A Tribute to Tony Fennymore
On Monday, February 5th, 2007, Tony Fennymore
passed away in his sleep at his home in England. As
an honorary member, Tony was a great friend to the
CIC and touched the lives of many of us.
Some words from Ann Trewartha:
Tony's passion from the first time we met was that one day he might live in Crete, which had his heart, and do archaeological/historical tours.
He was a BRILLIANT orator with a gift of communication.
1994 Sept 4th, we arrived in Chania after driving overland in that incredibly hot August. We arrived at 6am, slept in our van for 2 months, using a hosepipe for showers, by the side of the lane in Maleme. Then we rented a concrete prefab with a corrugated iron roof and started from scratch. . . . hundreds came [to the funeral] and there were over 300 in his local pub after. The Windsor Castle had never been so
packed. Brilliant jazz, loads of good food, tears, emotion, all his pictures and our overland trip to Crete on the wall.
person missing (apart from Crete).
Best to all the interesting and warm hearted people that I met in Chania.
Tony will be missed by many folk here in Crete, as he was always so much larger than life. We knew him
well, as we were often involved in his excursions, outings, cultural and, sometimes, not-so-cultural activities.
We always enjoyed his unique language of banter and Glenys mastered it very quickly.
I got to know him particularly well during my time as President of CIC. I also had the privilege of
collaborating with him to produce an article, for the CIC newsletter, in respect of a unique collection of
photographs now on display in the Naval Museum in Hania. The photographs were all taken by Marcus
McCausland during World War II and in particular in Hania in 1945. The display was realised with Tony’s
enthusiasm but is only a part of his legacy of remembrance.
David & Glenys Wardle
Andy and I first met Tony almost 10 years ago
at his study weekends in England. We learned a lot
about Crete then and even more about Chania on his
These were informative, amusing and
courteous oases in the umbrella-waving, strident,
guided tour business. He was always considerate of
local residents and business people, because, he said,
“This is my village”. He loved Crete, but Chania was
closest to his heart.
My friend Elaine and I would sometimes stop
at his home in Theotokopoulou Street for coffee on our
way to the shops.
When we left he would tell us to shout “Goodbye, Tony” loudly.
It was good for his
reputation, he said, for the neighbours to know he had
beautiful women to visit him! He was such a flatterer!
We will never walk along Theotokopoulou Street without hearing his call from the balcony as he
threw the key down.
Our last memory of Tony is a happy one. At a
party just before he left for England last year, he was strutting his stuff to the Rolling Stones and really enjoying life.
Tony Fennymore was a ‘one-off” and a gentleman in the truest sense. We will miss him greatly.
Our thoughts are with his partner Ann and his
Sue and Andy Davies
Over the years we have all tried in our own ways to promote this wonderful part of the world in which we, as non-Haniotes, have chosen to live and call home.
Many of us married into the community over twenty years ago and/or
created businesses; many have arrived in search of a quality of lifestyle more conducive to peaceful living. Those who live
permanently in Hania will, at some time, either have met or heard of Tony Fennymore.
Tony was an excellent ambassador for Hania, Crete and Greece in general; he exuded a passion for its history, archaeology, language, traditions and culture and tried very hard to export all aspects of the aforementioned throughout the globe.
Not only did he live and work here for the most part of every year, he showed his visitors, be they tourists on a
holiday, political VIP's or dignitaries from overseas, through his Fenny's Tour of Hania and vast knowledge, a glimpse of
history, making it feel almost real.
Tours throughout Greece, Crete and Hania, books and photographic material, DVDs, videos, promotional
campaigns and, not to mention, his close involvement with allied countries military forces involved during WWII, in the
Battle for Crete and the veterans thereafter: Tony did it all!
On behalf of Mo, Terry, Lisa and Dimitri - the Evans-Kalaitzi family - who were privileged to have known Tony and his family, nearest and dearest for many years and all the guests at New Kydonia suites and studios who also enjoyed his unique after-dinner talks and town walks, we would like to offer our deepest sympathy and condolences.
shall be greatly missed by all.
We are all recovering from the shock of
Tony's death. It is so hard to believe that he will no
longer be striding through the streets of his Hania
domain, greeting his neighbours, waiters, shop
owners and tour reps with his flourishing `yassas'.
He was an essential and colourful ingredient of the
CIC, leading them on intrepid adventures into the
wild backwaters (and cafes of Crete).
My first encounter with Tony was on one of
his CIC walking tours of Hania old town, May 1999.
I am half Hanioti but this was my first ‘eye-opening'
and understanding of my own home town. My
introduction to Hania's Venetian era was brought to
life with his vivid descriptions of daily activities and
anecdotes, which led me to feel that I was the ghost
wandering through the streets, observing the live
residents of the past.
His love of history and archaeology ensured
that he never tired of pouring over maps and driving
into the hills to search out and rediscover yet another
overgrown half-buried Byzantine convent, ruin or
Roman bridge: history’s lost treasures.
Over many years he somehow managed to
keep a balance between his life in Crete with its
archaeological passions and constant social flow,
and his life back in the UK, which was also filled with
lecture tours, family (three daughters and a growing
number of grandchildren), many friends and loved-one Ann, the one part of his life nourishing the other.
Tony was fun, dynamic and an unapologetic
personality (a rarity these days) whose generous take on living made positive things happen for people. He made a difference and he will be hugely missed.
Ann and I are very sorry to hear that Tony Fennymore has died. The trips to historical sites which he guided were, for us, highlights of the CIC programme. We remember wonderful visits to Polyrinia, to Eleftherna, to the ruined Genoese castle near Armeni and several visits to ancient frescoed churches.
