Gerry was nothing if not a keen observer of life and the people in it, and his take on their antics was often wry, regularly witty, but always wise. He was an enthusiastic student of human behavior and was driven by an innate curiosity, as he peered at the world through the informed lens of a child who had learned about human nature at a young age, and about himself too through prolonged illness. His mother’s roots and his regular stays in Donegal at her homeplace were a grounding force, and it seems he inherited her ability to strip back the glamour and the nonsense and perceive things as they really were, see people as they really were, for all their roses and thorns.
The Gerry Files
Gerry was a talented commentator on life around us, and his weekly columns in the Belfast Telegraph gave him an outlet to share those observations with us all – a colourful exchange with a taxi driver, the sartorial dos and don’ts of the middle-aged man, his explanation of the troubles… the list of topics is as long as it is pithy and entertaining. The Belfast Telegraph published Gerry’s weekly columns as part of their 150-year celebrations – we mention a selection of his columns below to whet your appetite. If you’ve never had the pleasure of perusing them, it’s not too late to begin!
Any Chance of a Chip?
It’s all very confusing this, the trade as old as time itself – carpentry, isn’t it? Gerry had a deep respect and a close affinity with women, to the point where he’d even share the family chips with the ladies of the night in Derry – I came to understand prostitutes, not blindly condemn them
Neither did the late Queen herself go without mention, being, as she was, an acquaintance of Gerry’s. But one wonders if even she would have followed his explanation of the troubles and who was fighting whom… I’ve tried to explain Ulster to people (including the Queen) but always ended up more confused than before.
A particular favourite is his article,The day I asked George Best to apologise to us and felt ashamed. A lengthy title but it sums it all up – bowing to pressure to seek an apology from George Best after the footballer’s drunken appearance on television, Gerry felt tainted and ashamed – this was simply not his way. He had more empathy with and respect for George as a man than those baying for an apology. Written on the occasion of George’s death, read Gerry’s words here – The day I asked George Best to apologise to us and felt ashamed.
The Pecker Dunne
The Pecker who? You might well ask. Not for the faint of heart, this column, but it stands out – the Pecker was a man who understood the madness of life and the cost of freedom but went hell for leather at both regardless, handsome devil that he was. Gerry ends that article stating that he’d “…happily pay money to have a Pecker Dunne as my neighbour”.
Read the whole story here –
Life according to… Gerry Anderson
The Pecker passed away in 2012 – imagine the stories they’re swapping now…