A tribute to John Izod

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Mr Izod ­ I know you’re up there – and I know what you’re thinking.

‘Oh God, what’s he going to say now.’ Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to say now, you were the best ­ the best cartoonist, the best illustrator, the best fundraiser, the best jazz lover, the best beer drinker, the best raconteur, in fact, as you yourself once said, ‘I’m known in many fields, especially the one behind the fire station. A man of many parts, some of which are no longer manufactured.’

And your wholehearted endorsement of the famous quote, ‘They say if you don’t drink, smoke or chase women, you live longer – it’s not true, it just seems that way.’

But, above all, you were our best friend and that, ultimately, is what we will remember you by.

The Quakers have a saying, ‘Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone’ – well, you did that John – even though the answers you gave weren’t exactly the ones we were expecting.

The Revd Sidney Smith, an 18th-century vicar, wrote a wonderful piece called Advice on Low Spirits ­ many of his observations I am sure John would have approved. ‘Live as well and drink as much wine as you dare. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you. Do good and endeavour to please everybody of every degree. Struggle little by little against idleness.’

And it did become a struggle for you John, but nothing would prevent you from going out and taking part in whatever was going on.

You were a gentleman, charming, colourful, full of wit and wisdom, pricking the bubble of pomposity, with jokes and put downs and, of course, the best of company, nothing was better than sitting at The George, on a Saturday afternoon, sharing a pint with you and we will continue to do that, knowing that you are with us in spirit, if not in person.

Thank you John for enjoying your life and thank you for teaching us to enjoy ours. Mr Izod, we salute you.

Martin Wimbush

Winchelsea Road
Rye

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