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A tribute to Saltdean Gift Shop's Alan Pockney 1948-2022

A tribute to Saltdean gift shop owner Alan Pockney, who died after a short battle with cancer, by Saltdean writer Jack Berwitz aka Peter Black.

JACK BERWITZ WRITES TO ALAN'S FAMILY: I am not very good with words, especially when it comes to times of loss, so please let me use the work of others to express my feelings on Alan's passing.

The first is from the Master – who does it better than Shakespeare?

And when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars

and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night

and pay no worship to the garish sun.

The second is a Quaker eulogy: it might have been composed just for Alan.

His family was his garden, his offspring its flowers.

The gardener has now gone home after work; it is the going home of an honoured king.

Can any epitaph be more noble than this - “he loved greatly”.

The third is also a Quaker prayer. It is now winging its way to Alan; I know that all who had the privilege of knowing him, and who will forever keep him in their hearts, minds and memories, join me in sending it.

May you dwell in our hearts: may you be free from suffering

may you be healed: may you be whole

may you be at peace: may you be happy.

For many of us, Alan was Mr Saltdean, and your family's loss is ours too. Dyed-in-the-wool atheist though I am, I would still love to believe that he is still “out there” somewhere, continuing to love us like he always did.


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