It is still hard to believe that he is gone from us, as he was incredibly special to everybody who met him, and you always felt the better for being in his company. He was a man of tradition and standards and always wore a tie. He regularly berated his golfing friends for not wearing a tie in the clubhouse.
He first came to Ireland from Wales in the 1960s with Plessey and settled in Malahide. He and Gwenda had three children Richard, Edge and Gill, and all were equally special to them. However, it was through the Edge’s success with U2, whom Garvin travelled extensively with on tour, that many of Garvin’s adventures and stories were lived. We have all heard he played golf with Bill Clinton and regularly met with Tom Watson who invited him to the Ryder Cup. He also sang with his idol Pavarotti.
When Plessey closed down Garvin set up his own consultancy practice and trained many fine engineers in his time. Singing was very important to Garvin and he sang both with his Church choir and the Welsh Choir, who also sang at his funeral. He was very much associated with his church, was a church elder, and deeply committed to his religious beliefs. How this latter position sat with the jokes he told I don’t know but he was a wonderful story and joke teller. Rotary also played a major part in his life and he was a founder member of Dublin North Rotary Club.
However, golf was his real love and passion and he will be remembered fondly by the BTU Golfing Society. He constantly strived for perfection, which we all know is impossible, but Garvin always thought he had mastered the game each time he went out. It was easy to tell how successful that was by the speed he walked.
Some of us were lucky to be on the latest Canaries golf trip which we have been going on for the last 38 years. On the trip he was nicknamed the peacock because of the flamboyant and vivid matching colours he wore on the golf course. Apart from the sunshine you would need sunglasses to subdue the colours. It was also on our 2015 trip that he forgot his razor and the beard commenced.
On one of our golf trips to Wexford eight of us went out to eat one night in Larkins. There was a lady’s birthday celebration at one of the other tables and when they were singing happy birthday Garvin joined in and drowned out everybody. Later when the lady was leaving she came over to our table to thank Garvin for his singing. However, as she turned to leave she said to Garvin: “by the way, are your underpants too tight?”
We his friends will remember him for many different and pleasant reasons and also because he fought until the end. He was a true warrior who always clung to life. He never gave up despite all he suffered. He leaves us a great legacy which teaches us to persevere no matter the circumstances.
While we mourn him, others are rejoicing to meet up with him again on the other side. I just hope he is not bringing all the money he won off us at golf with him. I hope he remembers it is easier for a poor man to get through the gates than a rich man.
On the few occasions that we did manage to take money off him he would hand it over saying: “you are not going to take money from a little wizen Welsh git.”
You and I will meet again
When we are least expecting it
One day in some far off place
I will recognise your face
I won’t say goodbye my friend
For you and I will meet