The Wardens - October 2017


From the Wardens Window


Since my last contribution to the magazine, when I gave an insight to life at our church in Tottenham,  on Saturday 15th July I received a sad phone call telling me of the passing of a dear friend by the name of Fernandez, but we all called him Fred.

I would like to tell you about Fred (he was a true friend to all), and the most joyous day we had at his funeral.

Fred was born in Jamaica in 1931 and came to England like most West Indians during the 1950’s.  He married and had three children. He had many jobs in his time but mainly he was a painter and decorator.

Fred was a friend to all and committed to his church, but he was also a Party and Social Animal; any excuse to dance and have a good time.

Fred’s funeral was not held until 11th August. He wanted a burial with a full Communion Funeral Service, but he had  family and friends everywhere. They came from Spain, South Africa, America and a full minibus  from Birmingham.

St Paul's Church has 180 seats but, for Fred, close on three hundred people turned up. They were standing in the foyer, two side aisles, across the back and in the side wing (like our Carpenter Chapel).  The atmosphere was electric, just as he wished.

I understand the hymns we sang we were his favourite, opening with “How Great Thou Art” (in my mind the best ever written), but we finished with singing “The wondrous love of Jesus”.  That's when we started with the tambourines, especially for the chorus -

“When we all get to heaven

 What a day of rejoicing that will be!

When we all see Jesus

We’ll sing and shout the Victory.”


After Fred’s burial, it was all back to the church hall, where outside caterers were waiting to serve traditional Caribbean Fayre.  It was magic to see, curry goat, jerk chicken, red snapper (fish) plus, of course, rice and peas and much more.

The hall had been laid out with tables, tablecloths, seats with covers and a family top table. The caterers were told to cater for in excess of 200.

Our bar was open and quite a bit of Rum was consumed. A disco played music; it was just the sort of thing Fred would be proud of.

I will miss Fred but I did have the honour of being invited by his family to stand at the lectern and give a tribute on behalf of the Men at  St Paul's.

Fred was one of a kind but in the title of the pop record he went out in style.

“O.K. Fred.”

When my time comes I would like the same send off.

Derek Lewis






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