I first got to know Keith as he explained the intricacies of the rocking horse in his study, during a Christmas Party at Ballavargher.  A discussion of some detail, the forerunner of fun to come!

And then Roger Patterson threw us together when he volunteered Keith and me, with Tony and Breeshey, to set up the Manx Bee Improvement Group; this was the start of great times working with Keith.

I soon learned that Keith was not only an ideas guy but an action man; he made things happen, and fast.

With his lovely sense of humour masking a steely determination Keith provided the leadership to set up the MBIG, the Vita Bee Health Awards submission, the Chairmanship of the Southern and the support group to help find the financing necessary to bring the ultimately highly successful BIBBA Conference to the Isle of Man.

In each project, Keith listened, took counsel and then simply got on with the job, encouraging the team, cajoling where required – and providing the drive to ensure a successful conclusion.

There were some headwinds from the north, but they didn’t deter him; irritants, “burrs under the saddle”, Keith brushed them aside and focussed on the next objective.

To Noelene, Ali & Mark, Dawn, Nigel and all the grandchildren – its going to be tough without Keith around but the wonderful memories will provide some comfort.

Juliet and I – in South Africa for a few weeks  – are very sorry not to be there with friends and fellow beekeepers from the Fed to say goodbye, but we feel deeply privileged to have known Keith and called him our friend!

RIP Keith.


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