Jack Gaynor – One In A Million
On the Friday before Jack died, a bunch of us met him in The Swan: Tommy Andrews, Stephen Fanagan and Philip Lawlor, and later our friend Gerry Brady. We had a brilliant time – it was Tommy’s birthday, and we were all in really easy-going and relaxed form.
The next Friday he was gone. His passing brought our office to a stand-still – its suddenness making everyone reel – and the regard in which he was held was evident from the atmosphere. We all thought of his family: if we were that shocked, they were desolate.
Jack was easy to be with: he knew loads of people, had loads of stories, and was a great listener. He spoke well of everyone (or said nothing), and tried to help when he could: for instance, I was at my wit’s end about finding a new home for my parrot Paulie, and Jack phoned his friends Eddie and Helen, they came to meet Paulie, they fell in love with her and she with them; Jack drove me to their house so I would know how to get there … and it was an enormous weight off my shoulders. That’s just one thing he did. I know he did similar things for others, because that was the man he was.
Within our work environment, losing Jack seems to have underlined the practise of regard and courtesy – always present but now enhanced – with which we treat each-other. That would be typical of Jack’s ethos, I think: don’t sweat the small stuff, have a good time and enjoy what you’re lucky enough to have: the people in your life. Having him as a friend and colleague was a privilege.