If you ever received a phone call, and you were unable, or too slow to pick up, the message would always start, “Hi, it’s Phil, Phil Goldspink… Phil Goldspink and his lovely wife Jeannette joined the South Essex Centre in 2009, and from early on you could tell how enthusiastic, and keen to please he was. When I say ‘joined’, I guess technically he rejoined, because he had previously rallied with the South Essex Centre, along with his Mum and Dad in the early 1980’s. Within no time at all Phil was running rallies and in 2013 joined the committee. In 2014 he took on the not unsubstantial role of Rally Secretary, and when his first Rally Book was published, with over 100 rallies, you could see that his ‘aim to please’ and ‘attention to detail’, was coming to the fore. Phil was not only the Rally Sec, but also bought his passion and energy to other committee business, a real asset to the Chairman of the day. Nothing was ever too much trouble for Phil, and he always found time for other members. After three years Phil reluctantly gave up his position as Rally Sec, because the Centre needed a new Secretary, and he was honoured to be asked if he would step into this position. Again, Phil gave his all to this role, and was heard to say, on more than one occasion, I want to be the best secretary I can for the Centre, and indeed the Centre could ask no more. Anybody that knew Phil, would know how seriously he took this important role, and many within the Club, even outside of South Essex, will acknowledge how good he was at it, but Phil being Phil, always being respectful and diplomatic. An all-round ‘Good Guy’.
Whilst Phil clearly put a lot into the Centre, it was equally obvious that he took a great deal from belonging to this wonderful club. He enjoyed the life, he enjoyed the camaraderie, and he enjoyed Rallying. I believe one of his greatest achievements, in his own mind, was the year in which he attended 46 Rallies, and as with prior years, he could be seen as the Main Marshal, an Assistant Marshal, or doing his bit as a committee member on many of these Rallies. As mentioned previously Phil always made time for others, be it on the rally field, or on the other end of the Phone.
A few years ago, Phil started to develop a debilitating bad back. At first, he put it down to so many years of looking down on his Wife! If you knew Phil you would know that this was not meant in a derogatory way, Phil idolized his wife, and Jeannette, he was Crazy for you. The expression came about because Phil was over six foot tall. . . and Jeannette, well if not under four foot, she is very close. Alas . . this was not to be the real reason, no matter how tongue-in-cheek, or how little Phil tried to make of it, he was diagnosed with what is effectively Cancer of the spine. Phil and Jeannette were obviously devastated, but soon picked themselves up, and entered into the treatments, trying to be as positive as possible. He had an Operation, then later sessions of Radiotherapy ensued, followed by a last ditch of intense Chemo. During this time Phil continued to carry out his responsibilities as Centre Secretary, and when able would, with a great deal of help from Jeannette, and others, bring his beloved caravan out onto a rally. As mentioned, whilst the number of Rallies Phil managed to attend diminished out of necessity, he did not let it effect his passion to fulfil all of his duties, and much more, for the Centre. He continued to be there for everyone, always found time, and a way, to help others.
I also know that during his time as Secretary, he was a great support to the Chair. If, and when, (and any Past Chair will know that occasionally it does happen), there was a problem in the Centre, the Chair would confide in Phil. Phil would go away, do the necessary research, and then come back to say “I will give you two answers, the first as the Secretary to the Centre, and then as a friend . . . . . Phil, we all miss you, as a valued member of our committee, but most of all as a FRIEND. Thanks for everything. Rest In Peace.