Eduardo quoted Anita Jackson of Wines of Chile: 'couldn't have asked for a better team leader – we all worked as a team'. He also cited Michael as "the life of the party" and "how he owned the dance".
Sam Dow: spoke how the high hopes they had of the 650th anniversary of the Worshipful Company of Vintners were more than fulfilled with some "hugely successful events'. He cited Michael's "kindness at a personal level and how he went out of his way to take an exceptional interest in all members of the Vintners' staff" as well as "his respect for tradition", how "he loved dressing up" for events and "Michael's sense of humour – one liners". Dow concluded: "The spirit of the man will always be remembered."
David Cox: "I shouldn't really be here as a few months ago I asked Michael if there was anything I could do? Michael looked at me and then said 'we have done almost everything together, the least you can do if come with me when I go!"
David spoke of Michael's "dark, self-mocking jokes towards the end". "Humour was always with him."
David also cited Michael's love of sport and of the great affection in which he was held by the Australians from his time of heading up Negociants UK – Yalumba's European arm.
"We shared a room before we were born." "he gained the respect and love of all he came into contact with", "a rare man", "inspiration", "pillar", "life-force" and "his swashbuckling image".
David recalled how there was only one place at their first school, so they would take it turn about going to school and how they developed their own twins' language. He also recalled, when he was working for the family firm Matthew Clark how, at the start of a first time meeting with the "redoubtable" Angela Mount, when she was the buyer for Somerfield, that she greeted him effusively and kissed him on both cheeks, then said "...but you're not Michael!"
"I have lost my best friend – my other half," David concluded.
(I now have the full version of David's tribute, which I will post tomorrow.)
Reverend Canon Mark Oakley: Michael and he were comparing notes – "what should be on their gravestones" – after they came out of hospital with Mark's illness far less serious than Michael's. Mark went for 'the only thing he ever finished' as an inscription. Michael didn't come up with an inscription saying that he wanted 'just something simple'.
"I saw the true man over these last few months." "Kind beyond the call of duty", "attractive integrity and humanity." "Good at raising expectations." "The human spirit remarkably strong, generous and beautiful."
Mark concluded: "Just something simple but very wonderful, too. The gift called Michael Cox."
Vinopolis kindly made their Grand Halls available for the reception.