Though the expression might seem cliched, Ged Hearn really was ‘larger than life’. He was a man of enormous energy and passion, who did nothing by half.
Brother, father, husband, friend, political activist, community leader, IT manager, entrepreneur, he was all of these things and more.
Perhaps such versatility was unsurprising. Born at Birkenhead on November 28, 1959 he was one of six children growing up in a lively Birkenhead household described as ‘crazy madness’ moving on to the Polytechnic of Central London.
His family background also forged Ged’s moral and political outlook: a philosophy of integrity, self-help and helping others. An ardent socialist and trade unionist, he ‘walked the walk’. Whether fighting for the Anti-Nazi League, demonstrating against the Poll Tax, supporting striking miners, or marching to Make Poverty History, Ged was there.
Ged married Ronnie in 1992 and they had two children, Roisin and Finlay. The family moved to Coldingham in 1997 where Ged became involved in the local community. He was a terrific father who made things fun.
Ged followed a career in IT management. A team player and popular with colleagues, he was a much sought after project manager for major companies and international banks, as he threw himself into delivering the improbable imperiously.
Fit and active throughout his life, Ged played rugby for his school and county and was an accomplished hammer thrower. He had a lifelong passion for the great outdoors and when he passed away, he was cycling – an activity he enjoyed enormously.
Ged was fascinated by the people and the world around him, something he passed on to Roisin and Fin. He brought with him to Berwickshire, the same sense of principle and wholehearted commitment. He became involved in Coldingham Community Council, serving as chairman. He played a huge part in the Youth Hostel project, and he loved organising fireworks events on the beach.
Never one to sit on the sidelines, he played a pivotal role in campaigning against closure of the Eyemouth swimming pool.
Forever imprinted on my mind is a meeting at Eyemouth High School in 2001. The assembly hall was packed, passions enflamed and the meeting see-sawed inconclusively. Then, Ged spoke. “If you want to do something, stay behind. Let’s get organised!” That set me on a path.
Ged was someone who changed lives. His passing is a profound loss for his family and friends. And we are all the poorer for it.