Mark “The Priest” RIP

Mark “The Priest” Folland R.I.P.

Sadly my much-loved friend Mark passed away at 6.05 pm on Thursday 2nd April 2009, peacefully at home with his wife, daughter and Digger at his side.

It is impossible to put into to words what I think about his death so although inadequate I thought I would offer a small tribute to Mark in the form of a collection of thoughts and photos. Some might say he was intelligent, thoughtful, generous, compassiate, funny and vulnerabile by equal measure. The way Mark coped with his diagnosis was a real inspiration. The good humour and way he made everybody feel at ease with him during this time made alot of people feel quite humble. When visiting him towards the end he still wanted to make sure that I had been fed properly. But to me he was simply a unique friend and I have so many happy, hilarious and precious memories of him that means he will simply not be forgotten. As I said it is impossible to put into to words my feeling about the loss of Mark, but I thought I would offer a small tribute to Mark in the form of a collection of photos.

At Cardiff University

A lot of us first met Mark in Uni Hall in 1983. There are rumours that when he arrived at the hall he managed to “second” Jono and Neil to carry his “trunk” to his bedroom. For the 2nd and 3rd years of university life Mark lived with Digger, JT, Geof, Phil (replaced by Jono in the final year). We understood that he was studying Theology, although the only evidence for this came in the form of the cross on his bedroom wall (see above) and his “disputes” with the Christian Union!! We did believe him enough to give him the nickname Mark “The Priest”. In September 2003 an informal reunion was held in Cardiff to commerate 20 years since we all first met. The photo above included Jono, Neil, Julia, Sandra (1st row), with Mark, JT, Geof and digger (2nd row).

In the Peaks

Mark loved the “great outdoors” and regularly went for weekends or even day trips with his friends, including those from univeristy days. He regularly visited the Peaks both before and during his illness.

Mark, Nasreen, Tahira, Digger (with Sophia in rucksack) and Neil in 2007.

Mark, The Snowman and Digger near Mam Tor at the beginning of 2008

In the Lake District

The place Mark especially loved was the Lake District and living in Manchester enabled him to make many weekend trips there over the years. Because of this it is intended that his ashes be taken back there for one final hill walk.

Manjeet, Jo, Digger, Neil and Mark somewhere in the Lakes (June 2000)

Picnic in the Lakes (August 2000)

Walking with JT, Tahira and Sophia (Late November 2008)

In Cuba

Mark also loved swimming and the Cuban beaches were fabulous (January 2002)

In Tanzania

Mark fell in love with Tanzania and at one point owned property there. He was involved in a project to build a much needed orphanage in Gezauolae Village. The proximity of Bamba Beach Club, a collection of huts with no mains water, to the orphanage make it an excellent place to stay. He got on well with all the workers. So much so that after one visit he left most of his clothes as a gift for them!! (October 2006)

Mark at one of the building work meetings (October 2006)

Mark with the builders

In France

On learning of Marks terminal diagnosis his wife Tahira organised a trip to the south of France where Mark and friends stayed in a Chateau for a week (December 2007)

Mark loved food and drink and here he can be seen enjoying “The big three” which comprises red wine, coffee and prune juice!! (December 2007)

On a Cruise

Mark loved to travel but his illness prevented “normal” holidays by aeroplane and therefore Tahira came up with the excellent suggestion fo a cruise. It truely was a holiday of a lifetime. Here Mark, Parrot and Digger are looking for dolphins from the Independance of the Seas (September 2008).

Digger, Mark, Judy and Parrot on “formal night” in one of the cruise ships restraunts. The outfits were the same as those worn at Marks wedding to Tahira (September 2008).

He may have been terminally ill, but he still had rhythm (September 2008)

In the pub

Mark liked a pint, or two or three, here at the suitably named “Drunken Duck” (May 2008) Here the boys enjoy a drink at the Olde Dungeoun Gill in the Langdales (January 2003).

Mark was equally at home in the bar of a five-star hotel or a roadside “drinking establishment” in the small villages of Tanzania as here (October 2006):

Mark “The Priest” Folland R.I.P.

Mark “The Priest” Folland R.I.P.