Obituary: Robert Clements

Rob and Maud at Buckfast recently

Rob came to Kairos on 5 December 2005. Over the intervening eight years in his capacity as Move-On team manager, Rob touched many lives – those of staff and clients alike. Coming from a social-work background, he was a true professional but never a ‘percentage’ worker. Neither did he hide behind the manager title. In fact, Rob would go to the world’s end for anyone, always with respect and as if there was no beginning or end to the day. Generous, kind, compassionate and humorous – it was a pleasure and very easy to work with Rob. He won people over and was especially adept in handling difficult situations.

Since his untimely death on Saturday 13 July, many people have summed Rob up as simply a very nice, kind man.

I met Rob at St Thomas’s hospital on the Thursday afternoon. He was sad. He was very sick and he had been advised that his heart was working at only half its capacity. He told me he wouldn’t follow the option offered by the hospital of a heart transplant. His time had come. He came downstairs with me – yes, for a cigarette! As I drove away, the thought struck me that Rob Clements has lived a life with the philosophy that it is better to wear out than rust out. Some things will never be the same again: the Eurovision song contest, Wimbledon, rice pudding, Buckfast.

His legacy, well for me, will be the current strong state of Move-On supported Kairos housing, his love of all living things, especially dogs (hope you don’t pine too much, Maud), and other human beings.

Our condolences to his mother Kathleen, his brothers Stephen and Chris and his long-time friend Richard. May you float among the angels, Rob. I hope they have Coca-Cola up there.

Mossie Lyons,