Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Memorial service for former mayor

MORE than 100 people attended a memorial service for a former Henley mayor last Friday.

MORE than 100 people attended a memorial service for a former Henley mayor last Friday.

Jim Corrall died on October 7, aged 83, following a fall at his home in Phyllis Court Drive, Henley.

He served as Mayor from 1977 to 1978 and was a member of Henley Lions for 35 years and had been honoured with a Melvin Jones Fellowship, the highest accolade within Lions Clubs International.

He also received the town medal for his contribution to Henley.

He was chairman of the Henley Talking Newspaper for 21 years and a member of the Henley Community Services management committee until it ceased to exist.

Following his funeral at Reading Crematorium, the memorial service took place at the Christ Church in Reading Road, Henley.

Among those who attended were three former mayors, Elizabeth Hodgkin, Ken Arlett and Alan Follett.

Mr Corrall’s granddaughter Florence read a poem called All Is Well and his son Martin gave a reading from St John’s Gospel.

The hymns were Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven, Now Thank We All Our God and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

Patrick Mulcahy, of Henley Lions Club, read a tribute.He said: “Jim contributed in a huge and often unchampioned way to our club. He became the first of many mayors to join the Lions at the end of his term and his experience soon became invaluable.

“He was involved in almost all the club’s activities, including chopping wood, giving furniture to the needy and selling Christmas trees.

“Jim truly was a great servant of this town and everything he did was done in a remarkably self-effacing way. He had no hidden agendas.”

Mr Mulcahy drew laughter from the congregation with two anecdotes about Mr Corrall.

One was from his time as chairman of the talking newspaper when, despite heavy snow, he managed to deliver the recordings to Henley post office only to be told they would not be delivered because of the weather.

Mr Corrall had other ideas and, after ringing round, managed to assemble a group of volunteers to brave the cold and deliver the tapes.

Mr Mulcahy also recalled how he, Mr Corrall and other members of the Lions were about to deliver furniture to needy families in Henley when they realised they had no support ropes for the back of their truck.

Undeterred, the men jumped on and held the furniture in place as the truck made the deliveries.

Mr Mulcahy observed that there were three former Henley mayors on the back of the truck, with the incumbent at the time in the driver’s seat.

“Thank God the boys in blue didn’t catch up with us!” he said.

Rev Glyn Millington, minister of the United Reformed Church, who led the service, said: “Jim didn’t look for accolades or medals, he just got on with it.

“He was a lovely man and his life is a monument to caring for each other.”

Many of Mr Corrall’s friends remained after the service for food and drink and to share stories.

The family said that any donations received in his memory would be given to the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed. These can be sent to Tomalin & Son funeral directors at 38 Reading Road, Henley.

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