Patrick Brendan Early (28 Nov 1936 - 30 Dec 2020)

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Funeral Service

Location
Our Ladye Star of The Sea Church Croombs Hill Greenwich SE10
Date
28th Jan 2021
Time
10.30am
Funeral Director
F.A. Albin Deptford

Cremation Details

Location
Lewisham Crematorium Verdant Lane Catford SE6 1TP
Date
28th Jan 2021
Time
12.15pm

In loving memory of Patrick Brendan Early who sadly passed away on 30th December 2020
Born 28 November 1936
Died 30 December 2020

Patrick Early OBE, who has died aged 84, was a civil servant in The British Council. His overseas career took him to Morocco, Argentina, the former Yugoslavia (twice), Spain, Egypt, Sudan and Brazil.
He is survived by his beloved wife Stephanie and his children Gabs, Lucy and Matthew. Also by his 5 grandchildren Isobel, Emily, Ronja, Axel, and Rowan.
He was born in the hill station of Shillong in northeast India to Noel Early, and Irish doctor of tropical medicine and his English wife Hilda West. He grew up in Worthing Sussex during the war years.
Patrick attended Downside school and won a scholarship to study French, Spanish and Russian at Jesus College Cambridge. He went on to obtain post graduate degrees from Leeds University, Essex University, Goldsmiths, SOAS and UCL.
His working life was dedicated to The British Council. During his overseas career, he lived with his family in a number of different countries and was exposed to daily use of Spanish, French, Serbo Croatian, Arabic and German. He and Steph would always take it upon themselves, with great enthusiasm and interest to learn to read and speak the local language as a top priority. An essential means by which they found great meaning and reward in their host cultures, meeting, socialising and working closely with local contacts, particularly in Arts and Culture.
Patrick and Stephanie's legendary social entertainment skills, obvious enthusiasm and ability to see the best in people invariably lead to lifelong friendships.
In his work, Patrick always took his duties seriously, never stinted in doing the difficult thing, to accept any challenges with great energy and optimism.
Patrick was a poet, a translator, and a writer, publishing several collections of poetry as well as reviews in a number of British ansd Irish journals. He was especially proud to publish a highly regarded translation of Antonio Machado's poetry "A Voice in Time. He was surprisingly modest about these achievements and has left us a body of beautiful writing as a consolation.
Patrick was generous hearted. He had a Latin notion of hospitality, knew the importance of chat, music and craic, sharing a bottle of wine or a glass of whiskey. We were all the better for it.
Full of energy, and suddenly blessed with time, his retirement was a whirl of activity as he traded on his his platform as former overseas director at the BC, continuing to launch many’s the career. A master of hooking people up, enchufe even, he would make things happen. Teachers, writers, academics and musicians alike would beat their way to our door, and leave incentivized, with direction. We his children were always beneficiaries of his suggestions, advice and encouragement, as well as generous financial support (with certain terms and conditions attached). An enthusiastic motorist he was always dreaming about his next epic drive crossing countries and continents, all the better if it involved sleeping in a tent or under the stars (an enthusiasm unfortunately not shared by his dear wife).
Right up to the present. His last year was not idle, nor yet untypical. Himself and Steph were involved in producing a book of lockdown poetry. He was planning another book of translations, much of which was finished before his untimely departure. Following his diagnosis he tried to beat a retreat to his beloved France, but was prevented from doing so by his illness. He hooked up a young writer with a family friend. He gave a lecture in poetry. Prevented from sleep by his cortisone treatment, he drew some great comical cartoons sending himself up for his nocturnal perambulations, and his yen for honey. He helped Matt get to China. He revisited his interest as a young man in existentialism with Lucy, the importance of being conscious of the joys of the here and now, navigating life’s journey with spirit, even within the limitations of existence. He was continuing to add to his substantial library, ordering a new biography of Jaques Derrida and the Life of St Augustin.
While he became more tired, he was still great craic, and fully engaged to the last.
We’ll miss the cocktail hour when he would crack open the whisky, the G&T or the pastis as appropriate.
We love you. We miss you. We are proud of you.
Thank you for showing us that it is not the years in your life but the life in your years that count.

Chris Jones donated £100 in memory of Patrick
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Chris Jones wrote

It all began when Patrick whisked me off to Sarajevo and turned me and the rest of us into real teachers. It wasn’t just the lectors’ conferences and professional support: there was endless hospitality, open-ended encouragement, trust, friendship, music and all of Matty’s Tintin and Astérix stories as well. It was a good time.

Later on, in not such a good time, he facilitated the escape of our dear friend Dobrila ‘Beba’ Nastić from war-torn Bosnia.

My thanks and love to him, to Steph and to Gabs, Lucy and Matt.

He was one helluva guy.

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Gabriel Early posted a picture
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Susan Virsano wrote

For Patrick - In Loving Memory

You left with the ebb tide
and the moon was full.
But on the morning
of your last day
you did appear here,
most quixotically,
as a sweet violet
oddly flowering,
quite out of season,
on the hill, beneath
wild damson trees
sculptured by the wind;
looking southwards
to Mount Callan,
and in the west
a scrap of sea
glinting in Liscannor Bay.

