On 1 June the sun streamed through the windows and open door of a packed St Marys Church. Even the porch was full. Family, friends, colleagues and patients had congregated to mourn, celebrate the life of Ian Bowles: his energy, his giving and his singing. The first hymn For the beauty of the earth testified to that, as did the Woodbridge Choral Societys Requiem and Agnus Dei from Verdis Requiem. The Revd Kevan McCormack led the service and Fr Tom Fenlon of St Thomass was also present.
His son Philippe gave an account of Ians life, many interests and achievements, including his election in 1999 as Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, rare for a GP. It was the only qualification, Ian joked, that didnt cost him any money. Michael Booth, a friend and Reader at St Marys, gave a witty and robust address: "I shall always remember Ian riding his bike through town, back straight as if in a dressage competition, wearing his cap and acknowledging passers by." "He could engage several thought processes at once: sailing in a race and at a most crucial moment, he suddenly asked his crew to name twelve famous Belgians!"
His son Oliver read from I Corinthians 15 and Phyllis Palmer, his former practice manager at Framfield House, read The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W B Yeats, reminding us how Ian loved sailing, wildlife and the open air. Some of his favourite jazz tunes were played after the Prayer of Commendation.
Afterwards at the Abbey School could be heard: "It was Ian who introduced me to Woodbridge Choral Society and made sure I felt at home"; "He moved heaven and earth for me when I had cancer"; "He was there for me when I lost my wife." Ian faced his own illness with remarkable courage and continued his concern for others.
To Chris, his wife and to Philippe and Oliver we offer our heartfelt sympathies. They would welcome stories, quotes or anecdotes about Ian send to Oliver Bowles, c/o Mrs Christiane Bowles, 17 Kingston Road, Woodbridge IP12 4AY.
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