Any Other Topics: Sad death of Jack Brownless
Started by: Chris McGregorGo to latest contribution by John Good, 24 March 2010, 22:34. Go to bottom of this page.
I am sure many members will wish to express their sorrow at the passing of Jack Brownless. Jack was a familiar face at AGS shows and always had time to chat and share a joke with friends. I found Jack to be very astute and if asked for an opinion would give good sensible advice. Whenever I encountered him at a show he was always cheerful and friendly - we shall miss his happy smiling face.
Jack's many friends and admirers in the Scottish Rock Garden Club were deeply saddened to learn today of his death. Jack was one of the great plantsmen, full of wisdom and experience and so passionately fond of his bulbs in particular...and always willing to share his knowledge and his plants. It is fitting that his son is also a keen plantsmen and so the Brownless name will live on in the plant world through Peter.
Jack was also one of the kindest, funniest people one might hope to meet, and our thoughts are very much with Beryl and Peter at this time.
Very sad news. I first met Jack over 20 years ago when on a whim, I entered my first AGS show at Lancaster. I hadn?t a clue what to do and recall staging one or two Cyclamen in the bulbous classes (they looked like bulbs to me then!) During staging, I recall hearing a voice boom ? ?Whose are these Cyclamen?? Expecting to be castigated, I sheepishly admitted ownership?.
It was Jack! He stopped staging his own plants and spent the next 20 minutes or so finding an appropriate class for the errant plants and reorientating my vertical labels! We remained firm friends from that day onwards and would eventually share a passion for his great love ? juno and onco Iris. He invariably met me with the greeting ?Hello Young man?, a certain irony there? His knowledge of and passion for bulbs will of course be missed but above all, he really will be missed ? he was quite simply one of the nicest persons you could wish to meet.
Dear Jack, I was so very sad to learn of his death. He was a dear friend and colleague for so very many years. His sense of humour, warm and friendly smile and cheerful greeting were his trademark. Beryl and Jack were always welcoming, generous and hospitable and a visit to their home and garden revealed so many beautiful plants and books. Jack was always ready to help and to share his skills - his tips for sowing and growing bulbs have ensured success for many of us over the years. Indeed in this respect Jack fielded your questions to the old Panel of Experts making sure for many years that your questions were answered. I will miss his wise counsel, advice and above all his friendship he will be missed by so many friends and members particularly at the Shows and conferences which he enjoyed so much. My thoughts and sympathy are with Beryl and Peter at this time.
Jack epitomized the friendliness and joy to be found at all alpine events I attended during the formative years of my hobby and his presence will be very sorely missed from this day forward. Rest in peace dear Jack.
I am very sad to hear of Jack's death. I have known him for 40 years, because in the 1970's several members of the Cleveland gang, especially Jack and the late Paddy Ryan, used to regularly travel north to join our meetings in Newcastle. From the moment that Shows started in Ponteland in 1974 he was ever-present with his welcoming smile, bear-hug and 'what John, miserable again!'. What a character, we all loved him and will miss him badly.
Jack will be a great miss at AGS shows, both from his willingness to readily share his knowledge on what seemed like anything in the bulb world and from his friendly banter that was the hallmark of any encounter with him at a show. He is a great loss
Jack was a man of many talents, not least among which was his considerable skill, learnt in later life, at book binding. With meticulous care and attention to detail Jack brought many a battered copy of the alpine gardening classics back into as near pristine condition as possible. These rebound books were a joy to behold.
Regarding his wicked sense of humor, I remember various 'insults' being cast in my direction, including, "You're not an Englishman, you live in Wales, no wonder you can't grow plants!", and, "Give you a bulb of that (rare iris or the like), I might as well put it in the compost bin", followed swiftly by " Oh well, go on then". A lovely man.