Today we said farewell to Henry Guthrie at a service in Southern Cemetery in Chorlton.
Henry was a well known and loved resident of Northmoor; if he was not at home in Bankside Court he was most likely found having a cup of tea (plus a biscuit) and a chat at Northmoor Community Laundrette. Henry was very friendly, always ready to ask you how your day is; he was also very generous, shown by how he offered what he had to other people; he was also a proud, strong willed man, who did not like getting help from other people, though accepting it graciously when he needed it. Henry was open about his ongoing medical concerns, some of which were debilitating and those of us in the Laundrette and Community Centre we were very happy to support him as best as we could. When asked about his experience of the Centre and Laundrette, he said “I have got to know local people like [never] before” and “it builds me up”.
A group of staff and a volunteer and some residents of Bankside Court went to the service where we met his sister and extended family. During the service his sister talked about his childhood, full of love but not without its challenges; we heard about Henry as a young man, bright and with a passion for art and philosophy. This came as no surprise to those of us lucky enough to have been on the receiving end of Henry’s interesting discussions about life and art; he carried his passion for art throughout his life and was always painting, drawing or writing poetry.
Alongside the large bunches of his favorite flower, sunflowers, we laid some flowers from local residents, including one large bunch of roses was from a lady who had only met Henry from one hour; this says all you need to know about what an impact Henry had on the people around him. We also read out some words about Henry from members of the community who could not be there in person. His sister conveys her thanks to all the people who attended and all of those who could not; she was very touched by the thoughts and words.
Marsha, a volunteer on our board of trustees and a local resident, said: “We need more Henrys”
Kim has known Henry for 30 years and works in the Northmoor Laundrette where he used to frequent:
“Henry was my best friend and I know I speak for everyone when I say he will be missed by all of us that knew him; he will never be forgotten.”