It was a privilege to attend the very moving Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration for the life of Past Master Jonathan Straker at St Bride's Church on Wednesday morning.
A huge amount of thought and love had gone into the design of the service: with poignant readings, insightful and amusing tributes, rousing hymns and, as always, wonderful singing from the choir of St Bride's. It is impossible to think of a better way of remembering and celebrating the life of a great man, much loved in the Office Products industry and the Stationers' Company. And how pleasing it was to see the church crammed with Jonathan's family, friends, colleagues and fellow Stationers; I don't think I have ever seen St Bride's so full; there must have been over 350 people there.
It was also an honour for the Company to be able to host the lunch afterwards at Stationers' Hall. Despite the huge number of guests, the food and wine flowed copiously.
And the event ended with an incident that I know would have appealed to Jonathan's sense of fun and good living. As the final guests left, there was some consternation that the bronze bust of Jonathan (see above), which had been on display in the Crush Landing, had disappeared. Had it somehow been stolen whilst we all enjoyed the lunch? Well, thankfully, not. It turned out that some of Jonathan's rugby friends had 'borrowed' the bust and taken it to the pub for a final 'scrum-down', and no doubt quite a few beers, with their best mate! The perfect end to a perfect way of celebrating the life of a great man!