||Ian came to Cambridge in 1976, the same year as me, David Cavalla. These are my memories and thoughts.
Ian was not the most practical of people but one thing he kept in top working order was his social life. We first met at University 24 years ago and I last gave a speech for his wedding as best man. It does him great credit to have so large an assembly here today and it is a sad honour to me to be up here delivering a eulogy about his life. In coming to terms with his loss the one feeling I have above all others is the importance of human relationships and the need to preserve and build on what is left after losing Ian's friendship. This is something that Ian knew almost instinctively and he spent a great deal of time and energy keeping up contacts as well as renewing old ones. Despite his very eclectic group of friends, he remained interested in meeting new ones. His wide experience enabled him to find points of contact with almost anyone and he was uniformly non-judgmental in reaching out to people from all backgrounds.
If you search for the phrase 'Ian Heavens' on the Internet you will discover some of Ian's diverse characteristics. Although (modestly) he talked little about it, he had an international prominence and recognition in the professional world of computer communication. You will also find various (mostly inaccurate) bits of reportage of his anarchist activities, and information about his samba punk band Bloco Vomit. Finally you will find information relating to his love of Spain. In most of these areas Ian displayed a tremendous depth as well as breadth of knowledge. He liked to travel, and usually did so with a half dozen large books in tow, one of them typically a turgid description of an obscure anarchist sect in the Spanish civil war, written of course in Spanish. So far as I could tell he read many (but not all) of these tomes. Even when he didn't read them he put them to good use in other ways.
Most of us knew Ian as a somewhat vague and disordered but charming character. I am sure this was both a natural and a deliberate posture. In discussion he used to listen to others and gently probe their opinions rather than express his own outright, creating an impresion of a 'common touch' which covered for a fierce intelligence in many ways. Ian was a man of contrasts. On the one hand at Cambridge a member of the boat club and cox to a very successful Clare 4th boat, on the other a devotee of the Sex Pistols and Ramones and avid collector of bootleg punk records. On the one hand an anti-establishment figure that organised an anarchist confederation, on the other a devoted family man with a wife, Eileen and two children, Alex and Dan. He was both irreverent and profoundly interested in humanity in all its guises. He was both scholarly and widely read and of course intensely hedonistic, a real expert at enjoying himself. He liked to bring together seemingly unconnected things. Bloco Vomit was a coalescence of his interest in punk music and his love for Latin rhythms. It grew through his abilities in human communication and his use of electronic means. In fact in his early adoption of email he proved that the Internet revolution would act as a conduit for free thinkers rather than the Orwellian image of a controlled society that many others prophesied.
These are some snippets from my time with Ian. I am sure you have many more. I am pleased you all could come today to pay tribute to his life. But today also, let us turn our thoughts to his family, Eileen, Alex and Dan, and offer them our condolences in their sorrow and real support if they need a hand of help as they rebuild their lives. The best testimony to Ian's life is to use his death to strengthen lasting friendships between us.
Ian, more than anyone else, taught me the importance of individual identity, freedom and human relationships.
A tremendous team, Ian is at #3 (from the front). Unfortunately, in this pre-lycra photo, you can't quite see our magnificent torsoes. Below, larking around.
Ian, with Sally and Loz Speyer in Thirkill Court, Clare College. The Henry Moore got a rough time as I remember on a number of occasions.