Through many peoples and many seas have I travelledI prefer the modern translation of ave atque vale: I salute you ... and goodbye.
to thee, brother, and these wretched rites of death
I bring a last gift but can speak only to ashes
Since Fortune has taken you from me
Poor brother! stolen you away from me
leaving me only ancient custom to honour you
as it has been from generation to generation
Take from my hands these sad gifts covered in tears
Now and forever, brother, Hail and farewell (ave atque vale).
Ian first stepped onto the mats of the Jan de Jong Self Defence School in 1965.
He was the third longest serving member of the school. He is only preceded by Hans de Jong (officially 1955) and Paul Connolly (1964).
Ian was one of the first jujutska to be awarded shodan by Shihan Jan de Jong in 1982. He was a very proficient jujutsu practitioner, but that proficiency pales into insignificance when you consider the man.
Ian holds the record, by far, for teaching the same class. He commenced teaching the Wednesday night class in 1979 and continued to do so until the restructuring of the school after Jan de Jong's passing in 2003. The third Wednesday in April, 1983 was my first class of jujutsu, and I was privileged to attend Ian's class for many years.
'I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university' - Albert Einstein. Einstein may as well as have been speaking for Ian. Ian treated one and all, young and old, male and female, from all walks of life in the same manner. Always, always with respect.
'Respect' is a word that is often bandied around these days. It is often demanded but the simple rule expressed by R.G. Risch seems to have been lost by many: 'Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you've got to give it.' Ian gave respect to one and all with no expectation of anything in return. You didn't have to earn Ian's respect, it was freely given. All you could do was lose it through your own demerit. And even then, Ian wouldn't hold it against you.
'Being humble means recognising that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others' - G.B. Hinckley. By definition, Ian was humble. He didn’t teach to gain status or to impress anyone. His teaching was not driven by ego. He didn’t teach for financial reward. He taught because he enjoyed it. He taught for his students, for his love of the art, and for his deep and abiding friendship with Jan de Jong.
Ian asked those he met to just walk beside him and be his friend. Many accepted that invitation. 'Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears' - John Lennon. In this case, Ian was far older than his 66 years and the calculation of his life reaches towards infinity.
Ian, ave atque vale, I salute you ... and goodbye.