11th June 1932 – 6th July 2021
Extracts from the Tribute given at his funeral service at Mount Chapel
How do I start to describe John?
I then thought that I don’t need words to describe John I can just point you to the evidence of John that is still around us and will remain before us for generations to come. I stand at this lectern made by John. This lectern describes John better than I can in words. It is strong – I can lean on it and it will support me; it was crafted with care and precision – look how tight the joints are; you cannot fault it (although Shirley may not agree that John was totally faultless); it will hold the Bible up for everyone to see and read and above all perhaps it shows John’s faith in the Lord and his love of this Chapel.
John was born on 11th June 1932 in Shop Cottage next to Tregva, where he and Shirley have lived all their married life. He was educated at the local school here in Mount. I say “educated” but most of John’s education came through the teaching of life.
There was a wonderful story when Shirley went in to St Petroc’s Home in Bodmin to visit Dorothy Webster. Dorothy had been a teacher at Mount and also visiting her was Mary Yelland who had been a young teacher at the school. They were reminiscing and Mary in particular remembered this stubborn boy in the school but she couldn’t remember his name. One of the teachers was going to be away the next day and Mary had to take the class with this stubborn boy in. She didn’t know how she was going to cope and then devised this plan. She said to the boy the day before that your teacher will be away tomorrow and there won’t be a lot happening and if you like you can stay home and help your father in the workshop tomorrow; you would be far better helping him than coming to school. Dorothy and Shirley both smiled and Shirley said “I married that stubborn boy”. On leaving school John joined his father Fred in the family carpentry and general building business and many will remember the big workshops over on the corner at Mount with the timber yard on the higher side and on the lower side the engine which by a series of belts and pulleys worked the saw benches and equipment. A modern day Health and Safety Inspector would have had a fit if he looked in at that time.
In the 1950s John did his National Service stint with the DCLI and particularly reflected on his time in Germany. Even in the army his carpentry skills were put to good use.
By some stroke of luck John met Shirley Hooper and with Shirley living with her parents Tom & Olive in the adjoining house courting did not involve long journeys, leading to their marriage on 26th November 1960 here in Mount Chapel and of course many of you attended their Diamond Wedding celebrations last year.
John and Shirley moved into Tregva and it has been their home ever since. To complete that home along came Pam, Margaret and Susan Pam married Andrew and Margaret married Russell and John was so proud of all the family’s achievements, always telling us what the girls were doing and the exploits of the six grandchildren.
All the while Fred, John, Henry and my father Cyril were carrying on their very successful building business taking on projects large and small. Probably the main problem of the firm was that they took on too many jobs and having to wait 12 months for Jorys to come was not unknown. But of course Shirley being very practical saw another side to this delay. Thus when Noel Watson one day asked Shirley if she could hurry up John for the new shop door for which he had been waiting years, Shirley remarked “If John had made it a few years ago the door would have been worn out by now but when you do get it, it will be new”. John particularly loved travelling around Cornwall and his knowledge of the areas they visited and his memory of people and places was immense. John took an interest in everything and one of the places he really enjoyed visiting was when Susan regularly took him down to the Tate Modern at St Ives. Most of us would not envisage John as an art critic but he would in a loud voice inform the whole gallery of what he thought of a particular work of art.
John was interested in places and also people. When out and about invariably he would embarrass the family by striking up a conversation with a total stranger, often to find that they were a distant relative or had something in common.
Locally, John throughout his life was a very important part of Warleggan parish. He held many posts including, Parish Chairman and was an active member of many committees including the Snooker Room, Jubilee Hall and Carnival committee. When the carnival ended and the committee were considering an alternative annual event, John quite rightly said “Well what are we going to call this Big Do”. Unwittingly John had come up with the name for the annual parish fete – The Big Do. Retirement was never an option for John; John shared the workshop with Robert taking an active interest in Robert’s work and regularly offering advice, whether or not Robert asked for it.
And of course there was his garden. In his last few days when in hospital at Derriford he was giving instructions to Pam as to what to water and feed in the garden. We have lost John. There will be a space in our lives that never can be filled. We will never find a replacement for that man who brought to us affection, interests, laughs, frustration, ability to solve problems, skills and perhaps above all a wonderful family life.
Although there is a tremendous void now left in our lives John will continue to be around us for generations to come. When we come into this Chapel and see this lectern; when we enjoy ourselves at the annual Big Do we will remember John. When you walk up through Mount village look to your right and see the new gate to the path into Tregva, finally completed only a few months ago by John in his workshop made out of Sweet Chestnut from a tree he had helped to cut down many years previously and seasoned in the workshop. Tell your children and grandchildren that gate was made by John Jory and explain what a truly wonderful man he was.
John we thank you for all the love and kindness you have given to us over the years. We can only repay you by always holding you in a special place in our memories. You will never be forgotten.