It is with great sadness that our editor and dear friend Duncan sadly passed away. He was a huge personality, both on and off the island and his love for Roqueta and everyone involved was second to none. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
The following is Duncan’s eulogy written by his son Cameron and read at his funeral.
Good afternoon everyone.
I’d like to begin by thanking everyone for coming to celebrate my Father’s life. My family and I have received many kind messages over the last few weeks and the word that keeps appearing to describe him is; Legend, which I think you’ll all agree is very fitting.
The number of letters and support we have received is overwhelming – and I’d like to thank you all for that.
It’s hard to provide a summary of Dad’s life in such few words but he was a man that loved it, whether it be on the golf course, at Anfield or on the slopes, despite having to carry Anna’s skis even when she was well into her 20s!
Dad was born on 7th December 1957 on The Wirral. He was the second child of Granny and Grandpa; Brian and Pauline, with one sister; Janet. He grew up at the Hermitage in Caldy, spending many summers in Abersoch sailing and water skiing, which he enjoyed very much. I know he was delighted to introduce my daughter; Hettie to some of the Abersoch highlights a couple of months ago and I’m looking forward to continuing his legacy for many years to come.
Education and Work
Dad started school life at Mostyn House in Parkgate, followed by a move to Shrewsbury School where he went on to captain the 1st XI football team. We weren’t told a huge amount else from his time there, which I think is partly down to the academic results not quite eclipsing his footballing achievements!
Following his time at Shrewsbury, he attended the University of Liverpool, studying a degree in Law. He left university with an apparent 2:2, although I’m not sure anyone has ever seen the degree certificate.
After University, Dad embarked on a career in marketing and events, setting up The Finch Partnership with Tim. They ran Finch for 28 years and accomplished a lot, with the highlights being:
- The annual legends tennis event at Mottram, which pretty much all of you will have attended at some point.
- Supporting Liverpool’s bid to be the European Capital of Culture 2008.
- And my favourite, rolling out the famous Halifax Howard campaign across the country…
In more recent years, he acquired Menorca’s English magazine; Roqueta which he ran with Angie & Rob. This venture had a slightly slower pace, but it allowed him to unlock his passion for writing. I know he had a very enjoyable time in Menorca, a place close to our family’s heart, and we all loved visiting him.
Marriage and Children
Mum and Dad met at Guy’s 18th in 1976 and they were married 10 years later in 1986 at this very church. They had two children: Anna and I, and two loving dogs; Sasha & Lilly.
Last year, Mum and Dad celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary. At this time every year, Dad would wheel out the annual joke about how Mum proposed and how lucky she was to have such a handsome husband – although we all knew that was just a classic dad joke!
Family life took place at White Horses in Lower Heswall where my parents assembled the perfect family home. We grew up in an incredibly close family which is full of happy memories both at home; watching the Antiques Roadshow on a Sunday night, to travelling the world on exciting holidays, many of which were with several of you in this room.
Dad was never one to do anything by halves and we were certainly lucky enough to be raised with fantastic experiences.
Hobbies and Service
Alongside his work and family life, Dad was busy with his hobbies.
- He was an active member of the Ramblers, where he captained the 1st XI.
- He was a lifelong member at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, where he held several committee positions, namely Chairman of House.
- He was a member of the R&A which saw an annual pilgrimage up to St Andrews for the Autumn festival.
- He managed to complete the London Marathon, Great North Run and Three Peaks Challenge on numerous occasions.
- He ‘competed’ in The Clipper sailing challenge.
- He also completed the torturous Haute route in the Alps, which he used to talk about all the time.
All this said, Football and Golf were two of his real passions and we have spent some cracking times together following Liverpool FC around Europe and visiting The Open Championship each year on our Dad’s and Lads tour.
His third major passion was spoiling his little Molly Moose, which used to make me very jealous, and one year, a trip to Macy’s in New York was once very damaging for his credit card. He’d wait in the Lipa bar for hours on hours a week to collect Anna from whatever Dance lesson was on of an evening, and I’ve never seen a prouder man than watching her perform on the West End stage. I also know he was incredibly proud of her latest venture, which has seen her Graduate Leith’s Cooking School. He used to tell me every day how he would like to be tucking into what fare she’d sent on the family WhatsApp.
Anna, Mum and I clearly have many fond memories of my Father, and I’d like to share a few with you today. I think these really sum up his character as a man who never took himself too seriously and was always up for a good time:
- The first was for Anna’s 21st Birthday where Dad surprised us all by renting 4 Beatles costumes for us to wear that evening, despite the event being smart casual. This obviously went down very well, even with Anna who’d been crafting her outfit for weeks.
- Secondly, following an Alcaufar lunch in Menorca, we used to walk back to our Villa in S’Algar which took about 15 minutes. Despite not being allowed, he used to try and sneak us into every hotel pool en route for a single length (and even some private ones if he’d spotted the owners weren’t there).
- And thirdly, my favourite memory was the fact that we only got to play 11 a-side football with each other once in the same team, and this happened to be both playing for Liverpool FC in a legends fixture against his beloved Ramblers.
As I said at the start, it’s hard to do this justice in so few words but it’s clear he had many close friends, evidenced by the number of people here today, and I look forward to sharing many more memories later on.
The world is certainly going to be a sadder place without the big man in our lives, but he played a significant part in all of them, with memories we will cherish forever.
So to finish, in the words of Big Dunc; ‘Bat On and Enjoy the After Party’