It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of one of the lodges founder members Worshipful Brother John Coleman’ Sadly John passed away on September 2nd 2019.
At the November Lodge meeting Worshipful Brother Peter Bickley gave the following Eulogy for John
I first met John in 1952 when he came down to the Rowing Club in Leicester with two or three others as they wanted to know more about the marvellous sport of rowing. Little did John realise that one day he would have a racing boat named after him.
I remember it well because I had just had notification of my call-up for national service and as John had just been demobbed, he was the ideal person to tell me all about it and what to expect. John was a Military Policeman stationed for his 2 years service at the Barracks adjoining the Tower of London.
John took to the sport and I saw him frequently at the Rowing Club and we became good friends.
With others we had several sailing holidays on the Norfolk Broads and had some hilarious times. One night too hilarious as we spent the night in Great Yarmouth police station,.
John went to the Gateway School , from there he went to college to learn all about the yarn trade. He joined a yarn agents which meant him travelling all over the country. Following the decline of the hosiery industry in the 1970’s, John and Joy took over a Post Office in the Melton Road, Leicester.
It was usual for a number of us to meet on a Friday night in a pub and then go on to somewhere else. One Friday we finished up at a dance at the Bell Hotel where John met this attractive young girl and three years later John and Joy were married and last year was their 60th anniversary.
They had two bouncing babies, Jose who is now a keen long distance fresh water swimmer and Robert. I am godfather to Robert and at the christening I was holding Robert and I think Joy was frightened that Robert was about to have his first swimming lesson at a very early age. However he left the church perfectly dry.
Oddly enough only recently did I find and throw away the destination boards that came off the train that took John and Joy off on their honeymoon. I think a few of us probably enjoyed the reception a bit too much.
On the social side John was a very keen member of Leicester 39 Round Table and was a past Chairman and later a member of the 41 club. Round Table was a great organisation and for many years a few of us still meet for lunch once a month.
He was a very keen Mason and was a member of the Lodge of the Golden Fleece for some 50 years. He was also a member of other lodges and side degrees.
John had a varied and interesting life when he finished rowing. He and Joy became members of the Nottingham Sailing Club. He played bowls and was a member of a local bowls club. They enjoyed many holidays with the caravan and also enjoyed cruising.
Above all John was a keen family man and enjoyed family gatherings.
John will be greatly missed by his many friends and above all by Joy and his family
The photo shows the Leicestershire & Rutland Rotary Lodge No.9158 with W. Bro. Peter Bickley in the Chair of King Solomon during 1986.
W. Bro. John Coleman (bottom row 2nd from the right.)