Friday, 8 June 2012

Tributes to Robin Gibb at funeral

Bee Gees star Robin Gibb has been reunited with his twin brother, mourners at his funeral were told.

The 62-year-old singer died from kidney failure last month after fighting cancer and pneumonia and suffering from a serious bowel condition.

His elder brother Barry, the last of the four Gibb brothers, said in his eulogy that Maurice's death in 2003 had hit Robin hard.

He told guests at St Mary's Church in Thame, Oxfordshire, opposite the home Robin and wife Dwina had shared for nearly 20 years: "They were both beautiful. And now they're together. They're actually together. When you're twins, you're twins all your life. You go through every emotion. And they're finally together. I think the greatest pain for Robin in the past 10 years was losing his twin brother, and I think it did all kinds of things to him. And now they're together."

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets of Thame ahead of the service to see the coffin in a horse-drawn hearse. Onlookers watched as the white, glass-sided carriage - topped with red roses and pulled by four plumed, black Friesian horses - trundled through his adopted home town. The cortege was followed by Robin's two Irish wolfhounds, Ollie and Missy, together with friends and family.

In keeping with his long musical career, the horses wore decorative black cloths emblazoned with a gold treble clef and were trailing a piper. It had been Robin's wish to "say a final goodbye to fans and his home town of Thame", according to his family.

Mourners wept as Robin's ornate white coffin entered the church to the sound of the Bee Gees' hit How Deep Is Your Love.

Barry Gibb and the vicar leading the service, the Reverend Alan Garratt, walked up the aisle ahead of it as a round of spontaneous applause broke out from well-wishers outside the church. Close relatives followed behind, including one woman so overcome with grief she had to be physically supported as she walked to her seat. Guests, including Leslie Phillips, Sir Tim Rice, DJ Mike Read and Uri Geller, followed the cortege on foot from the gatehouse of his estate.

Joining funeral directors as pallbearers were Robin's sons RJ and Spencer, together with Stevie Gibb - Barry's son -and Steven Murphy, who is Dwina's son.

Barry Gibb made the congregation laugh during parts of his tribute but also hinted at recent tensions between himself and Robin. His voice trembling, he said: "We were laughing all the way. Sometimes crying. God knows how much we argued. Even right up to the end we found conflict with each other, which now means nothing. It just means nothing. If there's conflict in your lives - get rid of it. Life is too short. In Robin's case, absolutely too short. We should have had 20 years, 30 years of his magnificent mind and his beautiful heart."

Press Association - Fri, 8th Jun 2012 05:38 PM

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