Just before Christmas I was informed of the death of Alexander Grogan on 22nd of December 2018 at the age of 64. He had been ill for some time and was in care. He attended the school between 1965 and 1972. A funeral service was held in Bruree, County Limerick, Ireland at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on the 23rd of January followed later by a cremation of Alex and his Arsenal shirt. I attach the short reading given by Alex's sister Maria, which could perhaps be used as the basis for an Obituary.
Alexander Michael Grogan was born on 1St May 1953 at Paddington Hospital to the proud parents of James and Mary Grogan of Crouch End, London. He attended Rokesley Junior School where he passed his 11+ and went on to Stationers Grammar School also in Crouch End. He had a large capacity for academic studies for which he gained high grade qualifications, this enabled him to attend further education in Essex. However, after a year or so he realised that he was not happy at the University and returned home to his family.
He settled back in Crouch End working at an Insurance company and doing well, but there was another calling for Alex by way of him noticing there was a charity for disadvantaged young adults which he passed every day. After a short while he spoke to our mother, asking her for advice as to what he should do as he felt he wanted to help the young adults who had a bad start in life, our mother told him to follow your heart and shortly afterwards he joined the charity as a Community Worker.
Alex stayed for several years helping raise awareness of the charity, suffice to say he was very successful, using his academic skills he persuaded many people to support this charity, which included fundraising ideas which helped raise the much needed financial muscle to carry on the good work. He also made sure the money was directed towards helping the kids as much as possible so admin costs and wages were kept under control. He was dedicated to his work and in turn the young adults who came to the centre in Finsbury Park respected and liked Alex immensely, he was an honest man with a big heart.
Alex’s next challenge was Director of The Huddlestone Centre in Hackney, London which is a charity for disabled children and young adults. Once again Alex gave total commitment to his work and again raised much needed funds.
I, Maria, was witness to his dedication towards both these charities as he would often call me to volunteer whenever he needed an extra pair of hands. He was loved by those who knew his true worth and a great advocate for both the children and their parents. He stayed for many years and made many friends through his hard work and deep commitment to those with disability.
Alex was also a good friend to his Mum and Dad and indeed after the death of our mother became very helpful to our Dad, one of his happiest times was going to the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Dad, and he would make all the arrangements every year until Dad passed away. He was also travelling back to Tipperary on a regular basis to help both our Uncles who were in failing health. They both died having spent good times with their nephew Alex.
Alex loved music and reading and both of those interests served him well during his lifetime. He was a great cyclist and was well known where he lived in Highgate, often to cycle to a park with some sandwiches and binoculars to look at the wildlife and relax. He knew that simple pleasures gave the most reward. He followed Arsenal Football Club and was a season ticket holder for some considerable time, he enjoyed the atmosphere of a pub and would frequent the local ones in Highgate discussing his passion for literature and poetry. Alex was a member of the Labour Party and would campaign on behalf of its members especially around local elections. He was a man who had many interests and these are just a few examples.
With the passing of Dad he decided to move to Tipperary and left London for good, which was the right decision for him as it was time for another life, he attended Limerick University gaining a bachelors in Social Science which was a great achievement for him. He travelled extensively and would often write to our sister Sheila and her family with his news.
Alex leaves behind a wonderful legacy of hard work for what he believed in, the children and young adults he encountered were his family and for that he certainly demonstrated God’s love for all. We will miss him and remember him for who he was and for the love he expressed to those most in need. God speed Alex to the rightful place you deserve and we hope, when the time comes, we will meet again. Love you Alex, your sisters Maria and Sheila, brother Kenny, brother-in—law Adrian, sister-in-law Barbara, nephews and nieces, Kieran, Catherine (God-daughter), Robert, Ben and Claire.