I was behind the bar the first time that I met Ken Cornish, twenty-one years ago. He strolled in with that slow, dignified walk of his, studied the beer pumps, before finally settling for a pint of Smithwicks.
It was a sunny afternoon and quiet in ‘Paddy’s Point’, but even so, I had to strain to hear what this soft-spoken Welshman had to say. ‘I am glad to have found a real pub’, were his first words to me. From that day until last Saturday, I was proud to have such a kind and generous person for a friend.
A piece of paper somewhere will record that Ken Cornish died on Saturday, 15th May 2021. Such certification will not tell anybody that Ken slipped away quietly and without fuss, in the same manner as he had lived his life.
There will be no line stating the wonderful human being that he was; or that his passing was in the presence of his beloved Susanne, with whom he had chosen to spend the last twenty years of his life.
Two years ago was the last time I saw Ken, when I visited him at the home he shared with Susanne in Cabo Roig. Our conversation kept drifting back to the early days of ‘Paddy’s Point’; the wonderful characters and the great friends we had made over those years.
Ken always told it like it was: He had no inhibitions about opening his soul with either the good or the bad. Once again, my friend reiterated how lucky he was to have found ‘Paddy’s Point’ on his arrival in Spain; how lucky he was that I introduced him to Susanne and how lucky he was to have met Susanne.
Ken was a scholar and a gentleman. I never once heard him raise his voice. He had that rare quality whereby both young and old could be his friend. His respectful courtesy was inherent in his personality. His modesty was an endearing trait that made some of his self-effacing stories so entertaining in his lilting Welsh accent. If he had a fault it was that he had no short stories in his repertoire!
When the great George Harrison was dying, an old friend came to say goodbye. George opened his eyes briefly and whispered; “Nothing lasts.” Sadly, that is an inescapable fact of life … ‘nothing lasts’, Ken.
We haven’t seen much of Ken in recent years, and now we won’t see him anymore. I will miss you Ken, but some things do last … like memories.
Rest in peace, Ken.