Some of the trips included a sociable
lunch, with Tony, an excellent ‘host’, making sure that food did not run out and wine flowed, while giving the
answers, with mocking (but unmalicious!) side-remarks aimed at the ignorant, to his historical quiz of the day.
We also greatly enjoyed one of his guided walks for tourists around old Chania, where as CIC members we had to put up with a bit of his gentle wit in lieu of payment. The walk ended at an open-air market, with Tony saying, “When you’ve explored the market, you might like to join me for a drink. I’ll be at that taverna over there…” A jolly gathering at the taverna of course followed. (We have several copies of his excellent guide to old Chania, the inevitable historical quiz prize).
The last time we met Tony was last autumn, when we gave him a lift to a party near Kolimbari. He was rather frail,
but this did not prevent him from selecting his preferred music and taking to the floor! Driving back from the party
to Chania, we dropped Tony off by Plateia 1866 and saw him disappear into the night, with a cheery wave, towards
We shall miss his genial company a lot.
TONY FENNYMORE: AN EX-PAT LEGEND
“The people of Crete unfortunately make more history than they consume locally.”
Saki (1870 – 1916)
Tony Fennymore: a wonderful and cherished friend
of 15 years; an unequalled and incomparable exceptional person, always an ardent supporter of
the CIC in every way and at every opportunity.
a legend in his own time, a unique historian who
always had his finger on the pulse of Cretan history
and archaeology. A man who slipped comfortably
into his leather
Cretan sandals to
explore the local terrain and discover the magnificent and varied history of this island, something he had been doing with zeal and a passion for decades.
on the elusive trail
delighted in sharing
his knowledge and
expertise with us
chequered past. A
walking biblia of
figures and dates;
who could possibly
compare – except
maybe The British
How his familiar face will be sorely missed while roaming through the old quarters of Chania or seeing him just sitting gracing the harbour enjoying an ouzo with meze in the company of good friends. A colourful charismatic figure well-respected and valued just as much by the locals as well as amongst us.
There are many of you who will recollect those memorable twice-yearly excursions as we all piled into the coach with Tony, our meticulous guide, smart yet casual with his tell-tale trademark, his Panama hat perked jauntily on the top of his head.
Tucked under his arm volumes of impeccably prepared, researched, organized and documented
dossiers which he had had photocopied, one for each
of us. Each one an explicit detailed description of the
places we were going to visit, along with a
questionnaire to mull over and to keep us on our toes
of course, a cryptic puzzle thrown in for good measure, just in case anyone considered nodding off
(not that we could; there was far too much to do) and
perhaps a treasure hunt tossed in for some fun and a prize!
Then we were off! Bouncing along down rough
tracks and donkey trails (kalderimi) at the end of which we would discover to our amazement a tiny
frescoed church or a Minoan tomb hidden away in a magical niche. Then there he was, literally walking us through Dorian sites of ancient Lappa or Polyrrenia, destroyed by the Romans then occupied by the Venetians, bringing old civilizations back to life
with enlightening narration of factual past events.
areas just steeped in
archaeology – and
piles of old stones . . .
Back on the bus, all
the while chatting
amicably into the
intelligence and an
incredible sense of humour keeping us all held in rapt attention with anecdotes, either personal or biographical, hysterical or historical, peppered with his wit and jocularity. As the bus sped by the Cretan countryside we all tried to observe and absorb all these gems, visually and verbally.
A trip to
Chania would not have been complete without participating on one of Fenny's tours, informative,
mysterious, tantalizing wandering through intricate
streets of the old town, telling of past intrigues to fire
the imagination. A distinguished, proud figure,
frequently he would be seen escorting important
personalities or people from the worldwide political
stage around with aplomb, intrepidity and total
He probably would have liked the quote above on
his epitaph just changing "they” to “I". Let us keep
Tony in our memory with fondness and nostalgia: an ex-pat legend; an irreplaceable, quintessential
Englishman, a sanguine personality who was
charming, honourable, debonair, diplomatic and
courteous at all times and wove these traits together
with an irresistible sense of humour and a glint in his
eye for this island that he loved with a sincere
How fortunate we all have been that he
was part of our international community and know
that he was a GIFT in our lives. To be thankful for
how he opened our eyes to the beauty and charms of
Crete; how he
opened our minds to explore, discover and appreciate Cretan history and its way of life, the old
with the new; how he opened our senses to the
essence and spirit of Chania and how it keeps him
and us under her spell and in its soul.
And that while we live he will be remembered with
deep affection; friendship is the golden thread that
ties all our hearts together.
Tony knew a great many people and a great deal more knew him, so it wasn’t surprising that at his
funeral service in England there must have been close to 200 people in attendance. We were packed
close on the benches, standing around the walls and even outside – testament to the number of people
who knew and loved him.
Harry Purchase, one of Tony’s old Lions Club friends and compatriot, gave a very apt and moving
eulogy, describing him as one of life’s great characters; always ready for a party and always ready with a
He was “larger than life” and known for his harebrained schemes that for most would have been
just that, yet which he carried through.
Harry Purchase’s description of Tony left most of us with a
lump in our throats at least.
After the service, held at a Crematorium just outside Windsor, a wake was held for Tony at his local
Windsor Pub, The Windsor Castle. Organised by Ann Trewartha, his long time partner, it was a celebration of his life. The pub was so full of people we had difficulty moving. Around the walls of the pub were photo montages of Tony’s life, including his and Ann’s drive through Europe to Crete for the very first time.
Tony’s favourite music was played, jazz of course, and once people had begun to relax with a glass or two of wine (unfortunately not Cretan Village), individuals
began sharing their own personal stories and recollections of Tony.
My personal thoughts were that Tony should have been there: it would have been exactly his kind of
thing, surrounded by people he knew and loved, the centre of attention. For that reason, it felt exactly
the right way to honour someone who will be greatly missed.