Brian Porter's 90th


Mr. Brian Porter - by Sue Kanavan

When Chris first asked me to say a few words on this auspicious occasion I felt very honoured but wondered what on earth I should say.

However once I began to think properly it became easy to find lots to say about this clever, funny, kind and lovely man. I have known Brian and Chris now for over 20 years and am proud to call them good friends.  However first and foremost Brian is a family man. He delights in his family and is fiercely proud of them.  In particular his grandchildren who he loves to talk about and to whom I’m sure he is a much loved brilliant example of how to live a good life to the full.

Brian has so many talents and interests he is a keen sportsman loving all sport but in particular golf and cricket. As well as having been a good sportsman himself he never ceases to be an excellent supporter, always encouraging others to have a go and supporting their endeavors. He has on occasions come over to the St Helen’s Cricket pitch when Ollie has been playing there and he is always up on the latest test scores.  On our Parish Beach Hut evenings Brian was always up for a game of bat and ball with the youngsters and they loved him for it. Although on one occasion I remember he got a bit carried away. He knew it was a difficult catch but one he could take if he ran for it. Unfortunately his mind and his upper body went a bit too quickly for his legs and he went for a spectacular dive. Fortunately only a few bruises but I think after that Chris quite rightly called a halt.

I believe he still plays the occasional game of golf and is a member with Chris of Rowlands Castle Golf Club. Not simply a member but past Captain of the senior section and always a really hard worker. Each year the Ladies of the club host a large charity lunch in aid of the Rowans hospice and Brian is always there supporting and working. In past years the gentlemen have served as the waiters for this ladies lunch and Brian dressed as always immaculately and for these occasions wearing a dickie bow has been a charming and excellent waiter.

Another of Brian’s talents is acting and many of us here today have experienced this talent of his be it as a standup comedian and compere in our Parish Cabarets or on the very memorable occasion of our murder mystery evening when he agreed to take the part of a character who we believed to be a very upper class gentleman (type cast we thought) However when he received the script the day before the event he discovered that his character was actually a very pompous she!  Did this floor Brian, of course not. He duly arrived in the evening in full drag, make up high heels, dress, wig, the lot. The evening was a success and Brian was magnificent. In fact whether it is being a funny man a straight actor or a reader in church Brian always excels.

As an artist Brian has a talent which many of us can bear witness too. He was a leading light when we had an art group at Holy Spirit and I know that Philip Drew treasures one of Brian’s watercolour pictures which was presented to him on another auspicious occasion.

Brian is indeed a man of many talents and here at Holy Spirit he is a loved and respected member of our family. A charming meeter and greeter, always ready to talk to newcomers and visitors and he has a way with all ages from the very young to the older folk and those in between.

Brian is a doer as well as an ideas man. He uses his many talents for the greater good, three simple examples being, he keeps the Easter garden figures usable by mending and painting them each year, he has for many years run the bottle stall at the Christmas markets, even this year being responsible for folding all the tickets and putting them painstakingly into the board  and by regularly taking his turn at making the teas and coffees after Mass. These are just three examples I know you can think of more.

 Yes with Chris by his side they make an awesome pair. I can’t end this without making reference to the wonderful job Brian makes of the 200club. It all began at our parish away day in 2015 his group came up with the idea as a good way to raise much needed funds.  Not only did Brian come up with idea, he took it on, he ran with it and continues to do so nearly 4 years on. We can all have good ideas but it takes a man of Brian’s caliber to see it through.

Brian, It is our privilege to be able to toast you on your special birthday. Ladies and Gentlemen please raise your glasses and wish this very special gentleman a very happy birthday.



...a few words from Brian

So many people here that I thought for a moment that it must be my funeral !!!!!!

Many thanks Sue for proposing such a lovely toast and a speech from which I did not recognise the recipient.

A big thank you also to my dear wife without whose loving care, guidance and control I fear I would not be here today.

It is also so uplifting to see so many friends present and whilst mentioning friends a very big thank you to all who helped Christine set this bash up today.

The biggest lie I tell myself these days is that there is no need to write it down – oh how I do so as my short term memory is useless. In fact I find two difficulties at present, a) as mentioned – memory failure, and b) confusion.

Please stick with me and I will give you an example of the latter (confusion).

In October last Father Russell, who is unable to be with us today, penned his first epistle entitled ‘The Vicar’s Letter’, in it he states “I am not strictly speaking your Vicar yet, but I trust you will bear with me for the time being”. I was confused in respect of the “yet”. I asked two church luminaries why not a vicar now and they could not tell me! In any case the matter was forgotten until a few weeks later I came across a poem by the late Spike Milligan entitled, “The Catholic Goblin”, which goes as follows:-

Oh earnest Catholic Goblin
How do you get so holy
By saying my prayers in bed each night
And eating Roly Poly

Oh earnest Catholic Goblin
How long have you been a Vicar
No I’m a Catholic priest he said
Promotion there’s much quicker.

Got it…An ecclesiastical take on a career path or hedging one’s bets !

Turning to more sound and immediate matters I was asked recently what I will now look forward to in life – my response, after much thought, was the continued company of both family and friends; the odd 9 holes of golf to try and keep relatively fit; continue my water colour painting; and continue being of some use to the Church; but most of all reasonable health to continue these pursuits and when my time comes to leave this world ….be shot by a jealous husband !!


Chris & Brian Porter
25th November 2018