Godfrey Hill

Eulogy to Rotarian Godfrey Weatherley Rundell Hill
Born 24th September 1923, Torpoint, Cornwall
Died 4th November 2011, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales

May I, on behalf of those present today, express our deepest sympathy to Joyce and her extended family on the death of her dear husband Godfrey. Since I moved to Wales just over 41 years ago, Godfrey was one of the first of my colleagues in M.A.F.F.I met and rapidly he became a close friend and indeed almost like a brother He and I spent many hours together in the field in Pembrokeshire and later on in my move to Aberystwyth in 1980 throughout Wales on a joint investigation with MAFF Regional Pest Service, into the Fox and Badger population and its involvement in the possible spread of diseases – Rabies, Brucellosis and T.B in the farm livestock. We spent many hours together tramping woods and fields looking for fox lairs and badger setts.- even in the Swansea area.

On retirement and even before this – on weekends, we became ardent Hill Walkers . I remember once when coming down into Barmouth and walking in line – as we were passing a man cutting a hedge – he shouted to us You remind me of the Members of the Last of the Summer Wine Godfrey was a superb companion at all times, as my fellow Rotarian walkers will agree, and he led us over most of the 181 mountain summits of Wales, over 2000 feet, then flat walks (coastal paths, Canal towpaths, Railway lines) until we gave up last year. Godfrey and I climbed to the top of Snowdon when in our 80th year. The only adverse comment I have to make is that he always got to the top of a mountain before me! I personally owe him a great deal in that he helped me down the 3000 feet from the top of Carnedd Dafydd, when the 2 of us were climbing together after I fell on the rocky summit cairn and knocked myself out ! This was what he did – a good kind and helpful friend.

He was a man of few words, but always made sense when he spoke – Many of you present here today, remember his involvement, as President in both the Rotary Club and Probus Club ,as well as his long time involvement in the Meals on Wheels ; Service in the Town. He was a Rotary Paul Harris Recipient for the outstanding service he did for the Organisation and the local community and the world at large. He was a good President and active member in both. He and his wife Joyce enjoyed the various trips ,both here and abroad which were arranged in both clubs.

His various hobbies reflect his enthusiasm for life- painting ,photography, local urban and industrial archaeology , politics, literature. nature conservation ,as well as hill walking and visits to Churches in Wales. He was a very good public speaker- especially with regard to Aberystwyth and its environments, and his researches into industrial archaeology.- The Pimlimon and Hafan Tramway comes to mind. He loved Classical music and the Operas of Verdi and Puccini and we spent many pleasant evenings in the Great Hall at U.C.Aberystwyth Finally, at the many occasions we and our wives attended functions both in Wales and on trips in England and on the Continent we shared his love of red wine and a wee tot of Whisky together.

The number of people here today is surely certain evidence that Godfrey will be sorely missed by us all.He was a wonderful kind man and I will always remember the handshake and smile he gave me when last I saw him , just a week ago.

Godfrey was a true Cornishman – born in Torpoint over the Tamar from Plymouth. He told me that he was a choirboy in his local church and was a keen Boy Scout. He well remembers the wartime bombing in Plymouth and travelling by ferry to attend Devonport High School. He obtained his qualifications at Leicester University He was a member of the Paratroop Regiment from 1945 – 1948 attaining the Rank of captain and then became a major in the Territorial Army . He entered Government Service in M.A.F.F.in 1948 in the Rodent Control Advisory Service moving to Cardiff in 1952 and then on promotion to Aberystwyth as Regional Pest Officer . He was delighted when he was given a flight in a glider over Talgarth and the Welsh hills near Brecon not so long ago.

Rotarian John Ockey, November 2011


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