When I joined RCJP in 2004 Graham was already a member – so I have known him for about 10 years. I would not claim that I knew him very well or that he was a close friend of mine as he was quite a private person. But like many others I liked him and respected him.
Although he had a big network of contacts, he would spend most of the day and sometimes late at night on the computer – which he lovingly called his “wife”. In the evenings, if not attending a Rotary event, he could be found at his second home the “Buffalo Bar”. “Fon Tok” (Falling Rain) was his nickname amongst the girls and he was well liked. Graham’s hobby was photography and he would take nice pictures of the ladies which they could send to their boyfriends. This was before the advent of smart phones and social media!
Many friends turned up to say their final goodbyes at Graham’s funeral on Sunday, May 11.
Graham was a hard worker and would always offer to help out anyone. His biggest claim to fame was (with fellow Rotarian Simon Simms) initiating and organizing the first annual Cross Bay Swim in 2004 – which soon became one of the most successful fundraisers in Pattaya. The proceeds of the first 3 swims went to the Baan Jing Jai orphanage but they were not just donated. Every couple of months Graham would take some of the kids and caretakers with his pickup to go shopping at Tesco Lotus.
Graham held a high attendance record, not only at his own club. He also attended a many district conferences, seminars and assemblies. He was always present at events organized by other clubs. When on holiday in the Philippines he would visit local Rotary Clubs. As mentioned, photography was his hobby and I still have a pile of CD’s at home of pictures he had taken at meetings, events and projects. If you would speak with him on a topic he was passionate about, only then you would realise how knowledgeable and intelligent Graham was – at times it was difficult to follow his train of thought. And he had a witty sense of humour – not always understood by all…
Unfortunately Graham was hindered by his physical disabilities. He suffered from various mostly allergy related ailments. He could hardly order anything from the menu, no seafood, no chicken, no dairy products, not even a fried rice if it was prepared with fish sauce. More recently he developed heart problems and had a relapse of asthma. At times he would take on more than he could handle and would then have to throw the towel. Consequently I had to take over the organising of the Cross Bay Swims in 2007 & 2008. But I could always call him for advice and draw on his experience. And who would be there on the day itself working his “butt” off to make the event a success? Graham!
He finally became president of the club where he had been a valued member for over a decade. As always he set high goals and objectives to achieve. Once again he had to throw the towel but sadly there will be no comeback this time. Graham, you were a good lad with a heart of gold!
May you Rest in Peace.