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Paul Iredale - 'polymath with a pint'

The family and friends of Paul Iredale (photo) paid their last respects on Friday to a man widely admired for his courage and integrity who lived life to the full, Ian Jones writes.

“Paul was a polymath with a pint, a man for all seasons wearing - literally and figuratively - a variety of hats,” said Peter Gregson

Iredale, who died after a long illness on 28 February, aged 66, had a broad range of interests, sympathies and enthusiasms. He was a keen opera and theatregoer, a sailor and scuba diver,  a committed member of the NUJ and a school governor. He maintained a wide circle of friends via frequent visits to pubs and restaurants.

After a 27-year career with Reuters he took early retirement in 2000 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and then taught journalism for the Reuters Foundation and London’s City University. He was known for his fondness for hats, one of which was hit by a bullet when he himself was shot in El Salvador in 1989.

Iredale was born in Jersey and began his journalistic career on the Jersey Evening Post. Chris Bright, who worked alongside him on the paper in the early 1970s and later became its editor, said he was “proud and grateful to be his friend”.

“He was a journalist through and through and was amazed that someone would pay him for something that was so much fun. He packed more into his life than most people do with twice that span of years,” Bright said.

Iredale leaves his wife Maggie and children Luke, Hannah and Christian.

The colleagues and friends who attended the funeral at St Mary’s Church in Chislehurst, Kent were Paul Mylrea, Tony Barber, Rodney and Margaret Pinder, Mary Thomas, David Keefe, Harvey Morris, Bill and Lesley Saltmarsh, Trevor Goodchild, Sandy and John Critchley, Robert Hart, Malcolm Davidson, John Freeman, Paul Smurthwaite, Colin McIntyre, Tony Winning, Peter Millar, Andrew Dobbie, Michael and Gwen Hughes, Anna McKaneIan and Kath Jones. Marilyn Nicholson was the organist. ■