But first……my (Facebook) thoughts on the day that I heard my old mate Maurice had died….
“A dreadful day today. We all knew it was coming, but it’s still a nasty shock when it does finally happen. Our lovely friend of many years, (in my case 34), the generous, funny, unconventional, hippy rebel who took no bullshit from the authorities, the spiritual, visionary light worker, the talented musician, the surfer, the ‘action man’. And yes, if I’m honest, the ever so slightly bonkers …Maurice Willmott, once of Woking, later of Tintagel, has died after a long and truly heroic fight against Motor Neurone disease.
He was only in his late 50s. Throughout his epic battle he kept smiling and cracking his jokes and friendly insults. In latter days, when he had lost his true voice, these were delivered via his keypad in a very strange artificial posh accent! It was an honour to be told at the end of the day, (in jest), to “Fu** O**” by Maurice in his newly acquired accent, an accent that was so “lah-de-dah” that it made Prince Charles sound like a bloke off an east end council estate.
As he gradually wasted away the light in his eyes always continued to shine. Shine on you crazy diamond Maurice! That guy was pretty special. I hope that if I ever have to suffer like he did then I will be as brave as he has been, and carry the pain with the same great dignity.
We had so many happy times together. In the early years they were at Evans family parties in Surrey, (my in-Laws). I had met Maurice through my brother- in- law Simon, they were once best mates. Years later Maurice moved down to Tintagel, not that far from me in Bude, where we had many, many more great laughs together……talking, gardening, drinking, eating, hill-walking, building and surfing. I have lost another friend. He has left another huge hole that just cannot be replaced.
It is worth saying that many of the things, that some people of a more unimaginative outlook on life, sneered at Maurice for saying a few years ago, are now accepted in the ‘mainstream’ culture as self-evident! He was in some ways ahead of the curve in his sharing of new alternative knowledge and he waited patiently for others to catch up. R.I.P. The one and only Maurice….We LOVE ya!!”
and here are some of the lovely comments about Maurice that flowed in………..
“What a heart felt tribute mark. It was a great honour to play some music for him in the summer. Even though he couldn’t speak then you could feel the positive aura surrounding him. Finch played a tribute song for him at band practise last night. Xxx. ““A lovely tribute to Maurice, Mark and so well summed him up. Many hugs and lots of Love to you at this sad time although he is free from suffering now and is free to carry on his great light work. XX.”“Wonderfully chosen words, thank you again Mark, ahead of his time in so many ways. He is with other masters now, keeping good company for sure. His radiance will always shine and be felt by so many. ! Love to you too, and your family!”
Warren Smith.“Maurice was an amazing and inspiring guy, I only regret I never got the chance to meet him in person.”“Well said, and well written, Mark. Do you remember when he gave us that amazing pep talk before we played at his birthday do at the ‘Bethel and Chisel’? We were so nervous, it was uncanny, my nerves just evaporated.”“What a beautiful share. For me, Maurice is and continues to be a very special man. I spent and celebrated my 60th birthday with a bunch of women on a very private retreat. Everyone loved Maurice and his presences continues …… he was funny, special and very much a one-off. And I am living abroad and will not be there to say goodbye to his form. Yeh to Maurice! xxx.”
and here’s my (Facebook) Tribute to my friend Maurice after his funeral service…..
“We all gathered to say our final “Goodbyes” to our lovely friend Maurice at Bodmin crematorium yesterday, (well on this “level” anyway). It was a pleasant service in a beautiful Cornish location. Thankfully there was just the one hymn, “All things bright and beautiful”. It was deliberately sung quite appallingly, Maurice would have liked that! There were cool tributes by his son Simon Willmott , Brian Davis, and the pastor, David Flanders, who also did him proud by not swamping Maurice’s spiritual leanings with his own. Brian, always an interesting guy, turned up looking like a cross between a wild Scottish clansman and a French artist with his beret, a shawl, and his big bushy beard. As he said “You may be wondering why I am stood before you dressed like this on today of all days. The reason of course is because it is completely in-appropiate, and Maurice would have liked it that way.” Brilliant Brian!! Emily White, in a packed chapel charged with emotion, picked at her acoustic guitar beautifully and sang like an angel. Maurice Willmott bowed out with ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ and ‘What a wonderful World’. Two songs that summed up his thoughts on life. The World this morning is slightly less wonderful for his passing, but also more wonderful for him having been here to brighten the lives up of all those who knew him. So as Maurice reminded us all, “In every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double, so don’t worry, be happy!” Cheers Maurice, see you at the bar in ‘Heaven’ one day…. bring your guitar……………………………….. mines a “Tribute! xxx.”
and here are some more lovely comments……
“I wish I’d met him. A wonderful tribute Mark.”