Don Homfray's Memorial

Uncle Don, more specifically, Donald Frank Homfray sadly left us on the 18th January 2012.

I was asked to write a few words about his amazing life, which included winning a BAFTA among many other incredible film and TV productions> I wanted to detail how much we felt about him as kids, not an easy task, but after spending the week putting an order of service together and editing his life in pictures for the service - it was made much easier.
In the end it finally flowed at 2am, the morning before, last minute Si as ever. You can read them below.

Don Homfray Guardian

You can see the Guardian front and back pages we put together in memorium (A 6.1Mb PDF download) by clicking the link here or the image above.

Don Homfray Montage

You can read the order of service (A 3.7Mb PDF download) by clicking the link here or the image above.

At the heart of the thousand tree forest an oak apple fell.

Act 1

At the heart of the thousand tree forest an oak apple fell,
planting itself in the fertile leafy undergrowth, it took to growing.
Men chased deer for hunting, children played stick and
laughter resounded and bounced off the lichenous bark.
Green with the frivolity of youth, the forest was full and it smiled.

Stretching for the Summer sun, tethered to the rich soil of its history,
the sapling climbed, twisted and yearned for the blue skies above.
The other trees swayed gentle and muttered amongst themselves while
seasons of weather blew across the saplings path, making the fight more earnest.
Sometimes starved but always thirsty, inches became feet and leaves.

Act 2

The first autumn was the hardest, watching the others suffer,
feeling the first frost and shivering at the prospect of more to come.
Braced, brave and heartened up by the forest visitors, men and animals.
Children and birds lifted the soul, the waxy bark of youth soon became
the wisened character of knots, a reticent shy shell protection.

Nesting birds, squirrels and spotted peckers, ran up and down his cool trunk,
gracing him with company, teasing and tickling his calm with shared love.
Irreverent dogs did, deer nibbled and doves cooed on outstretched branches.
Light showers washed balmy evenings away and giggles echoed long time.
It was a time of bliss, a time of shared being, a time to be.

Too soon, many Summers had passed, and merging seasons blurred
as the misty mornings and dew soaked dusks cast white haze.
Friends near, strange and otherwise would fall more often.
Fungii grew as the others saw the ground again, young saplings reached
and pushed, sharing their race for the sky with elders, the forest was in balance.

Act 3

Tarmac terror drew close to the forest, concreted buildings broke the spell.
The thousand tree forest soon saw fewer children play and
even the couples kissed less among the shadowy evenings of gold.
Noisy carriages raced past the tall proud trees and the oak puckered
a determined stand, pushing out its leafy branches with dignified wave.

The last winter arrived and his full being had drawn poison from the
undergrowth, malevolent liquor from the city next door, an ill preparation
for the water that seeped within, turned ice and cracked open in his heart.
Long snows hung heavy on his branches, frozen weight, crystalised clarity
burdening his disposition. Still he smiled, the deer still danced and played.

Tall tree, erect and true, standing small among the buildings that hid the sky.
Alone now, dwarfed by the unfeeling magnificence of nothingness.
All the other trees had gone now, all of them away, all of them buried.
No fungi, no wildlife, just paving slabs and bustle. Over flowing bustle.
And still he smiled, knowingly, happily and true to the end.

For Don.
Si Homfray 7-3-2012