A tribute to Mike Hewitson submitted by Harry Truman.

MIKE is a long time friend who passed away recently aged 63.

He was one of the most likeable people I have known, who was always welcoming, friendly and willing to help out. His optimism had a positive effect on people, and after a chat one would leave feeling confident about any problems that were discussed.

Mike seemed to have an easy going and relaxed view on life and it was contagious. People enjoyed his company. He would however, put his foot down if someone went ‘against the grain,’ and indeed he wouldn’t hesitate to speak his mind if something had to be said. Mike loved fishing but he also contributed a lot of his spare time to other people and the local angling scene. He had his own family and full time work, yet he took days off to show young people the skills of angling. He also organized junior competitions.

A lot of his time was also spent helping to run the Taunton Angling Association, being secretary, match secretary and president at various times. In competitions he was a good team member who could be relied upon. But to Mike it wasn’t just about catching fish, it was also a social event. We had a few days fishing in Ireland some years ago. We travelled on the car ferry but the sea was exceptionally rough. It was the worst storm for years. While the ship sailed between Holyhead and Dublin, the south westerly winds hit the boat side on. And did it rock!

At its worst the spray from the waves blew right over the boat. As we hit the open sea Mike chose to stand in the foyer leaning against a banister, with one arm supporting him and one leg crossed over the other. People were rushing to the toilets. Mike stayed in this position for the whole five hours. I tried to tell him that it was all in the mind (to convince myself as well) but he told me where to go in no uncertain terms!

On one particular occasion last year I called in to see Mike at home, and found him in quite a state of unrest. I’d never seen him so anxious, which was so out of character. I then discovered that his wife Eileen had been on holiday in Spain with friends, and couldn’t return home because of the dust from the Icelandic volcano that disrupted all flights. He was so worried about her, and that said a lot about how much he cared for his wife. Mike will be missed not only by his family, but by his very many friends who filled the crematorium hall on January 11, 2011.