St Michael’s Church, in Helston, was full on Monday for the funeral of local journalist Noel Perry. Mourners from near and far gathered at the service to remember and pay tribute to him.
It was a measure of the high respect and admiration in which Noel was held that everyone from Helston mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby and members of the town council, Helston Community College headteacher Pat McGovern and Teresa Gleadowe, wife of Tate art galleries director Nicholas Serota, through to representatives of the town’s police force and RNAS Culdrose, in ceremonial dress, attended the service.
Also attending were members of the community that Noel reported in for almost 40 years and many of his former work colleagues. As a reporter, he not only covered the town of Helston but also reported news from the Lizard Peninsula.
His coffin was carried into the church to the sound of the song Candle of Life by the Moody Blues, a family favourite.
The service was conducted by the Rev Canon David Miller, together with the Rev Dorothy Noakes, and included the hymns He Who Would Valient Be and I Vow to Thee My Country, for its association with Noel’s beloved sport rugby.
A reading was given by his brother Robert, and Noel’s son Nick, accompanied by his sister Kate, gave an emotional speech about his father.
In a humorous yet moving eulogy from Tim Smalldon, Noel’s childhood friend and best man at his wedding to Dee, Noel was described as “like Ronseal” – a man who did exactly what it said on the tin.
A life-long James Bond fan, Noel’s coffin was carried from the church to a tune from his favourite 007 film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The 30-minute service was followed by a private burial and then a wake at Helston Rugby Club.
A retiring collection was taken for Helston-based charity Cancer Funding for Cornwall and donations can still be sent via Pendle Funeral Services.