Fond farewell to family man Basil

Basil High, left, with his son Martin
Basil High, left, with his son Martin

A FAMILY has paid tribute to a long-established businessman, who retired at the grand old age of 83

Basil High, 86, of St Mary’s Drive, East Preston, died on January 11 after a battle with cancer.

Basil was the founder of the Worthing-based construction firm, B.E. High and Son, in the 1950s, and handed the business over to his son Martin in 2008.

Martin, 49, of Garrick Road, Worthing, said his father loved his business and all the people he met through his 60 years of trade.

“I know he would have wanted to say thank you to all of his customers and the people who supported him throughout the years,” he said. “He loved his job and just loved to be really hands-on – hence why he retired at 83!”

Martin added: “What’s nice is that my son has also decided to join the business, so it will be in the family for three generations.”

Basil, a grandfather of five, was a keen golfer and bowler, as well as a real family man.

Martin said: “At the age of 85, he could do 36 holes on the course and leave all the others lagging behind. He was full of life and energy, and incredibly sociable. You would walk through Worthing town with him and it would take us twice as long to do what we had to do because people would stop to talk to him.”

He added: “There was nothing more he would like to do than spend time with the family.

“He and Mum made a real effort to see all their grandchildren.”

After he was diagnosed with cancer, Basil and his family made an effort to travel as much as possible.

Basil’s wife Velma, 77, said: “We went on cruises, as well as trips to Turkey and the Alps. We had some wonderful times which have made some fantastic memories. Basil was a wonderful man and he will be missed very much.”