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1 Jul 2018

A Tribute to Roy Damary RIP

Roy Damary, a long-term member of Holy Trinity Church Geneva and long-serving Reader in the Diocese, sadly died on Friday 22nd June. Clare Amos has written this tribute, with help of friends at Holy Trinity, to a much-loved man:

"The love and care that Roy Damary, and Christine, had given over many years to a considerable number of people in and around Geneva was palpably felt and honoured by the full church and 40 strong choir that gathered to express their love in return, and to wish Roy ‘a dieu’.

Roy was a long-term member of Holy Trinity Church Geneva, to which he offered service in so many different ways. His funeral was held there on 28th June. He had died, after a short illness, the previously Friday, 22nd June, which also happened to be his 74th birthday.

Roy was the longest serving Reader in the Diocese in Europe, having been first licensed on 18th February 1982 to the church in Geneva. He was an assiduous and loyal attender of many of the Reader training events organised by the Diocese. He exercised his Reader ministry in a number of ways. As well as leading worship and preaching regularly at Holy Trinity, in a way that was always stimulating, even if occasionally contentious, he had become in recent years the valued chaplain of the RAF Association in the Lake Leman region. He was always willing to go the extra mile to help – quite literally. On Christmas Day last year, because there was no one else able to do it, he travelled for several hours there and back to take the service in Villars, arriving back home for his own Christmas lunch late in the afternoon.

But Roy’s contribution extended well beyond the normal duties of a Reader. He had a passion for music, and for many years was a stalwart as a valued bass in the church choir. In his address given at Roy’s Requiem, Canon Alex Gordon referred to this:

'Much of what really needs to be said at times like this are said through a medium that was very dear to Roy indeed. The medium of music. Music has an ability to draw so much together in our lives and even achieve the resolution of conflicting emotions. And it is good that in this service there is much music, of differing genres, and languages too, all of which had place in Roy’s heart.

One of those other languages was Russian. Not the least of Roy’s contributions to the life of the church and to wider Geneva, was to build bridges, initially via his professional work, with groups of musicians in Russia. It led to a memorable Holy Trinity Choir visit to Izhevsk and Moscow in 2014, and to a number of occasions at Holy Trinity where we enjoyed Russian music and culture in return.

In his address Canon Alex also referred to Roy’s ‘unique uniqueness’, a quality to which his friends at Holy Trinity would testify. This was sometimes expressed by his wittily assigning nicknames to his dear friends in the congregation. But above all we were the witnesses and sometimes recipients of the discreet kindness showed by Roy and Christine to those in any sort of trouble or problem. And so many of us have been the beneficiaries of the generous hospitality of their home.

Dear Roy – go with God!"