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Dominic's Tribute

Paul was born in a prison, I should add, a fate which befell him due to his father being a prison governor not an inmate, which could explain his determination to spend the rest of his life in the great outdoors. As a child, Paul had little interest in learning the usual academic affair but had a deep interest in furthering his knowledge about the natural world. As such, he followed in his father’s footsteps spending many an hour learning how to birdwatch. This developed into a deep passion to preserve all aspects of the natural world. This covered trips to the Middle East to censor bird migration, Belize to help preserve the coral reefs and Africa on various conservation projects. He also unselfishly devoted many an hour volunteering on nature reserves in the UK and supporting all types of conservation, including the Bumble bee trust which is the chosen charity for Paul’s memorial. In short, he was the Attenborough of our family.  His spirit will now always be free, and we will remember him in everything we see around us, from the flight of the kite, walks in the wild, or the early morning sunrise. Likewise, my daughters tell me they continue to see Paul reflected in the actions, mannerisms and sarcastic humour of his boys. To them, he was a warm and loving uncle with a great sense of adventure, readiness to always help others and above all he never failed to put a smile on all our faces.  Paul upheld strong principles in everything he did. Being a vegetarian was important to him from an age when this was often frowned upon as a lifestyle choice. He was also never shy of a challenge, whether that involved jumping out of a plane, running marathons, bungee jumping, long distance cycling, often in the rain and always with at least one of his boys in tow. He lived every day to the full, embracing all that life offered and in that I believe we can all learn a lesson. Any cause Paul decided to support he would do so wholeheartedly, from his boy’s football team to wider conservational or political campaigns. I think it is clear from the number of people here today, how much he was appreciated by his community and equally how much it meant to him. Paul had an immediate rapport with anyone he met.  Despite being very determined, he wasn’t lacking in having a great sense of humour. His mother particularly remembers the long telephone conversations she had with him, much of which involved Paul’s constant teasing. My relationship with Paul was one of sibling rivalry and constant banter, which disguised our underlying affection for each other. Paul also had a mischievous streak. I remember our frequent bunks out of bedroom windows, to escape the babysitter, unbeknown to our mother Paul’s clumsiness was legendary. My parents will never forget his ability to destroy any new toy, often before it was removed from its packaging. Likewise, visits to our house often required extensive DIY being undertaken on his exit. It was secondary only to his musical talents which were thankfully short lived at the destruction of his first and only instrument, the recorder, which he managed to smash on its first outing in our father’s car door.  All this was readily forgiven, however, as deep down he was a truly sincere and genuine individual. Above all we remember him as a gentle - man. 

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