Way back in the early 1990s, I wanted to reward one of my celebrity friends, the television garden presenter of BBC'S 'Gardener's World', the late Geoffrey Smith. Geoffrey and I became the closest of friends over the last 17 years of his life. and he was one of the famous names who regularly visited Yorkshire schools with me to read from my children's books to storytelling assemblies. He would always read once a year for me, and afterwards, we would have a pint and a meal together before he returned to his wife and home in Harrogate.
In addition, Geoffrey performed many additional functions for my charitable projects such as opening galas and visiting sick fans. Because of his help over and beyond the call of duty, I arranged to present him with his own song that I wrote for him and got a musician called John Foyle to jointly compose. The song was called, 'We Must Smell The Roses As We Pass By'. I had Geoffrey's song presented to him and he was overjoyed. He loved the song and said he would gratefully accept it, if when he died, I would write new lyrics and turn it into a hymn. I agreed.
In December 2010, I met my wife-to-be, Sheila. By the new year of 2011, it was evident that we were destined to become life-long partners, man and wife, and soul mates. At the time, Sheila played the organ at the Catholic Church in Keighley. The night before Easter Sunday, I stayed up half the night writing new words for transforming Geoffrey's song into a hymn as he'd originally requested, and on Easter Sunday of 2011, I presented Sheila with her own hymn.
Each Sunday when we attended church, before and after every Service, Sheila would play her hymn. The rest of the congregation never knew that Sheila was playing her own hymn which I had written, arranged, and jointly composed. Sheila's hymn is appropriately called 'Be My Life'.
West Lane Baptist Church (where we were married), often play the hymn which their choir sings, as they did in union with the Catholic choir of St. Ann's Catholic Church, on the day of our marriage on my 70th Birthday. Today, Sheila arranged a video of her hymn which I share with all my Facebook friends now.
Love and peace Bill xxx