John Elliot Gaze (Passed away 25 Apr 2020)

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JohnRNLI - Royal National Lifeboat Institution

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In loving memory of John Elliot Gaze who sadly passed away on 25th April 2020

Barry & Margaret Powell donated £20 in memory of John

We have known John since October 1968 when we moved into Pantolf Place. He was a good neighbour but also a very private man who enjoyed his garden with his beautiful irises. We will miss his quiet presence. RIP John

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Delia Ellard donated in memory of John

John you've left a large hole in my life. Since I helped you many years ago, you kept an eye out for my welfare. The help I gave you has been repaid many times. Since Jeff's diagnosis in 2014 you were my go to friend, that I could rely on, at times of need. I'll remember you for the blackberries you collected along the canal, for the help in the garden, for showing me where to break out on the Trywerrin, and in Austria, telling me to keep the boat straight and paddle hard, the hole won't hurt you! For being there to help when I fell of the bike. I'll miss your cheerful "it's John, just wanted a chat' on my house phone. Thank you for being there for me.

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David Brook donated in memory of John

Have known John for many years since joining the local Scout's walking weekends and more recently the Wednesday walks. Always interesting to chat with and learn of all his other interests outside walking
John will be very much missed.

Dave and Judy

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David Coleman donated in memory of John

I only joined RCC in 2018 but in that short time John was one of the 'stand out' characters at the club. s I had just retired early and he he was an inspiration of what I would aspire to be like at his age. I remember camping at the YHA on an RCC River trip and he was using his original force 10 tent which had gone white with age (they are bright orange new) he played rounders with everyone else, walked about in sandals and was just such a positive person - so sad to hear of this shock news and that it was in lockdown robbing many RCC members from attending in person. A real gent and inspiration to 'youngster novice' retirees such as myself

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Brian Dobinson donated £20 in memory of John

In memory of a kind and interesting man

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Malcolm Spencer donated £20 in memory of John
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Andrew Green donated in memory of John

You will be very sadly missed. RIP

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Barry & Sue Ross donated £20 in memory of John

We knew John from our Wednesday Walks and twice yearly walking weekends. A knowledgeable and interesting person who strolled out in front at fast pace. We have a collection of his Christmas Cards which were from a photograph of a canoe trip that year.

A few years ago I sent John a photograph of some fungi growing on the truck of our plum trees. He looked it up and replied with the Latin name and the comment "the book says it often found on decaying or diseased trees". Last year a bough broke off due to the weight of the plums. The bough though healthy on the outer third had rotted in the middle.

Enjoyed knowing and walking with you John.

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Sylvia Dawson donated in memory of John

Socks, sandals , sun hat, paddle and your gloriously cheeky grin will always be a fond memory for me. You will be sadly missed, goodbye. Xx

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Lucia McIntyre donated £50 in memory of John

Today we say goodbye to John Gaze – a lovely, gentle man. I’ll remember him as a true eccentric, from his freestyle eyebrows to his socks and sandals. I can identify him in so many photographs from the ten years I knew him, with his iconic red crash helmet (which once failed to protect him from a protruding rock determined to inflict a facial injury) and his reclined paddling style.

I remember talking to him about a T-shirt he was wearing, depicting a Moai. He told me that he’d always wanted to go to the Easter Islands, but thought it inaccessible, then discovered he could fly there. He shared memories of this wonderful trip and the origins of those huge stone heads.
I admired his sense of adventure, going to places such as New Zealand with Jeff, and white water paddling trips with RCC to the Alps and Slovenia. Closer to home, there were many sea kayaking trips. On one of the Bacon Butty trips along the canal, I introduced John to the Quorn sausage, which he ate with gusto! He never refused food! He camped at the Youth Hostel on the River Wye trips, without complaining about aching bones, and sat round the campfire in the evening, enjoying the RCC family chat and games.

My lasting memories of John are from the last RCC trip before lockdown (March 2020) when we had a weekend in Llangollen. The Dee was high but John paddled it with enthusiasm and clearly enjoyed the challenge, grinning as he paddled under the bridge whilst others went “swimming”. We all had a meal at an Italian restaurant on the Saturday night, and most had beer, but a few of us, including John, shared a bottle (or two) of red wine. He was even thinking of buying a new boat.

John was a very intelligent man who enjoyed sharing his knowledge without patronising his audience. I never heard him moaning about the state of the world, or criticising anyone, and he seemed to find the positive in any situation. As the testimonials here and on Facebook demonstrate, John was a unique person who will be very much missed by all who had the privilege to know him. I hope he is resting in peace.

