Posted by Diane Clarke (formerly Singleton) | 12/2/2017
I have only this moment found out that one of my oldest friends has died, having Googled his name , as I regularly do, to see what he has achieved or what great work he is doing far away from where I am, In England. I am so shocked and so sad , I send all my love and good wishes to Sue and the family,that he told me so much about, to Linda and Alan in England and to the hundreds of friends and admirers that he had, many of whom have written so movingly on here. I met Roland at our tennis club in Croydon, UK, when we were both about 12 years old. He was a fantastic player and we spent many hours playing tennis together in school holidays- I was never able to beat him! Over the years we were such good friends, visiting each other's homes, going dancing, talking endlessly. There was always something so special about him, he had such joy, was so positive and always happy. I loved to hear about his Bahai faith, to see him so selfless in his work for others. When he went to Canada I heard from him spasmodically, he would occasionally 'phone out of the blue , his opening line was always "How's your backhand?" In 2004 he turned up on my doorstep in Sussex on a trip to the UK to see his family, and we had such a great afternoon, he was able to meet my husband and my son, then aged 14. When I dropped him at the station I watched him walk away , I wondered when I would see him again.
Sue, he told me so much about you and the kids, he was so proud of you all, he told me so much about Emily in particular,it is amazing that he had grandkids, he must have been a terrific Grandad. I, and everyone that knew him at the tennis club, will always remember his joy , his laughter, his personality. I am saddened that he could not continue all the work he was involved with- but what a lot he has achieved.
My love to you all, I will never forget him. Di x
I had the privilege of being hosted by the Rutland family while serving in Wildfire Dance Theatre. I vividly remember the enthusiasm Roland had when it came to our message regarding unity and diversity. He always had a 100 watt smile plastered on his face, and he was always one to find a solution to any one of our many trials and difficulties. He made our experience so incredible and I do feel that we lost a major beacon of light. Sending oceans of love and prayers to his family :)
What an honour it has been to work beside you for the past eight years in our capacity as Ajax Home Week Chairs. Your passion, sense of humour, determination and hard work was second to none. You will be missed my friend. In your words "chow chow".
I am so saddened to hear of the passing of my cousin Roland. Our paths have not crossed in many, many years as his life in Canada was far removed from mine in Australia. However, the bonds of family run deep and this has brought much sorrow. Roland's mother Yvonne and my mother Joan were sisters and the memories of when they were all young and we were all together have come flooding back. To Roland's wife Sue and their family from myself Pauline, my husband Phil and our family we send our deepest sympathy and love. May you rest in peace Roland x.
Roland and I first met when I was working at Pickering Cable TV. He was always working on projects to better our community. He was an unfailingly positive and caring individual. I saw him not too long ago when he appeared as a guest on one of our Rogers TV programs.....30 years on and still working for the good of the community, and still an utterly charming and persuasive fellow. He will be terribly missed.
Roland embodied grace, kindness and service. In my years of meeting him at Interfaith and Baha'i events, I was always struck by the warmth of his welcome. My deepest condolences to the entire family and Roland's vast network of friends. He will be missed. Peace and blessings upon you all.
Rollie - if I had one wish today it would be to take another walk with you.
I’m so glad our last walk, a few years back now, was filled with reminiscing, laughter and joy. It was lovely hearing the pride in your voice as you recalled the achievements and joy of your beloved wife Sue and your children. At that time I didn’t realise how poignant that walk would be.
Thank you for visiting me in Ledbury and delighting in the walks we took through the country town and lanes. It was lovely to hear your appreciation of our quaint country pubs while you tucked into a delicious Sunday Roast.
I’m so pleased that I eventually met Sue and Emily in London and took that delightful walk through Kensington Gardens and saw the famous statue of Peter Pan.
However, unlike Peter Pan we all had to grow up and move on and in your case you took a wondrous path away from us and achieved so much - I’m so proud of you.
I’ll cherish the lovely memories I have of you and if you see our parents tell them I love and miss them.
Sue, Emily, Jason and Leigh my thoughts and prayers will be with you this day.