The Loss Of A Very Special Friend.
Wednesday 7th August, 2019 - 10:36am
On Thursday 25th July, Mousehole Male Voice Choir were saddened to learn that they had lost their President, who had been living with cancer for some time. He was someone whom each member of the choir considered to be their friend. Revd. Julyan Drew has been our President since he took over from Douglas Williams in 2012, and has always told us he was thrilled and honoured to be in the role, renewing the connection between his family and the choir, as his great grandfather, Dick Thomas, was one of the founding members in 1909. We realise that Julyan was not only special to the choir, but to so many individuals and organisations around west Cornwall.
He came to us as the minister in Mousehole, but with a musical background too, having been a long standing member of both Newlyn Male Choir and Govenek Choir when they were singing. He thoroughly enjoyed the occasions when he had time to get along and have a sing in practice, and showed great understanding of the commitment choristers show, as well as the music. This was obvious in the warm and wise way in which he chaired our annual meetings, as well as the encouraging way he spoke at our summer concert when giving out long service awards. He also blessed us and the audience after many concerts at Paul Church!
We are grateful for all that Julyan and Liz have contributed to the life of Mousehole Male Voice Choir over these past few years, whilst also aware of his efforts with the RNLI, fire brigade, Cornwall Hugs Grenfall, the town council, 3 Villages Youth Project and so much more. All this on top of his amazing work in the chapels and churches around the area.
The choir were privileged to sing at his funeral which was held in Paul Parish Church on Monday 5th August. It is thought that there were in excess of eight hundred people present to say a final farewell to him, who, as one of our First Tenors said he was “a gentleman of immense humour and courage even in the face of adversity and illness. His smile will live with me forever”, sentiments echoed by everyone in the choir. Julyan had asked if the choir would be prepared to sing at his funeral if enough of them could get together. As a mark of the high esteem in which he is held, 76 choristers turned out to sing (with two out of Cornwall and a couple poorly!), and felt blessed to be able to do so. The choir sang Dan Forrest’s arrangement of “And Can It Be” and Stephen Smith’s arrangement of “We Rise Again”. Some in the choir only had the privilege of knowing him for a very short time. As a person and a minister he was profoundly inspirational. Where there was doubt, he brought faith; Where there was despair, he brought hope; Where there was darkness, light; Where there was sadness, joy.
We hold Liz and the family in our prayers, as we remember this wonderful, much loved and much missed gentleman and friend. Julyan, may the Lord bless you and keep you safe in His love, Rest In Peace.
(Photograph courtesy of Chris Yacoubian.)