Mossley Village Hall was filled to bursting when family and friends of Paul Gubbins met to celebrate the life of an extraordinary and much loved man on 19th August 2016.
Twelve Esperantists attended. Tim Owen spoke of Paul's early days as an Esperantist, when Bill Auld and Marjorie Boulton were his Esperanto 'Auntie and Uncle', and of how he eventually took over as editor of La Brita Esperantisto from Bill, and Somera Festivalo from Marjorie.
Paul's daughter Jill, also an Esperantist, told of the great times they'd had together meeting people from all over the world at Universalaj Kongresoj.
An aria from Gilbert and Sullivan's opera Princess Ida, a reading of 'Albert and the Lion', an excerpt from Paul playing with the local U3A jazz group and Aker Bilk playing 'Stranger on the Shore' were reminders of his varied interests.
Friends payed tribute to Paul's kindness and jollity, his love of cats and frogs and railways, his astonishing intellect and memory. Cuttings around the walls attested to the grief felt by staff and students at Staffordshire University. 'He was a legendary lecturer in Media Law', one wrote.
Paul's portrait on the programme for the afternoon showed him smiling as usual, and referred to him as 'the jolly one with the beard'.
Paul Gubbins, 8th November 1949 - 6th August 2016
Pictures from the order of service: "the jolly one with the beard"; Paul and grandson Edward
A commemorative wreath in the shape of Esperanto's green five-pointed star.
Esperanto Summer Festival 2014 entertainments, starting (on the left) with Paul on his clarinet.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation in Pauls' memory can do so via the funeral directors John Garside and Son, Mountbatten House, Stonehouse Green, Congleton, CW12 1DF. Donations will be passed to the Motor Neurone Disease Association or to Cats Protection.
You can read a full obituary in Libera Folio, and a future issue of La Brita Esperantisto will of course feature a tribute too.
Paul's radio programme (in English) "The Secret Language, a history of Esperanto in Stoke-on-Trent" is still available to listen to (online), via this link. His anthology of Esperanto literature Star in a Night Sky (including English translations) can be bought from the EAB Bookshop via this link.
Paul's many articles for EAB's Esperanto-language review La Brita Esperantisto (including the issues for which he was the editor) are available from the LBE online archive. His articles for the news magazine in Esperanto Monato (including the issues for which he was the editor) are available from the Monato archive.
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