Furnival Sculling Club

Furnivall Sculling ClubRowing club based in Hammersmith, London. Established 1896

Final farewell to John Robbins

Thursday, 16th January 2014

Guard of honourThe funeral of our dear friend John Robbins was held on Wednesday 11 December 2013, following his sad but peaceful passing on 1 December. The setting was Mortlake crematorium, by the river that John loved, and there was a stunning guard of honour of FSC blades.

Steve Rooke gave a reading, and tributes were made by Val Snewin, Sara Nanayakkara and Christine Sell. John's wake saw a packed club room, full of beautiful flowers and a buffet which included his favourite food, fish and chips. A gallery of his pictures made everyone smile. So many people took the day off to say goodbye and be there for him. It was incredible.

Memorable farewell

The following Sunday, 15 December, the club dedicated their annual cheese and wine event to celebrating the life of John. Once again it was a full house and we gave him the most beautiful and memorable final farewell. His ashes were laid to rest at the bottom of the Thames, a club VIII rowing him to his final destination. The crew threw bright yellow roses onto the water opposite the club as he descended into the depths, leaving a scattering of green and gold on the surface.

A wonderful man

The crowds on the balcony and on the bank shouted 'three cheers for John!'. His friends and members, old and new, came together to celebrate the life of a wonderful man... and he'd have loved it. Thank you to everyone who made it happen for him, and were there for him. There were far too many to mention.  It really was the perfect goodbye.

We will miss hearing John's "nice-to-see-you-dear" greeting and seeing his cheery face in the club room. His picture above the bar will smile out to us forever. His legacy will live on for generations to come. Rest in peace dear John, we will never forget you. You will forever remain in our hearts.

The video below is of John saying thanks in the club room at the party to celebrate his 60 years of membership in July 2013. It was his last visit to the club. Furnivall made him so very happy and he was always so grateful to the club. We were lucky to have had him in our lives. A transcript of John's poignant words is given under the video.

"Places like this... How can I ask for more?
It's tremendous.
... and it's been a lovely day for me..
I'm hoping to get down a little bit more
I know, the thing that worried me being a little fella .. It's nice coming out.. and having a scull and messing about..and winning one or two.. And all that..and I've had a wonderful time..
And I'd  like to thank you so much... All of you.
And to come today...
How can I ask for anything more?
It's lovely
Thank you so much all of you
It's a lovely club"

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