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Guy Ainsworth Whalley

2nd of December 2005

Can there be a friend that one never forgets? Yes, never? Guy Whalley died a week ago last Friday. After putting up decorations for the celebration of Admiral Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar, in which he was to play a leading role, he climbed down the ladder and died within the hour.

Guy was a man of many gifts, and he gave of them all. He was a talented musician, Chairman of the Royal Academy of Music and Chairman of the music trust at St Albans Abbey, and a trustee of the Eden Project. He sang in the Chipperfield Choral Society, and latterly in the church choir. His house, and the hospitality of Guy and Sarah, seemed open to all at all times, but especially to his five grandchildren. He played golf and tennis, with an occasional laugh at the shots of one of his partners.

Amongst all this, Guy until he retired lived a professional career as a solicitor of distinction, attending to the affairs of the Bank of England amongst his other clients. Many will recall how he interviewed applicants to join his firm; one can be sure that they knew they had been fairly treated.

After twice suffering heart bypasses, he must have known that his life was precarious. Yet he was a stalwart of Chipperfield Care, the care of others and not himself.

I shall hope to tell his grandchildren, one day, of the poem of Callimachus –

They told me Heraclitus, they told me you were dead,

They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.

I wept as I remembered, how often you and I

Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.

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