I’ll always remember Rod as a man whose advice you truly listened to, safe in the knowledge that he had been there and done that. Whether it was taking the time to talk me through routes into being a pilot after university, or giving me a pep talk before my best man’s speech at John’s wedding, he had a calming presence. On the latter occasion, sitting next to me he noticed that I was struggling to eat through nerves, so he tried to convince me to eat more to line my stomach. With adrenaline masking the effects of alcohol, I told him the booze wouldn’t be a problem as I felt stone-cold sober. He promptly topped up my wine glass. “You had better have another drink then. And don’t worry, even if you mess up you’ll never be as bad as Tommo (my co-best man).” He probably told Tommo the same thing but it calmed me right down.
That was Rod to me – the epitome of wisdom and experience without ever being judgemental – and always with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Such irresistible charm that made you feel very lucky to know him. He will be very fondly remembered by so many. Probably got Saint Peter and the angels in his pocket already.