Kathy and I first came to know Jim and Wendy in 1966, some 44 years ago, in Assam, N E India where Jim was a Tea Planter. Since then, our two families have enjoyed a lasting friendship, sharing many happy times and holidays in Assam, Hong Kong, Provence and elsewhere. Jim's sense of fun was always a stimulus to enjoyment!
As most of you know, the planters' lifestyle in Assam for socialising and recreation centred on house parties and gatherings in planters' clubs. Jim, being of a gregarious nature and a keen sportsman, relished the frequent after-sports and other gatherings and the need for rehydration - read refreshment sessions - in the clubs enjoyed by so many planter families. Having a lively personality, humorus and ever- generous, he was both popular and always the life and soul of any party - wherever and whenever!
What of Jim's life. He was a man of many parts. As a soldier: he was evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940; later, he joined the Indian Army and served in N W India in the famed Khyber Pass region bordering Afghanistan; then, he served in Burma where he earned a gallantry medal for bravery against the Japanese - until recently, this was unknown even to his family as he never spoke of it; post-war, he was briefly an Artist in the South of France but retained his artistic skills as a hobby for the rest of his life.
In 1948 he joined the Tea Industry in Assam and rose to become a senior Tea Garden Manager and sometimes Superintendent of his Tea Company. Using his man-management skills, he was respected for his successful management of the various, larger tea estates where he served.
Above all, Jim was a family man, a wonderful husband and father, always full of fun and a friend to all. Sadly, he has left us all for a better place. But he has left us with a fond memory of a very dear, merry gentleman. Jim, old friend, in saying farewell to you, we thank for your friendship and good cheer.
Our condolences to Wendy, his loving and caring wife, his three wonderfully supportive children and seven grandchildren.