I don’t have too many human idols—but he was one! He was so tough, both mentally and physically, that he must have slept with a teddy-bear.
He was selfless. He taught us all that he knew. To work hard. To be disciplined. To be punctual. To be honest. To not be afraid of any task—big or small. He was a man’s man.
He stood by his word. He could see a task through to completion. He frowned on idleness. He disapproved half-heartedness. He came to work everyday and gave 100% (110 to be honest). He lived by a motto of excellence. He accepted no less. He took pride in his surroundings. He was practical. He was committed to his family. He reinforced positive values and a strong work ethic. He didn’t mess around.
He looked the part. He dressed well. He knew who to listen to and when. Obviously he was set straight with his style. He wore a bow tie well.
Some of his words will stick with me for a lifetime. ‘Bring it with a willing mind and a willing heart,’ I heard him say to a laborer bringing cement mix.’ ‘I’ll see you tomorrow’—were the words he said to me on the first day of work in the maintenance department of which he was in charge. I was two minutes late that day…but never again for the two summers I worked for him as a teenager. Sleep was never sweeter after a day’s work in his department.
I never saw him play cricket or any sport for that matter but I envisioned him like a batsman who stays in the crease and defends the wicket at all cost, playing no rash shots and frustrating every bowler. He was dodged.
He got the job done with what he had. He was not a man of many words but he meant what he said. He wasn’t perfect. He had his flaws (who doesn’t). He wasn’t afraid to be wrong. He lived by his convictions.
‘Hard work never killed a man!’ Mr. Gilbert, lived a full life. Now its time to rest as we his workers forge on inspired and the better for his life.
By God’s grace, we’ll see him in the morning!
One thought on “Reflections on Josephus Gilbert—the genuine article”
Thanks Vaughn. Could you email me the poem.
You did a fine job.