Lucia and Chris

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George Baines donated in memory of John

In affectionate memory of John and walks with our group around the local countryside.

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Simon Reeve donated in memory of John

John was always a great inspiration on river and sea trips for his paddling and his entertaining stories. Will be missed.

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Jeff Asplin donated in memory of John

The first trip that I recorded with John was in December 1985 (2 years after I joined Rugby Canoe Club); since then we shared many outings together with a large and varied number of other paddlers. His last trip was in March 2020. In 1989, John organised a white-water paddling trip to the Austrian Alps via a holiday company. In subsequent years, we organised our own club trips, having learnt where to paddle in the Alps. Later club trips also ventured into the French Alps. Between 1989 and 2017, John enjoyed 19 paddling holidays in the Austrian, Swiss and French Alps and in doing so, became an accomplished and venerated alpine paddler. John enjoyed many Easter holidays paddling the coast around St David's in West Wales. John also joined Club members at Woolacombe, paddling the surf and playing golf on the campsite course. In 2011, I joined John on one of John’s geology trips to visit New Zealand. Where we had a very enjoyable two weeks touring the two islands. The trip ended the trip in Christchurch, where we got more geology than we bargained for, when the earthquake struck. We were unharmed, but had to make our way home with just the clothes we stood up in. John has been a very good friend to me over many years, and we enjoyed many adventures. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

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Andrew Green donated £30 in memory of John

Thankyou for being such good company on so many kayaking trips. They won’t be the same without you.

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Julie Foster donated £20 in memory of John

Missed.

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Bob Hawkins donated £20 in memory of John

Always at the front of the walking group. Tried hard to keep up! You will be missed old Pal. Bob

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Bob Hawkins donated £20 in memory of John

Always at the front of the walking group. I could hardy keep up, but tried hard!!. You will be missed old pal
Bob

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Maurice and Ann Parker donated £30 in memory of John
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Catharine Melia donated £50 in memory of John

‘Gazee’ (an enjoyably unlikely paddling nickname for someone with such beautiful diction) was for me the epitome of all that is fabulously singular. His magnificent wilderness eyebrows, his year-round, socks-n-sandals chic and his eccentric, diffident bearing were hallmarks of a rare, complex and largely private man. In these twittering times, far too much from far too many people is far too available (how exhausting) but there are others, like John, where subtext and subtlety eddie quietly between sentences. Or silences. From his geological deliberations (he once drew a cross section of the Ufton escarpment on the spot, so I could explain the existence of Leamington Spa to the unenlightened in Year 6) to kindly correcting my hotch-potched latin root suffixes; from reflections of his travels (including having to abandon his hotel room and luggage after a tremendous earthquake, only to have it sent 12,000 miles, months later full of seasoned laundry) to the simple reassurance of having him there on the river, or on the beach, or at the BBQ or sitting in the shade enjoying the enthusiasm (in its many disguises) launched off Splat Rock. Year after year. There are many moments in my memory, where John features in the middle ground of the picture yet is very much a part of the scene. I remember a pre-breakfast dip in the Wye with my children, smaller then, but dangerously trusting of water. We link arms, standing up against the whole of the Wye, feeling its force, slippery feet and slithering reeds slime our pyjamas. John wanders down maybe to take in the mist and the morning air or regard the river’s mood. He does not bargain on pyjama clad paddlers, but he sits and enjoys our moment with us, wordlessly, reassuringly. Many would fret or advise, most would disapprove, but he knows what we are doing. It is a serious game. Currents are never tamed: there is no control really, just experience to mitigate the outcome. On rivers or off. It is an unlikely moment, but it frames an uncommon demeanour that I will miss and grieve. I am furious about his solitary passing. Furious that he will not be in our picture. So I will splice him in mentally - smiling, rested, decked out with motorcycle helmet, with new dentures to boot. Kia Kaha, John and all who miss you, from the Sidleys.

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Charlie Jenkinson donated £30 in memory of John

John was knowledgeable, singleminded and always helpful.

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Thomas Laity donated £10 in memory of John

Thanks John for help and advice, going to miss those paddles around Draycote with you

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Dennis Perry donated in memory of John

I have some great memories of my association with John over a period of 50 years, starting when I lived at 11 Pantolf Place in the early 70s. He was a friend of the family and we usually spent Christmas Day and New Years Eve together, sampling each others cuisine...and not forgetting the JEG brand of Sloe Gin. John will be greatly missed.

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Kev Roberts donated £30 in memory of John

John was a good friend and an inspiration

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Eddie Brett donated £10 in memory of John

Only knew John for a year, from RUgby Canoe Club, but always found John a real pleasure to talk to and a real gentleman.

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