There was a large congregation for Vic’s funeral service on Wednesday 27 February at our church in Woodford Green and many people shared their memories, both in the service and afterwards at the buffet lunch.
For somebody who was always ready to chat, it was amazing how much we did not know about Vic and his early life.
First of all his name was ‘Albert’, and secondly he was brought up in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where his father worked for the railways.
Much of this was discovered when his neice, Pat, got a suitcase down from the loft when clearing out his house, and inside were photographs which nobody had seen before.
There were some of him in ‘whites’ on various ships bringing him to and from England, and others with some of the household servants. And there were pictures from his war service – how we all wished Vic was there to tell us all about them.
Margaret Lineker and Audrey Mendham both wished to share their memories of Vic.
Margaret remembers when he married June Fuggle (sister of the late Enid) and Audrey remembered how, having lost his beloved wife, he was a great comfort to her in the loss of her own husband.
Both remembered how Vic took on caretaking duties on Friday mornings, meeting up with the flower arrangers and cleaning the church ready for Sunday.
Margaret remembers: ‘There he was complete with Hoover, bucket, mop and dusters and you can be sure that no wisp of cobweb or fleck of dust would escape his eye.’
There would always be tea and biscuits, and Audrey writes: ‘Sometimes with church duties completed we would reward our labours with a meal at the local carvery.’
Vic would always arrive early at church on Sunday morning to set out the cups and get the kettles ready. David Bird was always grateful for tea and a chat when he arrived hotfoot from playing at an early morning service and Vic would always make him welcome.
And Vic was a regular at our coffee morning at the Manse making very insightful comments, and contributing to the discussions.
We remember Vic with gratitude for all that he did for our church in so many ways.
He was a good friend to many and even as he became more frail, he showed great fortitude and commitment to his church duties.
May he rest in peace.