Friday, December 18, 2009

440 miles to say farewell to Brian.

On Monday 7th December I was shocked to learn of the sudden passing of my friend Brian Boddy. He was only 69 and in apparent health until a sudden collapse. A post-mortem revealed brain abscesses due to septicaemia. I left home 6 a.m. with a couple of inches of snow on the ground and paying attention to news of roads affected by snow. The journey was 220 miles north. The M1 was clear but I was held up by a jack knifed lorry blocking a lane of the A1. Once into North Yorkshire I hit heavy snow and off the A1 the road was snow covered. Approaching the village for the funeral I was behind a snow plough and had great difficulty getting enough traction to drive up a slight hill. There was aboy five inches underfoot as I walked up to the church where the hearse was already parked. I had hoped to give a tribute afterwards at the crematorium but was surprised to be told by the vicar, after the service, that due to the snow we were not going to the crematorium. Instead I paid my tribute in the village hall where refreshments were abundant for many mourners had not made it due to the weather. Only two other Nigeria colleagues were there. I had known Brian since our two years together at All Nations Missionary College, 1967 to 69. We both went to Nigeria in 1970 and studied Hausa together in Kano in 1971. We left Nigeria in 1982 but Brian continued there in rural development work until he retired, Well done good and faithful servant. Brian hailed from Bedford originally. We sang Bunyan's,'Who would true valour see'.The trumpets have sounded on the other side for Brian. I was back home by 5 p.m. It had been strange saying farewell in thick snow when we had been together in temperatures up to around 120 F in Nigeria.


Dennis E. Roe said...

Thank you for that brief tribute to your dear friend. "Well done my good and faithful servant." No better words by which to give tribute. The words that every servant of Christ longs to hear spoken by the lips of Him whom we serve in fear and gladness. Love you dear brother. Press on in Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I have just heard from Mohammed Samaila - a good friend of Brian who mentioned him; so I googled his name and found this post. I stayed a couple of nights with Brian in the COCIN compound at Molai near Maiduguri in 2003. He was well loved there. I remember his pleasure at being able to serve "Angel Delight" (albeit made with powdered milk). He was hospitable and gracious. I also had a chance to see his artesian well at Jagarawaje near the Cameroonian border.