Memorial Poem for John Bryce by Alan Manchester


What Is a Man

(In Loving Memory of John Bryce)


What is a man?
They say his name was John,
Yes, John was his name
He came into our lives one day,
That cheery smile that filled the extent of his face
That was no empty shallow thing,
But showed to us a generous Heart
What is a man?
They say a man is judged by the work he does,
Well so be it!
For this man’s name was Integrity!
What is a man?
This John,
Our John,
Always John,
Always there,
A colleague, a friend, a brother,
He held all in high regard,
And expected nothing less, and so he should!
For he was Respect!
Born of the Haggis, he bore his country’s lore with pride!
A man of Burns, he’d have you know,
This was Him!
And what he had to give you was his soul,
Which, like his well-loved Scotia, was great!
We envy you heavens this day,
For you now have our greatest treasure,
Your firmament all the warmer,
Your stars shine the brighter for his smile,
And we who are left behind are now in the shadow of its loss
You left us too soon.
How could we, would we,
Have loved to let you know how much we’d miss you
The cut runs deep,
They say the deeper the hurt the more you were loved,
And You Loved, And Were Loved
We miss you John,
You, this man,
You, Our John,
But more than just Any man,
You were our colleague, our brother, our friend






John Bryce was a member of the Halifax Burns Club and served as president in 2001. He worked at Neill and Gunter Engineering with Alan Manchester.


As a testiment to how loved he was, more than two thirds of Neill and Gunter employees attended John's funeral service, with many coming directly from the field in their NOMEX clothing.


Alan Manchester is an active member of the club who is well known in Halifax for his operatic baritone.