Tribute to young Stevenage instructor Gary Jones
A father has paid tribute to his ‘fantastic’ son who died living out his dream on the other side of the world.
Glyn Jones of Shephall Way, Stevenage this week spoke of his pride in his son Gary, who died in a traffic accident in Australia on March 17.
The 26-year-old former Featherstone and Collenswood school pupil was teaching sailing, bush craft and orienteering in New South Wales, his third year as an outdoor pursuits instructor there, when tragedy struck.
“He was having a whale of a time,” Glyn said. “Gary just lived for outdoor activities. He was an outdoor guy.
“Gary had been an instructor in the UK, straight from college. He joined the Stevenage Sea Cadets at 10-years-old and eventually became a member of staff. He got the taste for kayaking and sailing there.
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“He was the life and soul of the party, very gregarious. Into music big time, he liked Metallica and Queen. He was up for doing anything.”
Glyn and his wife Lynn flew out to Australia where a memorial was held at the weekend at the Aussie Bush Camp where Gary worked.
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“They are brilliant people out there. We had a wonderful memorial. The place was full. He was very respected,” Glyn said.
As a mark of that respect, the sailing shed where Gary spent much of his time has been renamed after him by his colleagues, who knew him as JC, a reference to Jesus Christ, because of his long hair.
The response from friends back home has been just as strong, Glyn added.
“We came home to find a carpet full of cards. His Facebook page has been swamped with tributes.
“He was just a fantastic lad. We are the proudest parents in the world.”
The funeral service takes place at Harwood Park on Friday at 4.15pm.
Tributes to Gary on Facebook from friends:
“The world is a darker place without you the legend that is Gary Jones.” Sam Tyer
“Thank you for the short most intense incredible life-changing friendship.” Alli Preston
“Sweet dreams Gary, have known you since primary, cant believe your not still here but know where ever you are you’ll still be living to the fullest...sleep tight mate.” Louise Stephenson
“RIP JC. You literally made my trip in Oz.” Hannah Reed
“Gary we have very fond memories of you, and feel totally devastated that your young life has been so tragically cut short. Our hearts go out to your mum and dad, and pray they have the strength to get through the days ahead. Sleep well Gary.” Caroline Peeroozee