He was an extraordinary man for many reasons and had several strings to his bow. The list of his interests included books, horses, darts, cats ,bikes (motor, pedal and electric !),working on the land, and reminiscing about days gone by. His precise memory of people, places and events stretching back into the distant past meant that he became the mainstay of our small family circle, being the repository of our family history. When questions arose over some half-remembered event Frank was our archive whose word on these matters was reliable and final.
Christmas reunion in the Locke Bar.
Frank's prodigious memory allowed him to recite pieces of poetry appropriate to any occasion, and at the drop of a hat he would break into verse and at the end say rather sheepishly "I'm a mine of useless information!" We didn’t consider his contributions useless at all, in fact , we thought of it then, and especially now as a goldmine. In the hurly-burly of life he always seemed to take the time to stop and consider...whether as a young man engrossed in his precious books in the cottage at Ballycannon, or later working on the building sites of London, or more recently as he retraced the scenes of his early life walking or more often cycling out the Long Pavement over the Captains Bridge, turning left at the Sweeps Cross and up through Ballycannon, Ballycar and beyond...as a young man, in middle age ,as he grew older he never lost that sense of wonderment at the ordinary commonplace things of life. One of Frank's expressions when something impressed him was "Mawervellous isn't it" And that's the way he said it "Mawervellous" And this is probably as fitting a description of his life as any, he was a mawervellous, remarkable man whose passing has left such a huge void in all of our lives.
He wasn't a religious man and the arrangements for today reflect what we believe would have been his wishes. On occasion the subject of faith and belief came up in our discussions and we always ended by agreeing to differ. Today I trust that on Franks final excursion he may yet be pleasantly surprised !
The Death Notice from the Irish Independent, Tuesday 10 th. February...
PHILLIPS (late of Ballycannon, Ardnacrusha, Co. Clare and London), at the Regional Hospital, Frank; sadly missed by his loving sister Bridie, brother Joe, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends. R.I.P. Memorial Service in Griffin's Funeral Home, John's Gate tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1 o'c. followed by Burial in Kilquane Cemetery, Parteen.
For previous blogs about Frank click on the links below…
The Bard at Villiers
Wanderings With Frank
A Life of Wonder
A Conqueror of Time