Like the Violet
you were governed
by the planet Venus.
She amply gifted you
the art of friendship,
creativity, pleasure,
and diplomacy;
and that great ability
to bring together
both people and ideas,
and to find just cause
for feast and celebration
simply in the presence
of friend or recent stranger.

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David Espey donated in memory of Patrick

Molly and I were very saddened by the news of Patrick,
but we loved the website, photos, and memories. We’ll
also add our memories to the website.

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Keith Johnson wrote

I first met Patrick in 1971 at the University of Essex, where we were both following the MA in Applied Linguistics course. He contributed to the course, not just with his experience and knowledge about language teaching, but also with a lively social instinct which helped to bring everyone together. Our paths crossed on several occasions in later life. I particularly remember one on which I was on a British Council Specialist Tour to Belgrade and was lucky enough to have him as the person looking after me. He did his job well! He will be sadly missed by very many in the language-teaching world, and far beyond.

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Ma. Angélica Ferreira Centeno posted a picture
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PoLLo Peirotti posted a picture

<3

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PoLLo Peirotti posted a picture

<3

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marie luce BERET lit a candle
Ma. Angélica Ferreira Centeno wrote

My husband, Manuel Peirotti, met Patrick when he first arrived in Córdoba, Argentina in the late 60's as director of the Cultura Británica and they became friends immediately. It wasn't until many years later that I met him and thus benefited from his friendship as well. His travels around the world and the distance between us made our encounters rare but every time we met was a very special occasion and a memory we cherish.I much valued his personal traits; his warmth and generosity, his wonderful sense of humour, his perceptive  intelligence which allowed him to get to the essence of  things. An excellent confidant, he could really understand you. And he stimulated everyone around him.His poetry is exquisite and his style irreplaceable. Patrick was an invaluable friend that enriched our lives in so many ways. His beloved memory will remain forever in our hearts.

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Janet Henderson wrote

We met Patrick and Stephanie only a few days after we moved to France. I had been wondering how we would get to know folk, but lo and behold, we had a generous invitation for apperos. Husband had strict instructions not to outstay our welcome. I nudged him at what I though was a suitable time. ‘But you’re not going yet! Let me pour you another drink. There’s food on its way’. We didn’t see them nearly enough, but it was always a great pleasure to bump into Patrick with his beloved dog. So glad I was able to attend a reading of Patrick’s poems. So glad they could come to Robin’s wedding. Honoured to have known him. He will be missed.
Stephanie, we all hope to see you before too long. As my late husband used to say ‘ while ever we are talking about people, they live on in our hearts’.

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David Jolly wrote

Quite simply Patrick launched me on my professional career - his belief in me & his outstanding my enthusiastic professionalism were a lasting gift; in addition, he & the wonderful Stephanie showed me that married life snd family life could be possible howevey tricky bits of it might be - this has illumines my whole life - thank you thank you

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Nickie Bamber donated £100 in memory of Patrick
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Ma. Angélica Ferreira Centeno posted a picture
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Rod Bolitho wrote

Patrick was a dear friend and a mentor to me. I have so many fond memories of him. He wrote a typically upbeat message to me shortly before he died. I will always remember him fondly.

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Gordana Platisa wrote

Dear Steph and family I am so sorry that Patrick is no more. You and Patrick have been so much part of my life through difficult and wonderful times. Even the continents did not really separate us and stopped us from writing poetry. Much love , Gordana

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Ailish and Tony O'Connell wrote

Our deepest sympathy to the Early family on the death of Patrick May he rest in peace

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David Conry wrote

Condolences to Auntie Steph and all the family during this sad time. Unable to be with you today but we are thinking of you all. Much love David and Julie

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Robin Alvarez wrote

I loved Patrick from the first moment we met at the bar in Moulin Neuf, approx 2004. A shared love of travel, literature, the arts and of course, meeting people were just a few of the things that connected us. A visit to France was never quite complete without a moment spent with darling Patrick and Rufus. Patrick greatly appreciated the company of my late father and this made me love him all the more. What a gift it was to spend time with such a beautiful, brilliant soul - I will be forever grateful for all those moments. I will miss him terribly, which is a feeling I know will be shared by all who knew and loved him.
I wish I could be there to help celebrate his amazing wonderful life. I cannot wait to see Steph and all his family gathered again at the presbytere, filling the air with laughter and love as we talk about Patrick. Sending love to Steph and all the family.

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Irena Hill wrote

I got to know Patrick and Stephanie in relatively recent years. Their generosity, creativity, erudition and sense of fun were exceptional. I am grateful to have met them. Patrick's poem about Stephanie knitting will always, always move me. Rest in peace, Patrick, and take a lot of care, Stephanie.

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Snežana Ristić wrote

Divni dobri Patrick. Miss you so much.

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James Slattery donated £30 in memory of Patrick

Slan a chara

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Chris Dove wrote

A privilege to have known you, Patrick. I treasure memories of your hospitality and friendship.

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