Thursday, 2 June 2011


I have taken this picture of Gareth in the garden at home relaxing after work from the Caring Bridge site.  I think it captures his personality just right.
The news was not at all unexpected but sad nevertheless.  Gareth, after a few weeks heroic final struggle against a particularly virulent form of cancer, died on Saturday morning.  Many of us had followed his family's postings on Caring Bridge -see - with great admiration in the way that Fiona, his wife, their children Anna, Rafe and George had handled this huge personal tragedy with great spirit and warmth.

Gareth was by birth almost bound to be a surveyor and to enter the family firm of Cluttons, he was the sixth generation of the family to be a partner in the firm.  His evident experience and popularity resulted in his being invited into the Drapers' Company in 2003.  Past Master Martin Sankey, a one-time fellow partner from Cluttons, played a major part in this. In 2008 he left Cluttons to be the Chief Executive of Portman Estates and a major influence in the London and wider property market.

From his earliest time in the Company he played a positive and constructive role.  I can recall his efficiency as a fellow governor of Bancroft's School.  Subsequently he was on the Investments Committee with, of course, a big contribution to make on some major property decisions affecting the Company.  He was elected to the Court in 2009 and had a successful year as Junior Warden.  He was just beginning to get into his stride as a major player in Court life when a second occurrence of melanoma proved to be fatal.

An individual of great acuity with an unerring eye for the uncomfortable detail.  This precision was accompanied by a dry wit and a natural ability to socialise.  An abiding memory is a general zest for life aided by the odd glass of fine wine and a decent cigar.

Our loss is very great but of course it pales into nothing with that of his immediate and wider family.  I can do more than conclude in his wife Fiona's words:

'To say that he lost his battle with cancer would imply that he was struggling against it, which is simply not the case. He walked calmly and courageously with it until he could do so no more. He soldiered on for weeks without any sign of fear or unrest, beating the doctor’s best estimates by a country mile, and when he finally ran out of energy he did so peacefully and with his usual dignity.

Whilst the last few months have been the hardest of our lives they have given us some truly wonderful memories, for which we will always be so grateful. Gareth spent his last couple of months exactly how he said he’d wanted to, at home enjoying the company of many old friends and surrounded by the three things he loved the most, cigars, fine wine and his adoring family.'

Had he lived he would have been an outstanding Master.

No comments:

Post a Comment