Tribute to Joan Fane


Residents and staff at The Connaught have said farewell to a 'lovely lady' who had a steely determination and a heart of gold. 

Joan Fane 1929 - 2020
Joan Fane 1929 - 2020

Joan Fane was laid to rest with her mum after a simple, grave-side ceremony in St Anne's church cemetery, conducted by the Rev Elizabeth Bellamy from Alderney Methodist Church. 

Due to coronavirus lock-down, just ten mourners were allowed, but The Connaught provided a small 'wake' in her memory afterwards with photographs of her on a table on which was a beautiful cake and decorative brass candles. 

In pride of place was an Australian flag "Joan was born in Australia and very proud of it," explained care home administrator Jenny Thomas." "She always loved to say 'You know I am Australian' and we had that oriented under her photograph on the funeral sheet.

"She was a strong and determined character who did not suffer fools, but she absolutely loved animals and was a lovely lady who will be greatly missed."

In another tribute to her Bruno Kay-Mouat, whose family took her under wing, said: "Joan was a lovely lady and was very kind to our parents and in particular our mother. She worked at both Val Des Portes and also at the old Presbytery which was our father's office.

She was a very diligent person and, whilst being a very down to earth character, had a kind heart and often saw good in people when others did not. Joan was a very positive lady and found it easy to talk to anyone, whether she knew them or not."

Joan spent the first 9 years of her life with her mum in the tough Australian Outback before they moved to the UK in 1937 and lived in the Midlands where Joan's love of animals, particularly greyhounds, was fulfilled when she worked as a kennel maid for 20 years at greyhound racing tracks in Birmingham. 

In the mid-to late 1950s, Joan and her mum Winifred Kate Sait, moved to Alderney. After her mother died she went to work for Mrs Cosby, looking after the goats on her smallholding. Mrs Cosby, a kind lady, bought her three mopeds which she always said she 'wore out' in turn on the hard cobbled streets of the Island!

For a while Joan looked after house owned by the Rev Arthur Mignot and his wife Eileen where she lived with her four cats and the spent several years working for the Kay-Mouats, who, like Mrs Cosby, took her under their wing.

She lived in a flat above the cinema in Victoria Street, along with her four cats and took them with her to Alexandra Court, her home until she moved into The Connaught nine years ago.

Deeply religious Joan was for many years the caretaker at Alderney Methodist Church to which she was completely devoted. Before its recent refurbishment, she had her own pew at the back of the church. The sadness was that her funeral could not have been held in the place she loved. 

As well as all of her friends on the Island, Joan will be deeply missed by her cousin Louise and her husband Kees and their family in Holland. 

Joan Fane died peacefully in the Connaught on Sunday May 10th at the age of 91 after a long, eventful and well lived life. 

Original Article from Alderney Journal by MB