Yesterday George and I along with many others attended a Eulogy Service to celebrate the life of the lovely, lovely man Les Biggs.
Jaq was wonderfully strong throughout the day singing and talking about Les' love for her and hers for him, his great love for his family, of children and animals and all things canals and knowledge in general. I took some videos which I'm afraid I couldn't load onto the blog as they exceed the limit of what Blogger can take, but I've copied them for Jaq to keep and take to the US and share with her family there.
After Jaq gave her eulogy anyone who wished to was invited to speak ...
.....Mac of nb Griffin who kindly gave his mooring space at Cowroast to Les and Jaq for as long as they needed it.
Tina of nb Ytene who with her husband Andy met Les within a few weeks of both setting out as narrowboat liveaboards and spent many, many happy hours together
Jennie of nb Tentatrice who met Les and Jaq on the cut just a few times reminded Jaq that boaters will continue to support her when Jaq starts her new adventure as a single hander.
Sue from nb Cleddau who spoke beautifully about Les, and Jaq and brought up the boaters preoccupation of ... yes you've guessed it ... toilets!
Richard half of the duo from Jules Fuel boats who can always make his customers laugh, especially if there was cake involved!
Les's daughter-in-law Joanne spoke of Les' love for the family and the grandchildren and the support that he has given to them.
... and George who spoke of how while Les was ill told us that no conversation or words were forbidden, that we should say things as they are and ask any thing we wanted to ... so George asked for his jigsaw please!
Tom from nb Waiouru also also did not meet up with nb Valerie on many occasions but remembered being jealous of Les from his home in Australia because Les was living his (Tom's) dream.
A good gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of Les.
After a scrumptious lunch all handmade by Jaq's fair hand we had an opportunity to mix and express our thoughts amongst those family and friends.
And then it was time to leave ... and were each given a gift ...
Each package contained some bird seed and bulbs for his love of nature, some chocolate (Les's favourite), some screws and nails because Les fixed everything he could and a candle that in a quiet moment we could light and remember him.
Jaq must have been exhausted after such a long and emotional day but has remained valiant in her efforts to stay strong especially for Les during his illness and far-too-soon death and for those people around her offering support in any way they could.
We wish her now a good journey back home to the US to spend time with her family and come back to the UK with renewed strength and determination to carry on with the dream that was hers before she even met Les. We (boaters) will always be there for her should she need help at any time in the future.