TRIBUTE TO BRIAN PERRIER.
We have just listened to a lovely family tribute to a kindly, jovial, measured, reliable and
loving family man - much respected by all who have known him.
However, for some of us, Brian also belonged to another special and unique family - he was
a Goldings boy, a family well-represented here in church today.
Like many other Goldings boys, Brian did not have a happy start in life. His parents split
up when he was four years old and, as a consequence, he was put into care with
Dr. Barnardo's. Brian was initially fostered out for a couple of years and then entered
their Kingston home before arriving as a 13-year-old at Goldings in the Hertfordshire
This was the William Baker Technical School, where Brian was first assigned to the painting
and decorating department but ultimately ended up in the kitchen as a would-be chef.
During this period he also distinguished himself by swimming a mile in the school pool after
the gym master challenged him to prove that he was a good swimmer.
However, more significantly, for the first time in his life, Brian found friendship and a sense
of belonging, something that remained with him for the rest of his life.
Although the school was closed by Barnardo's in 1967 soon after Brian's departure, this
deep brotherhood was very well established. Reunions have been held on the first Saturday
in October ever since. In recent years, Brian with Dave Blower and their families has been
the cornerstone of a continuing annual pilgrimage.
For the last 11 years, who has always greeted us at the front door to make us welcome ?
Brian. And who has led us in silence to remember each year those who were no longer with
us ? Brian. At the same time Ellen and Mal Blower were working all day in the kitchen
and organising the raffle. It will be so poignant this year without Brian but we know that
it is his wish that Ellen and James continue to join us. We shall be honoured if you both
feel able to do so.
Here are some tributes to Brian from his brothers:
"I have Just lost a dear friend, so sad."
"Just heard the news about Brian, the reunion will be a little bit wanting without him. "
"So sorry to hear of the loss of Brian, another of my brothers who will be sadly missed"
"I met Brian at my first reunion and was impressed by his warmth and friendship
towards a new bloke on the block."
"Very sad this morning, I have lost a close friend. Considering all his health problems
in recent years, he was one of the bravest people I have known."
"A popular, loved and respected man."
"Again we have lost a dear brother from Goldings. Brian was such a nice guy - always
welcomed us when we arrived at our reunions."
"Gonna miss you Brian, what an amazing man."
"Brian was a larger than life character who will be sadly missed."
"His humour and friendship will be sadly missed by us all.
"Brian always called us to order at the reunion to remember in silence those who had left
us during the year. Now it is his turn to make that unknown journey. Our family is poorer
for his passing."
Brian may have departed on his unknown journey, but he will remain on earth in the
hearts of his Goldings brothers until we join him in our own eternity.
He leaves behind him a simple epitaph: "Kindness and understanding to all"
Every end is a new beginning.
David Wheatley, March 12th, 2015,