Ron Moore 1936 - 2009
The band at Chalfont St Giles suffered a severe loss in February with the death of their Treasurer and Steeplekeeper, Ron Moore. Ron was diagnosed with cancer in December and was responding well to treatment when he suffered a stroke and subsequently died on 23rd February from pneumonia. Ron will be missed, greatly, not just by his family (Elizabeth, Edward & Helen), but by a large number of people, both personal friends and members of other organisations; as evidence of this, his funeral was almost a "sell-out".
As a chartered accountant, who for a time had specialised in rescuing ailing companies, Ron made a superb treasurer for the Ringers and also served a number of other Charities. He had, for a very quiet person, surprisingly strong views on many things, including services (1662 was only just acceptable!) and language; my grammar was always subject to intense scrutiny, often falling at the hurdles of apostrophes’ and program(me)s.
Ron took up ringing for the second time in 1995, having originally learnt in Norfolk and then "dropped out" for thirty years or so. In one of his ringing books I came across this rather touching note; "Met John Davidge – 7.5.95 at VE day Service. First practice – 9.5.95 (7pm)".
That was typical of Ron, once he had decided to do something he didn’t hang about. He quickly became a good ringer and, more than that, was utterly reliable at services and practices, attributes that do not always go together. He took over as steeplekeeper in 2002, and under his management the tower and bells were maintained to a very high standard. In the Oxford Diocesan Guild’s Tower Maintenance Award scheme, which covers all the churches with bells in the Diocese, he achieved three consecutive "Gold Awards" all without losing a single point. No other tower has yet managed even a single 100% score! He achieved this, not by being a mechanical genius, but by being a perfectionist and a great organiser; with each member of the band being given a suitable job, so that by the time the judges arrived, all was perfection.
Not a great peal ringer, Ron was always pushing us to ring more quarters and was always keen to attempt new methods at practices (and he always learnt them too!).
A large number of ringers from other local towers, as well as almost all of the St Giles band, attended Ron’s funeral and many of them remarked on the helpful explanations he had given to help them understand some particular point of ringing. The normal Sunday Service band rang him in and out with a very high standard of ringing, which was almost perfect and was another indication of the regard in which Ron was held. It gained many plaudits from the family and the congregation.
I shall miss him tremendously as a friend, a confidant and critic, and as a supporter; all of the things he did, he did extremely well and he will be a very hard act to follow.