By Freda Rumford from the February 2011 Edition
On 18th January 2011, there was a “Wake” held in memory of Nigel J. Rumford who had passed away on December 6th 2010 just 4 days short of his 77th birthday.
Nigel had requested that no service or religious ceremony be held but he did so love a party. James Johnson, Linda Breun and several other good friends including Lydia Bevaart, Lynn McNish & Jimmy Brown joined in the planning committee. From these few people came many ideas and a “Wake” happened such has never been seen in Manzanillo, or many other places, before.
Taking Nigel’s love of yellow shirts as the theme, a place on the beach that he loved and the inclusion of the Cordera family with whom life in Manzanillo commenced and the presence of many good friends, the planning of the “Big Party” came to reality!
On the day, almost 200 people wearing yellow converged on the Oasis Ocean Club in Club Santiago, Manzanillo, Mexico. It was the most amazing sight as no-one could have had any idea that so many shades or ways of wearing the colour yellow were possible. Friends greeted friends with chuckles as all solemnity was swept away in the amusement of seeing even more people arriving and wearing yellow. What an incredible tribute to this man who left such a legacy of friendship behind him.
The date, fortuitously, coincided with AJ and Maria
Volk’s arrival back home to Manzanillo. AJ, as a vice principal in his former life took on the mammoth task of co-ordinating all the bits and pieces collected by James and his crew in both relating the “Story of Nigel” and entertaining the many friends who had collected to say their Adios’ to Nigel.
Daughter, Claire Gibson worked with James, in trying to get a collage of photos taken throughout the 77 years that Nigel had been walking this earth onto TV but unfortunately, as often happens with electronics this day and age, the right sockets and plugs did not materialize despite emergency Office Depot runs by Ian. Finally giving up on that idea, the collection was seen on her computer rather than the large screen TV available at the Oasis. The song of “Remember” by Josh Groban followed by a version of “Over the Rainbow” by the late, native Hawaiian artist, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, moved many to tears with both the incredible beauty of his voice and the often amusing pictures on screen.
Several friends spoke their piece throughout the memorial, followed by a beautiful eulogy written by Nigel’s best friend, David Agar (who could not attend personally due to illness). The humour, love and companionship the two men had shared and enjoyed for over 50 years came through loud and strong.
Nigel’s favourite sausage rolls and doughnuts were served and Diego Cordera’s wait staff ensured that everyone was well lubricated.
The “Wake” was a huge success and it was felt by many people that Nigel Rumford did, in fact, attend his own funeral. It took very little imagination to hear him laughing his well known belly laugh at the stories everyone told each other of their own memories. To have a “funeral” full of laughter is a wonderful thing to behold.
One thing absolutely for sure, is that he made a huge mark in Manzanillo and a hole is left that will be difficult to fill. He left a legacy of friendship that will live on for a very long time.
The family Rumford give many thanks to the many friends, family members, including all of the cousins in England, New Zealand, Dubai and France, along with Manzamigos AC. for contributing to the Enrique Corey Scholarship Fund in Nigel’s memory. It was Nigel’s fervent belief that education was integral to Mexico’s future.