It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Bernie, a true Gent with a heart of “Black and Gold”!
Bernie passed away peacefully earlier this week with his son Matt at his bedside.
Our thoughts and love are with Matt and Karla and all the family at their sad loss. Bernie was immensely proud of them all and he adored his grandchildren who gave him great pleasure and much love.
Tregorrick will never feel the same without Bernie’s beaming smile and warm handshake. He made a huge contribution to St Austell RFC over several decades. First as a player of some repute and then as a volunteer working selflessly for the Club. Bernie took on the role of Fixture Secretary in the late 80s holding the position for nearly 20 years making many friends across the Cornish rugby community and beyond in the process. He held the role of St Austell RFC Chair with distinction for many years playing a pivotal role in the Club’s development.
Bernie encouraged his son Matt to embrace the great game of rugby and he was always bursting with pride at the fine player that Shep became, and more importantly the fine young man we see before us today. I can think of no finer tribute or more fitting legacy to Bernie!
As Shep’s career took off Bernie remained unstinting in his support, and he went on to make many friends at Redruth RFC, Cornish Pirates RFC, Launceston RC and Plymouth Albion RFC as he watched his son grace rugby pitches up and down the Country.
Perhaps his proudest moments came while watching the Cornwall side in the County Championship and the Twickenham Finals. I have been told that Bernie was able to listen to the match commentary of Cornwall’s 50-24 win over Hertfordshire on Saturday afternoon confirming another Twickenham appearance for the Black and Gold. I have no doubt Bernie leapt out of his bed when he heard Shep going over for another try for Cornwall.
Bernie was a much-loved member and Vice-Chairman of Trelawny’s Army and he was no doubt humbled by their touching tribute to him.
The President and officials of the CRFU wish to express their condolences to Matt and Karla and their families at this sad time. We will advise of funeral details when known.
Funeral Details via St. Austell RFC
The funeral for “Our Bernie” will be held on Friday 17 June 2022 at 10:30 am, followed by a Wake at St Austell RFC.
It will take place at St Augustine of Hippo Church in Woodland Rd, St Austell PL25 4RA and it will be followed by a private family cremation.
At Bernie’s request please wear a Cornwall or St Austell rugby shirt or something “black and gold” or “red and white”.
The Wake will be held at St Austell RFC where the family will join us on their return from the cremation to remember and celebrate Bernie’s life.
It is family flowers only, but anyone wishing to make a donation can contribute towards a memorial bench for Bernie in the following ways:
- Donation box at the Church and at the Wake at St Austell RFC.
- On-line at https://wedlakefuneralhome.co.uk/donations
- Cheque – payable to Mrs K L Kaye c/o Nick Jago and David Michael Funeral Directors, Wedlake Funeral Home, 2 Higher Bugle, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 8PY
The memorial bench will be placed at Tregorrick Park, home of St Austell RFC.
Bernie was a much love member of the Saints family and he will be greatly missed by “One and All” at Tregorrick.