MEMORIES OF HENRY

By David Garford, Henry’s brother-in-law (Maria’s husband)

The joker has left, but the jokes remain
Many sweet memories that ease the pain
Shaped by many cultures from an early age
Caracas, Buenos Aires, New York and the Trinidad stage
St Clare, St Peters and Presentation
Then on to Sheffield University without hesitation
At a Crewe Hall party he soon met Pat
He caught her eye and ‘that was that’ !

Throughout his life he did many special things
Multi-talented & cultured; here is what my memory brings:
The goat he brought home while a little boy
Producing ‘black olives’ it was an unpopular toy !
Like a star he sang while playing the Cuatro
We listened, relaxed, oh how our cares would go !
He kept fit by regularly lifting weights
At the time when with Pat he had many dates

You came to my wedding in 1963
A year later you picked apples from every tree
While visiting my parents in their house on the hill
And driving my mother which always gave her a thrill.
The black Ford Prefect was his first car
Which he drove around England like a racing star
In Trinidad you had borrowed my Volkswagen
And painted it dark blue, quite a bargain.

Pat went to her wedding by luxury passenger ship
A great family occasion with champagne we did sip
The bride looked radiant while contemplating her new life
Far from Caracas as a field engineer’s wife !
Enrique Alejandro arrived without delay
While Michelle Marie was born in the U. K.
Henry’s degree from Sheffield needed revalidation
By the engineering college of the Venezuelan nation
So a slight delay before the next in line
When Andres arrived in three years’ time.

You loved your children with strong hugs and advice
They gathered around for stories, it was so nice
And when many years later the grandchildren came
The hugs and cuddles, it was more of the same.
Always kind and generous, you took Gustavo under your wing
When he most needed help and was really hurting.
One day when taking a siesta on the road to Guri
A passing stray dog heard this noise of ‘fury’
It turned and ran, fit to bust
And disappeared in a cloud of dust.

Many good times we shared over the years
They flood the mind as we hold back the tears
In Club Puerto Azul the Christmas Hallacas we ate
Swimming in the sea and dancing ‘til late
In Puerto La Cruz amidst a mini Venice you thrived
You treated us like Kings and in the blue sea we dived.
In Guildford we rowed in the river on a beautiful day
Behind every good man there is a woman they say !
Over the English countryside we ballooned together
Gliding over the trees in warm and gentle weather.

With Brother Simon you formed an engineering and entrepreneurial team
Many ideas and projects where you turned to fact each dream
‘Innovatec built annealing ovens using high temperature science
Satisfying the demands of specialist and exacting clients.
But the biggest project which is still ongoing
An engine called Lugo which is really mind blowing
Better flexibility, efficiency and exhaust emission
Proof of concept and modelling is now the mission

A world Class internationally recognised hydropower engineer
Site Manager, Project Manager, Construction Manager, you were without peer.
In Venezuela, USA and Pakistan you developed your fame
Also a project in Iceland with an unpronounceable name !
On time, on budget and technically sound
With cranes, concrete and workers all around
On and on you went without exhaustion
Directing an epic of biblical proportion !
From the saddle you left us, hard hat and boots firmly on
Unexpectedly, and suddenly, you were gone.

As a great human being we remember you
So many lovely things we saw you do
A golfing aficionado you played everywhere
With Pat you made a competitive pair !
Wedding translator, your deep voice cut a dash
Playing the cuatro and maracas with such panache !
The tales you told, the free hand sketches in writing
You even made concrete seem exciting !
The arepas we ate with gorgeous Venezuelan cheese
and English lime marmalade whenever we please
Bocadillos de Guayaba we ate with more cheese
Queso de Mano, queso blanco, queso búfalo, we didn’t cease.

Handsome and gentle with the biggest smiles
We will miss you dearly across the years and miles.
So clever and talented, so full of fun,
You still had so many years to run.
Father, son, grandfather, engineer and husband,
We know that you have now gone to better land.
Multidisciplined in so many things
You went to heaven on celestial wings

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