Video: Nico de Jong Music: Roy Fraser
24.03.50 - 06.02.23
It's an almost impossible task to sum up someones life in a few words, especially after such a recent and swift experience of his demise, but I will try to take on this tribute with a light spirit, remembering the incredible diversity of both his career and personal life.
Roy really did have a remarkable career, spanning 30 years as a Sound studio manager at BBC Broadcasting House, and another 10 years independently working for Pier Productions in Brighton, whilst still finding the time to write three novels, record a huge library of sound effects, embark on a passion for sailing and boats, and discover a love of vintage cameras (not only using them but restoring them and selling them online). He also had an active membership with the YHA walking group and previous to that an extensive climbing hobby. Attentive to his family, he was never demanding, always giving us time, even after a busy commute into London each day. I always admired his way of managing to forge his own passions for travel (whilst making sure to charge the BBC for expenses!) He was rigorous in his organisation, travelling to Norway to gather research for his novel, whilst collecting sound effects for the BBC library... (He once nearly left his recording equipment, loaned to him from the BBC, on a train in the Lofoten islands...)
Later, in retirement, he re-discovered his passion for music, and lived a second life, teaching himself guitar, songwriting, violin and classical music compositions. He was extremely dedicated to the violin, having reached grade 8 just before he passed away. He was grateful to be accepted as a violinist at the New Forest Orchestra. Unfortunately he didn't manage to play his first concert with the group, but I remember how much of a milestone this was for him to be accepted.
He was full of wonderful stories, and I never tired hearing them. Every time he told them I would learn something new about him. He was both a private man, and a wonderful host, finding a way to accommodate all the cultures within our 'continental' family with an ease and politeness, as well as a genuine curiosity and unrelenting generosity.
With members of his close family living in Holland, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Germany, and many areas of the UK, we as a family are evolving with technological opportunities to connect in a virtual world. I decided to make this online tribute to Roy as a record of a wonderful father, brother, husband, friend, colleague, uncle.. whilst also managing to reach those who are further away in Europe. I hope this can act as a reminder of how Roy managed to touch so many lives, many of whom I have never met, but perhaps will now.
For my Birthday this year I created a fundraiser for the Macmillan Unit in Christchurch, where dad spent his last week. Because of this place, I managed to stay by his side, in a private and peaceful location close to his home, when he died. I am so grateful for this, and the wonderful staff and nurses at the unit.
Macmillan Caring Locally supports the Macmillan Unit, a Palliative Care unit at Christchurch Hospital in Dorset. It supports a range of posts and services for Cancer diagnosis and treatment at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.