‘One of nature’s gentlemen’ – this description could have been written expressly to describe Ian. Everyone who knew and loved him thinks of him as just that. Gentle in his whole demeanour – he was, in every sense of the word, a gentleman.
Ian’s gentleness came from his quiet strength, from his dignity, from his love of beauty and order; from his deeply thoughtful and compassionate nature. True strength is gentle.
Also his ‘generosity of attention’ – the way he listened and had time for you – the way he honoured your presence in any conversation.
‘Ian’s love of beauty, simplicity, the understated, the subtle, the authentic, was evident in everything he chose and everything he created… He was able to re-create for others the sense of order and beauty, which he carried within.’
Ian’s love of beauty, simplicity, the understated, the subtle, the authentic, was evident in everything he chose and everything he created, whether it was in setting a table or designing a landscape… He was able to re-create for others the sense of order and beauty, which he carried within. This was the outward and visible expression of his spirit.
I loved the way Ian noticed and relished things, whether it was… a pair of candlesticks on a table, a piece of music… or a swatch of fabric. It was all part his rich appreciation for life – of being human…
Loyalty was another intrinsic characteristic, which Ian embodied – abiding loyalty to his family, to his friends, to his profession and to his country. Each of these spheres of loyalty could be categorized as a family – for besides his immediate family, there is the vast family of Ian’s friends, his environmental family and his family that is South Africa…
How can we not grieve and weep at such a loss?
This text is an edited extract from the eulogy by Ian’s cousin, Sonja Osborn, which was read out by Ian’s sister, Pam Meinesz, at his funeral in 2002.