The church was full of folk, mostly of 'a certain age', but there were also grateful former pupils, some now with children of their own. The sun shone through the clear glass windows, and a captive butterfly fluttered against one of the diamond panes. Then came the family, and George himself, but from the congregation there were more smiles than tears, because after the organist had worked her way through the usual funeral fare, we heard the unmistakeable strains of The Harry Lime Theme, from The Third Man. George was having a final chuckle, and made sure that at least some of our sadness was blown away by his enduring sense of humour.
We sang Crimond, and All Things Bright And Beautiful, and joined in with prayers and invocations which were lucid and full of meaning, but reassuringly traditional. To the long forgotten strains of 'You Are My Heart's Delight' George was borne away by the pall-bearers and his family, and we emerged into the mid-day sunshine to chat, gossip and catch up with old acquaintances. A fine man had passed from us, but there was an unspoken agreement his that here was a man who, by his compassion, decency and good humour, left the world in a better state than when he came into it.