G WISNIEWSKI EULOGY
Born of Polish stock, in Germany, in 1947, his early childhood at Sibson, George’s early life was caught up in the turbulent history of central Europe after the war, but he never looked backwards – because the things that really mattered to him were with him – people. Firstly his father Ludwvig, a Polish paratrooper during the war- his beloved mother Edith, his brothers Ziggi, Peter and sister Heidi. Home is where the heart is, they say, and for George his heart was where the people that mattered to him were. And then of course Jane. They met appropriately enough at a dance in Yaxley – Jane had driven across form Wansford to attend it, and they were married at Wansford in 1970. Although their children Matt and Sarah were born in Reading, they were fairly soon to return to Peterborough, as George started work for Smith’s Motors. After all, as some-one said to me, he did marry the Bosses’ daughter.
His work was important to him, and even a few weeks ago, while very ill, he was still writing reports. He was conscientious, a perfectionist at work – and also at home I gather; working with close attention to detail, he wasn’t the Chief Executive for nothing. But he always had time for people, for his little jokes which he loved and laughed at, even though he might have forgotten or mixed up the punch-line; time to talk to people and be interested in them. He was gregarious, sociable, enjoyed parties and entertaining, giving surprises, to barbecue, red wine, and hobbies be it table tennis, gardening or supporting Liverpool.
Someone wrote, “he had the capability of touching the hearts of everyone lucky enough to know him- filled with care and compassion, whatever your walk in life, George was genuinely interested in you.”. Although home for George, as I’ve said, was where people were, Castor also became a place- perhaps the first place which was really home for him. He came to love it after he and Jane moved here in 1981. He loved the people, the walks, the beauty of the village, the sense of community, the Prince of Wales’ Feathers, his home and sorting out the house and garden, grooming and walking the dogs, and always of course Jane- of whom he was very protective and Matt and Sarah. Someone wrote, “he was comfortable with all aspects of life, commerce, moving in high circles, ping-pong, watching soaps, – first on the dance floor, last off.”
Only sadly, this time he is one of the first off the dance floor. He met his premature coming end, with dignity, courage and a determination to overcome his long illness, but the music has stopped, the dance of life is over. He talked to me about his funeral with quiet dignity, there always was a private side to George – he did not readily burden people with his problems. He would be proud of his children Matt and Sarah taking part in his funeral, reading his choices. What would he say to us now. Well, I came across a poem the other day about a dancer and part of it goes like this:
Fill your tall goblets with white wine and red,
And sing brave songs of gallant love and true.
Wearing soft robes of emerald and blue,
And dance, as I your dances oft have led,
And laugh, as I have often laughed with you-
And be most merry – after I am dead – would approve at least of meeting in The Prince Pub
But the dance of life is not ended for George, but only in this place and time. He started life as a displaced person, homeless physically on the move. He now goes to a permanent home, in a place prepared for him, the home of his and our heavenly Father. We may not know why life goes the way it does – at best we see through the glass darkly, and some unfair things we cannot understand. The Bible tells us that in addition to love the other great gifts are hope and faith. George had plenty enough of love for both life and people. The rest of us travel with the promise of the hope, that we and he, shall all be reunited, in our final home with God our heavenly father, who made us and loves us. If the things that happen in life, impinge on this faith, do not worry about it, but let the church believe it and hold it for you, until you are ready for it. For George really is at rest, his body is really free of the illness that dogged the last few years of his life. And while he lives on in his own right, he also lives on in a different way with us; in our memories, in his beloved Janes’ heart, in the lives of Matt and Sarah and in the life of his new granndchild Ben . We are rightly sad, at his early death, while life held so much, but we also give thanks for the privilege of knowing him and for all he gave. George may you rest in peace – Amen
HYMN: LORD of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust ever child-like, no cares could destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.
Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.
Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.
Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.
Reading: “Death is nothing at all” – Sarah Fitzjohn
Reading: “No Matter” – Matt Wisniewski
Gospel: John 14: 1 – 6, 27
HYMN: The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want; he makes me down to lie in pastures green; he leadeth me the quiet waters by.
My soul he doth restore again, and me to walk doth make within the paths of righteousness, e’en for his own name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale, yet will I fear none ill; for thou art with me, and thy rod and staff me comfort still.
My table thou has furnished in presence of my foes; my head thou dost with oil anoint, and my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life shall surely follow me; and in God’s house for evermore my dwelling-place shall be.
Priest: Let us pray
Lord have mercy upon us
All: Christ have mercy upon us
Priest: Lord have mercy upon us
Priest: As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.
All: Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not in to temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Priest: Rest eternal grant him O Lord,
All: And let light perpetual shine upon him
HYMN And did those feet in ancient time walk upon England’s mountains green? And was the holy lamb of God on England’s pleasant pastures seen? And did the countenance divine shine forth upon our clouded hills? And was Jerusalem builded here among those dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold! Bring me my arrows of desire! Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire! I shall not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, till we have built Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.
Priest: Rest eternal grant himO Lord,
All: And let light perpetual shine upon him
Priest: May the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God,
Rest in peace.
All: And rise in Glory Amen
Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace:
According to thy word.
For mine eyes hath seen: thy salvation.
Which thou hast prepared: before the face of all people.
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles:
And to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.
The family invites everyone to join them in the Prince of Wales
after the Service.
31 August 1947
12 October 2001
The Church of St Kyneburgha
Thursday 18th October 2001.