PROUD Manxman and native of Peel Harrison Quirk has died at the age of 84, leaving widow Audrey, three sons and their families, and sister Phyllis Long.
The funeral at Peel Methodist Church was conducted by the Reverend Grace Easthope and Canon Brian Kelly gave the eulogy.
The hearse left from the family home, Cliffe Cottage on Peel Headlands, where Harrison and his wife Audrey lived for almost 40 years. They celebrated their Diamond Wedding last May.
Harrison was born in Peel on January 29, 1927, to Ada and Stanley Quirk, who had a bakery and grocers’ shop in Michael Street.
He was educated at Peel Clothworkers’ School, the Collegiate School in Douglas and Douglas High School.
He trained as a baker and worked in the family business until 1944 when, aged 17, he joined the Merchant Navy and travelled to Australia, South Africa and India transporting troops home from the Second World War.
He met Audrey in 1948 while on holiday in Wales and they married on May 20, 1950 at Christ Church, Southgate, London.
On returning to Peel, he again worked in the family business and he and Audrey lived above the shop where their three sons were born. Until recently, eldest son Anthony ran L’Experience Restaurant in Douglas with his wife Jill. Peter is a chartered building surveyor with the National Trust and lives in Sidcup, Kent, with his wife Sue. Andrew is a physiotherapist with his own clinic in New Jersey, USA, and is married to Patricia. There are five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Harrison and Audrey celebrated their silver wedding in 1975, visiting Audrey’s brother in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
When his father retired, Harrison carried on the business with the help of Ralph Tarrant and loyal staff. They sold the business in 1976 and Harrison began a new career, as a theatre technician at Noble’s Hospital. Along with one of the doctors, he spent three months volunteering in a hospital in Mysore, southern India.
On the home front, he was involved in all aspects of Peel life, serving as chairman of Peel Commissioners, chairman of Peel Coal Fund, captain of Peel Golf Club, supporter of the Viking Festival and Peel Heritage Trust, and property treasurer and lifelong member of Peel Methodist Church.
Despite failing health, Harrison enjoyed regular trips to the breakwater and spending time with family and friends.
At the end of January, he was well enough to enjoy his birthday with his family. On February 13 he spent another wonderful day with them, including all three of his sons, while celebrating Audrey’s birthday. He ate well, laughed a lot, played party games and surprised everyone with a DVD made by the Manx Museum about his own reminiscences of the Manx Home Guard.
Looking back on that day, little more than one week before his death, was a precious gift, bestowing great comfort and happy memories, for his family.
The chapel was packed for Harrison Quirk’s funeral service on March 1, when family members also gave personal tributes to a loving father and grandfather.