that was Martin, in whatever weird or wonderful context!!"

For those of you who do not know, then I am really sorry to have to tell you that Martin died on the 27th May, 2004.
He leaves behind his wife and two daughters and an enormous number of people who thought of him as a friend.

Martin took up the role of PRAS chairman when the Society was going through a period of turmoil. He used his inimitable diplomatic skills to help the club bounce back to the strong group it is now.
He brought stability and humour to the committee meetings and forged strong links with the FBH. This resulted in our last breeders meeting being the success it was, and in the planning of our next breeders meeting – planned for October this year.

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He was also a keen fisherman, loved motorbikes (especially really noisy ones) and powerful cars. He shook up not only PRAS and the FBH but also the Bishops Waltham council.

His health problems sometimes stopped him doing everything he wanted (much to his annoyance) but he was active in all aspects of the society as much as he could be.

The picture at the top is a cigarette holder – something that was never far away when Martin was around, though that goes for unusual sandals and hats too. The cigarette holder is just there to give me a reason to mention Martins crossword puzzle, which caused a little controversy when one of the clues gave the answer “spliff” which is in both of my Oxford English dictionarys (so ner!)

For a chap who originally said he wasn’t too much into doing displays he seemed to enjoy those that he helped at and arranged a couple of displays at villages near Bishops Waltham.

The pictures of Martin in the crash hat were taken at one of these shows (at Lower Uppham, I think) when he had a go on a ‘Bungee Run’ – all the while wearing a PRAS sweatshirt! On another occasion he ran 5 miles dressed as a newt. On another he cycled across the country to raise money in memory of a friend.

He was renowned as a staunch supporter of conservation projects being responsible for saving a lovely stretch of land from becoming a car park amongst many other successes. His knowledge of native animals was fantastic and while browsing in a pond he would rattle off lots of names, latin and common, (none of which I can remember!) to teach me (or whoever) about the weeds, snails and anything else that could be seen.

My thanks go to Martin for being a friend.

I personally will miss him, but hope that I can learn from his example (more diplomacy for a start!)

My (our) love goes to Kath, Isabelle & Rhiannon, who can call on me at any time.


I’ll leave the last words to Kath :

How lucky we all were to have know that great man that was Martin, in whatever weird or wonderful context!!

ps Never stop cherishing your loved ones!