passing will leave a gap in the lives of not just his relatives and friends but also of many people throughout the country. I would like to leave the last word to someone who met him late in life and speaks for all of us and them.
“This is a sad occasion. Peter was a true and learned gentleman. Through his editorship of the BCA Gazette, his kindly and cheerful spirit was able to reach out to all of the BCA. He will be universally and sadly missed.
Peter was the first opponent I ever played at a BCA event in a ‘friendly’ game with clocks. Afterwards when we were going over it together, his love and deep appreciation of the game of chess shone through. It also became quickly apparent to me that he had a wonderful love of life generally – it was rare to see him without a smile on his face – and he also had a deep understanding of his other main hobby, namely music.
Peter was unfailingly cheerful and always had a good and often apt word to say, whatever the occasion. Similarly no-one ever had a bad word to say about him. Perhaps it was appropriate that he should have lived in St. Peters Road in Birmingham.
Let us rejoice that we knew Peter. I am sure that in Heaven Peter will be rejoicing that he knew us. Peter was that sort of man. I shall miss Peter greatly, and I know many of you will too. Hans Cohn and Juliet Reeve.
Editor’s note: Peter remembered the BCA in his will, leaving several chess sets and a couple of chess clocks to the BCA. The committee felt they would like the sets and clocks to go where they were most needed. If you feel you might benefit from them, please contact Norman Wragg.
Letter from Juliet Reeve
TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE BCA:
I would just like to thank so many of you for your kind messages of sympathy; they have been of great help to me. I miss Peter terribly and hope you will not mind if I share a few personal reflections with you.
Peter and I first met in Gloucester Cathedral and we shared much happiness and great fun together for over sixteen years. Braille chess tournaments and coaching weeks were highlights of the year and we greatly valued the warm friendships and humour of these occasions.
As you know, Peter had wide-ranging interests. These included ecology, geology and meteorology (shipping forecasts were never missed except for chess!) and we attended many Bristol University courses to explore woods, caves and rocks.
As a listener, Peter was supremely good; in the course of providing over 100,000 treatments, he listened to the trials and tribulations of a wide range of patients. His ability to assess character and profession by means of a simple hand-shake was often unnerving.
A few years ago, as you probably know, Peter volunteered to proof read for the Guild of Church Braillists. This entailed reading thousands of words of religious material, a task which he continued right up until the end of his life. Peter was a committed Christian, who very often included the General Thanksgiving in his daily prayers.
Poetry played a big part in Peter’s life and one of his favourite poems was “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam by Edward Fitzgerald. Here is a verse which he particularly liked:
‘Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays;
Hither and thither moves, and mates and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.’
I count myself as enormously privileged to have been so close to such a courageous, generous, kind and gracious gentleman.
I hope to continue my association with the BCA in some way.
With best wishes.