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North Finchley legend Horace White's family: 'Wonderful' send-off 'just what we needed'
The family of late Finchley legend Horace White said the “wonderful” send-off he received today was “just what we needed”.
More than 400 people turned out for the popular man’s funeral at Islington Cemetery, in East Finchley, and his family said they were “touched” by the level of support.
Horace’s sister Selina Higgins, of Gloucester Road, Edmonton, spoke with some of the hundreds of well-wishers following her beloved brother’s burial.
The 66-year-old said: “I just can’t believe the support – I’m overwhelmed.
“It was more than I ever expected and I just can’t believe the love and the caring shown by everyone.
“The service was wonderful and the level of support took a bit of the edge off the grief we’re all feeling. It was so happy, with people clapping and cheering and applauding. It is just what we needed.”
Mrs Higgins also thanked funeral directors AW Luck and Sons as well as Reverends Michael Giles and Michael Harley for their support.
Reverend Giles, of East Finchley Methodist Church, read out a eulogy on Mrs Higgin's behalf during the hour-long service.
In it, she described the love she had for her only brother and thanked the Finchley community for looking after him on the streets of Finchley for more than three decades.
Horace’s best friend Leon Nash, 37, who gave a reading at the service, said: “He looked up to me as an older brother – even though I was much younger than him.
“There were some who teased him on the street but you can see from the number of people here today that they were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of friends he actually had.
“I was his mentor if ever he had trouble and I would help him out where ever I could – we were close friends.”
Extra security was brought in to help direct the large crowds at today’s funeral and a PA system was set up to broadcast the service to those unable to fit inside the chapel.
Speaking after the funeral about the numbers that attended, Horace’s nephew John Higgins, 42, said: “It was superb. I’m not an emotional guy but it was really touching. I want to thank them all for coming here today and for leaving all the flowers and messages of love outside McDonald’s in North Finchley.
“I never knew anything about this side of him and it is so overwhelming to see. It was a beautiful day and I want to thank everyone who came along.”