Apart from Ursula I consider I am the club member best qualified to write his eulogy.
Bill joined the club not long after it was formed when we were still playing in the RSL room in Tobruk House. Coincidentally Bill’s first consulting room was in that building.
A perusal of the honour boards will show he had immediate success playing with the Rev Dean Walsh as his partner.
Not only was he one of our best players but he also found the time to occupy important club positions. I recall serving on a committee when Bill was the honorary Treasurer. His bookkeeping was immaculate (I’m sure not even Tom could have improved it!) And getting him to approve a payment was more difficult than extracting blood from a stone as the saying goes! Our club coffers were in good hands!!
Our family owed an immeasurable debt to Bill. Without going into the details I can say unequivocally that he literally saved the life of our son John. And to this day John never calls him anything other than “Mr Renton-Power”
As many of you would know Faye partnered Bill for some time while I enjoyed a much longer partnership with him.
Let me recount an amusing (at least for me) incident. In 2008 the PABF (Pan Asian Bridge Federation ) championships were held in Australia (Australia’s turn is very 10 years) and the Gold Coast was the chosen venue. Qld was extended the privilege of allowing entrance to a team from each of its zones. Our team won the right to represent our zone. So there we were playing against the world class Chinese teams et al.
When playing against two males from New Caledonia one made a slightly unethical remark to his partner in French. At that time I was still quite fluent in the language. When I told Bill he became somewhat irate (and theatre nurses who worked with him in an OR would agree that he was capable of such!! There are a couple of retired RN’s in our club who probably agree). To their credit the gentlemen apologized and the rest of the session was conducted in English only.
Not only was Bill an excellent surgeon but was also a man of great scholarship. We both shared a love and knowledge of classical literature and would enjoy quoting our favourite writers, Virgil, Ovid Pliny etc.
Bill, you will be greatly missed, especially by your old partner (and occasional sparring partner!)
SEMPER AMATUS REQUIESCAT IN PACE.