A Tribute To Pat Nolan RIP

Patrick Nolan (Joes 1939/1948) passed away on 21st September 2019 aged 90 following a brief illness. Pat was a very popular Old Boy and a leading member of the Old Boys Association. These are the tributes paid by his family and friends.

Joy Luxford (Daughter)

Who was Patrick Nolan? Well, although I’m obviously pretty biased – I think it’s fair to say that Pop was a pretty incredible father! He was always a ‘hands on parent’ – fully involved in both the day to day running of the family, and very much a driving force in birthday parties, holidays and special occasions.

Then, in January 1971, our mother left the family home and moved abroad, and he became a single parent to three children – aged Tim then 8, me 10 and Kay,12. This was still pretty rare in those days for any parent, but being a single father was virtually unheard of at the time. It would be impossible to recount here the many ways in which he supported us all growing up, taking on the role of both parents, as they were countless. He was always there for his family – his sister Moira, Kay, Tim and me, and then as they arrived, his grandchildren – Anthony, Sean, Adam, Lewis, Laura and Suzi, and his great grandchildren – Dylan, Jasmine and Reuben.

Sadly, Pop lost both his parents as a very young man, so we never met our paternal grandparents – but tales of them through the years from both Moira and Patrick ensured that they remained an important part of the extended family and I know that they would have been as proud of him, and what he made of his life as we are.

Pat was full of life, truly interested in people. He would remember their favourite sports and teams, films, actors, books, pastimes and passions, often sending snippets of information, or little gifts, as he came across them. He also loved a good argument, and since moving into an Education career, I have occasionally wondered if, had he been in the school system nowadays, he may have received a diagnosis of Oppositional Defiance Disorder (or ODD) – whether or not many would say that the acronym could certainly be apt at times. Suffice to say, he had an aversion to being told what to do – so any suggestions in that department often resulted in the opposite effect!

There will be plenty of time for reminiscing later today, and of course in the years to come, but to come back to the original question, I would like to finish with just a few quotes – some of the words and phrases that have been written and said about Pop in the many, many messages of condolence that I have received, from friends and family:

“He had a quick wit, with a sharp and intelligent mind, and also had a very natural warmth, Patrick’s humour always came through with the Christmas cards we received”

“He was certainly a character – I remember Patrick well” One of a kind …. Irrepressible optimism ….. Fairness – as a father he didn’t have favourites, he valued our feelings and opinions however young we were … A great sense of humour, which didn’t diminish with age, and also able to laugh at himself …. Joie de Vivre …. Generous … Wicked humour … wind up merchant … creative … amazing with words … loyal … a real family man …

Patrick has certainly left a rich tapestry of memories for us all, but for now, I would like to end with a quote written in a card that I received last week from an old school friend: “I remember your Pop very well. He was a kind man. Even as a young teenager I knew that”

They say that kindness can change the world – well his certainly changed mine.

Thank you Pop.

Doug Curson (Joe's 1941/1949)

Pat and I were at St. Joe's at the same time. I played in the school fifteen in the second row behind Brian Sweeney, the hooker, with Pat as lock behind. Memories fade with age but odd things come back!

I recall playing away at Rossall School - what a smart place - and being served tea after the match!!

Pat and I had little in common - after all I came from Knott End - but for some reason we have kept in touch ever since the internet arrived.

We met once at a school boys' evening "do" in Blackpool. This caused me a bit of a problem because I didn't have a girl friend in Knott End to take to the do. However, I used to walk the last mile or so to school from Layton and, on the way, always passed a pretty girl walking the in the opposite direction. So, shortly before the "do", I stopped and invited her to the "do".

Amazingly, she accepted the invitation, and we had a lovely evening together.

So sorry that he's gone.


If you would like to add your tribute, please email me at jvward2003@yahoo.com


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