On Thursday of this week, about sixty family members and friends assembled in at the Nightingale Centre in Great Hucklow, North Derbyshire, to celebrate Dad’s life. There was plenty of tea and coffee and more sandwiches and cake than we could consume.
The intention was that it would be a happy event. That was even reflected in the dress code: Colourful and Happy. My personal attire was a light grey suit, pink tie and a Panama hat: a tribute to the way that my father often dressed.
We listened to contributions from seven family members and then seven friends from Tony’s long and distinguished professional career, finishing off with a couple of local friends. All of the contributions were brilliant reminders of Dad’s life. They were personal to the contributors and I was touched by them all.
If there had been time, we could have continued for a few more hours. He certainly packed a lot into his life.
My intention is to produce a booklet containing the notes of all of the contributors and a selection of photographs from the slideshow of Dad’s life that I had put together to play on the wall while people circulated around the room.
I related a couple of memories from my early life with my Dad and followed up with a poem that I had written on Wednesday evening. To put this into context for those of you who were not fortunate enough to know my father, he was always learning and teaching, he was a leading statistician and an excellent mathematician. He loved to travel and to invent. He was born in Chapeltown, on the edge of Sheffield, and died in Broomcroft House Care Home, on the other side of Sheffield.
More information about Tony Greenfield can be found on his Wikipedia Page.
Here is my poem.
The Decamile of Life – the life of Tony Greenfield
From Chapeltown to Broomcroft Is a mere ten miles: A decamile, mas o menos. That’s not a long way, But it took me almost eighty-eight years. I taught you all to estimate, And to understand the errors. Fifty-two thousand and eight hundred feet Sounds like a very long way, But it took me over thirty-two thousand days. That’s less than twenty inches a day! But consider this: I went via Bedford and Brocksford, Healey and Hillsborough, Grenoside and Millbush, Lyme Regis, Lake District, Peak District. I went to Barcelona, Budapest, Linz, Oslo, Rimini, Dortmund and Gothenberg, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Katmandu, Quito and Marrakesh. Skiiing in the Alps . . . AND on the River Tay. Around the world, along my way. Fiji, Bangkok and Chang Mai. Nelson, New Zealand To see my brother. I’d have liked to stay. Sydney and San Francisco, The Amazon rain forest, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, Rio Napo and the Andes, Islas Galápagos too. I’ve dined in Turin and Cagliari, And Venice and in Rome, In Ljubljana and in London, Paris, Wroclaw and Stockholm, In Tel Aviv and Vienna. And I’ll tell you this. Everywhere I dined, All over the world, I’d spill gravy down my pink tie, And I’d ALWAYS check my flies. . . . THAT’S a lie! So my life was just a decamile, A very remarkable decamile, Thirty-two thousand days. Every inch and every minute, For all of us, here today, Has been full of laughs and smiles. Have fun! © Lance Greenfield 2019
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