John King

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Having read so many wonderful accounts of people’s interaction with John, it is hard to come up with something that has not been said. So many heart warming and witty accounts. He was truly a great man and I recognise in many of the accounts that have been posted, his charm, humour and humanity shining through. So my account is of the man whom I met at a church activist gathering called the “Justice & Peace Group”. It was at St Cecilia’s Catholic Church about a couple of miles from road we both lived in, in Worcester Park. As a group we gave our time to raise money and awareness for many needy causes. However, as other members went home to cocoa and bed, John and I went for a beer or two. Although in many ways very different people, somehow we hit it off and became friends. We would often meet up and there would always be a beer to be drank. We would discuss all manner of things and world politics was a regular topic, with John “supporting” India and I “supporting” China, to do better in the Gross Domestic Product world rankings. We confided in each other on many of the challenges life threw at us and I can say for sure, that I benefitted from his calm and considered advice on many occasions.

John was my Best Man when I married Elena. He was my youngest son, Paolo’s Godfather. He was a source of guidance to all our children and they all held him in high esteem. He always showed a genuine interest in what they were doing and provided encouragement and practical help in more ways than I can list.

Today, as I post this, it’s John’s Birthday and we would have already arranged a beer, probably in the North End Tavern in Worcester Park, to mark the event. I will have that drink in his absence and raise a glass in his honour. My last drink with John was on my birthday, 8th February. He was on fine form and there was no sign at all of the infection that started the following week, whilst on a short holiday and culminated in his untimely and tragic demise.

Of all the many things John was, to so many people, the most important to me, was that he was my best friend and a hole has been left in my life that can’t be filled. I’m going to miss him terribly and in truth already do. I will be consoled by the memories that will remain with me, of all the fun times and deep conversations we had together and the fact that this fine fellow, chose me as his friend. God bless and rest in peace my friend.

John Coyne

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