Peter Forrester Master 1998-2000
On that sad Thursday 20th October 2006 when many people gathered to mark the life of Peter my heart was lifted by the tribute paid by Mike Pugh, Peter's life long friend. Mike's words summed up the man I had known.
I first met Peter in 1974 when I went for an interview at Moore Stephens. I had interviews at four firms of Chartered Accountants that day including two of the largest firms at the time. They all impressed me, but the lasting impression I took away with me was the warmth of my interviewer at Moore Stephens. Suffice it to say that I joined Moore Stephens and went on to enjoy many years working with Peter.
Peter had a great sense of fun, which came out most often on the trips we had to visit clients both at home and abroad. The most memorable of these were numerous trips to Shannon in Southern Ireland. Peter seemed to have a natural affinity with the Irish, no doubt his enjoyment of a good drink helped. It would be unjust to say that he led me astray, but he certainly got me into some scrapes on these trips. Whenever we got together he would invariably recall at least one of the numerous incidents which had often involved a couple of drinks at Dirty Nellies.
Peter was admitted to the Livery of our company in 1975 and The Bowyers became an important part of his life. He was called to the court in July 1986 and soon after this he invited me to a dinner following which he asked if I enjoyed the dinner and would I be interested in becoming a Bowyer. Having been admitted to the livery in 1990 I attended various functions and I could see the enjoyment Peter got from the Bowyers. Peter always liked to spring little surprises and on 28th July 1994 I turned up for the Livery dinner. Just as we were about to go into dinner Peter sidled up and said "I ought to tell you that I put your name forward as a court assistant and you were elected to the court this evening." It did not take him long to pass on the responsibility for the company's finances.
Peter was Master of the company from 1998 to 2000 and I am sure that we all have fond memories of his mastership. His sense of humour and mischievous streak were apparent throughout and continued when he moved on to the middle table at court meetings.
I personally enjoyed several Masters Trips with Peter. On these occasions he was often the ringleader organising the post dinner drinks at a local hostelry. The first trip I went on was to Agincourt. We met up at Victoria Coach Station early one morning and after a couple of hours on the coach arrived at Dover for the ferry. There was only time for a couple of drinks on the ferry and we then faced quite a long drive through France. Settled on the coach Peter Beagent announced that he fancied a gin and tonic, he had the gin and tonic but no ice and lemon. Peter Forrester however had had the foresight to empty one of the ice buckets from the bar into a carrier bag, and where he got the lemon from I don't know. Peter was quite proud of his French linguistic skills, with some justification. Imagination his embarrassment later that day when we had gathered for an after dinner drink. Everyone agreed that a glass of port would go down well. After a few minutes six large beer mugs appeared. On being asked what these were, the French waiter replied "this is what you ordered, six large porters".
Peter always put everything in to anything he did. I know that in recent years he has devoted a lot of time to two charities "The Montgomeryshire Wild Life Trust" & "Rekindle". I was very pleased when he agreed to respond on behalf of the guests at the dinner when I became captain of my golf club. Peter had prepared so well for his speech that night that I had two phone calls from other guests asking whether they could hire him, as an after dinner speaker for events they were organising.
Sitting here writing this piece I realise that the stories and memories I have of Peter are too numerous to include even a small proportion. I also realise how much his wit and love of life will be missed by us all.