A tribute to the Guyzer, by Adam West
It’s difficult to sum up my thoughts on Guy’s life in something that most people would be willing to spend the time to read, but here goes…
It was clear to everybody when they first met him that Guy wasn’t ordinary. He had an uncanny ability to find common ground with just about anybody, whether they wanted him to or not! I can’t count the number of times he would wander up to a group of people, only to get a chilly reception – where most people would immediately back off, he would persevere. If you left him to it, you could come back a half hour later to find him at the centre of the conversation, half an hour after that he would have everybody’s phone number and an invite to stay at their house the next time he was in the area. I’m not exaggerating!
He was a great advocate for living in the moment – when asked he would say that, having almost died as a youngster, he’d come to realise that life was short and that you’d better make the most of it while you could. You couldn’t help being swept up by his enthusiasm, although you would often not be sure where it would lead you. On one occasion during our time at college, he heard that there was a party going on somewhere in Wiltshire. We bundled onto my motorbike and took off in the hopes of getting more information when we got there. Needless to say, we failed miserably and ended up spending the night on some wooden benches in the Avebury graveyard – it was so cold that we slept with our crash helmets on. It turns out that it had been the night of the Spring equinox and with the coming of the Sun we decided to get up and walk some feeling back into our legs. We met a coven of Wicca who had been celebrating the night in the stone circle and ended up spending one of the most entertaining mornings of my life with them. I guess what I’m trying to say is that he showed me that, if you let it, life can be a lot more interesting if you’re not afraid to open yourself up to its possibilities.
Guy was the hub of a huge circle of friends. He introduced me to many of the people who I now consider to be my own lifelong compadrés. I’ve tried to think what I would have said to him if I’d had one last chance for a 2 a.m. chat. I couldn’t have expressed how much he will be missed or how much he’d enriched my life, but it would have been nice to say “Thanks for the ride – it’s been fun…”
Tribute by Gary Cook
Guy Culverwell (4 Feb 1970-28 Jul 2008) BSc (Hons) Computing Science, PhD School of Life
It’s hard to sum up such an intense life in just a few sentences, and that’s bearing in mind I only knew Guy for what seemed like a flickering moment of that life.
This is the man who’d come with you to the nightclub on Friday night, and who you probably wouldn’t see again till Saturday morning. This is the man who’d come with you to a festival on Friday night, and who you probably wouldn’t see again till Monday morning.
The current world record holder for most cm³ of pocket space per trouser, stuffed with insulin, needles and blood test strips, he was also the only person I ever met capable of spelling my four-letter name wrong (sorry Guy mate, had to get that one in. You would’ve done the same to me!) And perhaps the only person in the world able to produce convincing arguments that Kenny Rogers films are actually cool.
He once strolled out of my flat in Barcelona after lunch, and returned at 8pm with his T-shirt (actually I think it was my T-shirt) ripped to shreds – there was a locked iron gate leading to a tunnel behind one of the fountains in the park, and he “wanted to know WHY it was locked”. He went off for a week hopping from festival to festival in the South of France with less than 300F in his pocket and only 2 words of French vocabulary in his head. That was surpassed by the 8-10 words of Spanish he learnt, but it didn’t really matter – he was the one who managed to flag down a car and get us both a lift when we missed the last train out of Montserrat. And he once strolled out of a festival in rural England, knocked on the front door of the first house he came to and explained he was diabetic and badly needed to eat. Within half an hour he was sitting down to a full roast dinner with all the trimmings at the family table.
And that was Guy’s real role in life. He was a true master of Public Relations. Not in some contrived sense of the word, but in a totally genuine, totally natural way. He wanted to know people. He wanted to know what made them tick, why they were there, why they were wearing that horrible T-shirt, why they were an 80-year-old lady on the bus at 1 in the morning…
Any one of us who spent time with him – even the tens of thousands who just exchanged a few chance words with him in one of those fleeting moments – knows his life was worthwhile, even if it was short. And all of us have taken away a little piece of Guy with us, a bit of that enthusiasm, a bit of that savoir-vivre, a bit of that carpe diem.
Cheers Guy, you did good. Waheeeayyy!
Tribute from Greenwich University Alumni Magazine
Guy Culverwell, a 1994 Computing Science graduate and son of Bart Culverwell, sadly passed away on 28th July. He’ll be remembered by many as one of the most popular, sociable students at the university, and as a party-lover. He was recognized by all as a true communicator who had a genuine concern for all those around him. Guy was diagnosed diabetic aged 20 months, and always suffered from ill-health, though he lived life to the full while he could. A trust fund has been set up in his name to help children and young people with diabetes.
Tribute from Don (NY, USA), after reading the funeral service pamphlet
The funeral for Guy seemed to be a spot on service that summed up the very person he was. Although it seemed the odds were tilted toward this inevitable fate, he definitely lived his life. I only saw Guy a few times when he was over on holiday, but each and every time I did, it was a treat. He seemed to give off a very positive and enthusiastic aura. Everything was indeed “excellent,” “fanstastic” or “outrageous”. He could bend those words with his English accent until they rang of nothing but his brand of positive holy truth. If there is some sort of chillout lounge in the sky; I am confident that Guy is at the door welcoming all those who find themselves there, on a campaign to help a great deal more of us to enjoy life within the pearly gates. I do hope he is on duty when I end up there.