In Memory Of Ron Bond

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In memory of Ron Bond
7th August 2012

Ron worked for many years at Frome Pet and Aquatics, where he was fondly called the ‘Fish Man’. Janine Tozer, owner of Frome Pet & Aquatic Centre, pays tribute.

When I was asked if I would say a few words in remembrance of Ron, our famous “Fish Man”, I sat down to think about Ron, and the first image to spring to mind was one of him smiling and laughing. Ron had a unique ability to make people laugh and to make them feel special. It was a gift he had and one that he shared with absolutely everyone.

Ron was a great storyteller – he would draw you in, whether it was a factual story, a joke or simply a gardening tip, he had the distinct knack of making it sound interesting. I learned a lot from Ron, and although he was our famous “Fish Man”, most of what I learned from him had nothing to do with work, although he did teach me quite a bit about fish and ponds, too.

Ron worked in our Frome petshop for many years. He was always kind and thoughtful and asked after everyone. He met my mum once before she became really poorly and they struck up a great rapport just in the one day, such was Ron’s great presence. Ever since, he always asked after her. He always made time for my children and my son used to work in the shop sometimes and he always loved it when he worked with Ron.

We decided to make a book of memories of Ron, with contributions from the staff, our customers and friends, and I can say without hesitation that everyone speaks of Ron’s wonderful nature and ability to make people laugh and smile.

A couple of the entries made us chuckle as we remembered them happening – one was from Joleen Payne, as she remembers that every time she came in the shop, Ron would burst into song with “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Joleeeeen”. Ron loved to sing out loud and didn’t mind making a fool of himself if it brought a smile to someone else’s face.

He had many stock phrases, too many to recall here, but a couple will be in all our heads. Whenever Ron was catching fish he would say (to the fish) “Resistance is Futile” or “you can run but you can’t hide”.

Ron had a passion for many things and he often shared his love of films – he could quote great chunks of dialogue and tell you historical facts about movies and the actors.

He had run his own business before working with us, a sweet shop in Frome. He was a very keen gardener and he helped me with many a problem with our little pond at home and our garden. His knowledge of fish and ponds was immense. He was a gentle soul, never using the hard sell and always wanting to help people so as a result he was an asset to the business.

I am sure many customers came into our shop simply to see Ron and have a chat or get some advice.

He was quite a private man and didn’t like a fuss, but we couldn’t let his 60th birthday go uncelebrated. So we surprised him with balloons, champagne, presents, cards and Yvonne made a lovely big banner which had some of his sayings written on it. We made him wear his badges all day and he took part like the good soul he was and was very grateful – we even saw a few tears, bless him.

So, the name’s Bond, Ron Bond – and we will not forget that name or the lovely, generous, warm and funny man who went by that name. We wish him a safe journey onwards and know that he will be tending those wonderful gardens and fish in his next adventure.