Long-serving club member Ray McCormack has penned a tribute to Pat Hooper, our leader, mentor and friend who made his final journey today.
Walking with a Giant
Was it the welcoming words he spoke to you when you joined the club?
Was it the medal he placed around your neck after your first success?
Was he the friendly face you saw when you thought you failed?
Was it the opportunity he gave you to test yourself in a race you thought you would never see yourself doing?
Was it the medal presentation he conducted after your cup of tea on league nights?
Was it the toaster you won and hoped it would work?
Was it the boisterous committee meetings he conducted?
Was it the race he founded that brought so many strangers to Raheny who then became your friends?
Was it the opportunity he gave you to represent your club, county or country?
Was it just something he did which made you feel proud to be a member of Raheny Shamroc AC.
I think most of us will say yes.
As we go through life, we meet many people. Some we hardly get the time to know as we go about our daily routine.
Then along comes someone who stands out; a person you feel comfortable with, who allows you to shine outside your comfort zone. Pat was very modest about his own achievements. In all the time I spent in his company I never heard him boast about the success he brought to the club. Everything he done was for the benefit of Raheny Shamrock AC and its members.
In recent weeks Pat and I walked on Dollymount beach on Sunday mornings and solved the problems of the world.
I got him talking about how he started in athletics, his successes, and vision and hopes for the club. The unselfish use of his time for the benefit of other was remarkable. It takes a big man to commit himself so unselfishly for the benefit of others. He was one of life’s gentlemen; a great friend and club mate. Reflecting on our walks I smile that I had the honour of being in his company. I was walking with a giant.
Take a rest now Pat safe in the knowledge that the work you did has paved the way for your beloved Raheny Shamrock’s AC and its future generation of athletes.