Holy Trinity not the same without Uncle Jim
I am writing to you once again within such a short time, but I feel compelled to write something with heartfelt emotions regarding the sad news of the death of C.V. “Jim” Woolridge — a giant of a man who was loved and respected by so many around his homeland Bermuda.
How does one start to talk and write about someone who has touched so many lives around Bermuda and far beyond our shores?
I’ve written many times over the years about the Woolrdige clan. Each one had something special about them, which made each of them who they were.
Of course, “Uncle Jim” was the icing on the cake, from his early beginning doing a little of everything along his path of life, to the respected gentleman he became with the closing of his eyes.
As a father, he was loved dearly by his family, especially his children, along with his grandchildren, nieces and nephews — in particular Rodman, who became Uncle Jim’s right hand during his illness. I’m certain Uncle Jim was most appreciative of Rodman’s presence.
His gentle soul was so magical with our young people, starting with his own grandchildren and with his presence with our children and grown-ups at Holy Trinity Church in Bailey’s Bay. Uncle Jim found time for us all.
At church, his voice was the one and only, both in song or a church reading. We all listened in awe.
Also, at refreshments in our church hall, he held conversations with all, especially our many visitors to Holy Trinity from time to time. Each of them would leave with a lot more knowledge of Bermuda, also having a feeling as if they had known Uncle Jim a lifetime.
The Cup Match classic every year, where he would describe every play that was made during the day with precise accuracy, sometimes giving a humoured description of both error and positive play by those who were at bat and those who were fielding during his airtime across Bermuda as only Uncle Jim could do.
He was affectionately known as the “Voice of Summer” by all during major cricket matches staged throughout the summer season, especially our jewel — the annual Cup Match classic.
County games were equally attended. Uncle Jim would certainly be on his high horse when his team “The Mighty Flatts” were at bat. Without question.
Uncle Jim’s political days in Parliament were amazing. He acted on all things with decisions from his heart for the betterment of the people and Bermuda overall.
He was always well received by the ruling party of government at the time, along with the Opposition party. All members listened intently to whatever was suggested by him.
Jim was received with the greatest respect with each department of government at the time.
But I do think, as many across our island would agree, his time with the Department of Tourism would have been his greatest representation over all the department positions that Jim held during his political tenure.
Jim’s presence at any function was a plus. He would try to hold conversation with all in attendance; that was just his way. Everyone would feel special as well; that’s what made Uncle Jim who he was — a true ambassador for Bermuda. If anyone could preach about our island, it was he.
Finding another C.V. “Jim” Woolridge will be very difficult. He was a cut from a very special cloth; just an amazing man with so much to give.
I know his presence at our church, Holy Trinity Church, Bailey’s Bay, shall not be the same without him. I’m equally sure I can speak for all of our wonderful church family and for our clergy. He will be greatly missed.
To Uncle Jim’s family, my heartfelt condolences go out to each and every one of you for your loss of such a great father — so gentle and kind, with such a beautiful smile and a heart that beat for each of you.
May all the good memories of Jim be of comfort in his absence during the times that lie ahead. Remember always, he was surely loved by so many and Bermuda as a whole.
Thank you so much for letting Uncle Jim be in our presence. We, as Bermudians and friends, are all so better for knowing him. With sadness and joy for his presence on Earth, may God be a comfort to you all. God bless.
H. GORDY GIBBONS and PIKUL GIBBONS
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