Wednesday 10th October. PP&F General Meeting. On the agenda, two words that I can’t stop staring at: Gwillym Hewetson. I’m sure all of us around the table that evening, struggled to squeeze everything we knew about Gwill in those two words that are his name. But there it was, on the official agenda.
Gwill had died six days earlier on October 4th 2018 in a wing suit accident and we were going to remember him that evening. Gwiyllm had partially left the film and tv business a few years earlier to pursue sky diving in all it’s forms. However, Gwill left his mark on our little industry and on everyone lucky enough to have met him.
Love him or loathe him, no one could say he didn’t leave an impression. I first met him when I interviewed him to assist me on some tiny no budget film. He had cycled from east london to Brixton on a kids BMX bike, his gangly legs way up over the handle bars. I couldn’t afford him as an assistant but we became friends instantly (one of Gwill’s many talents: friendship making.) I only have positive memories of that friendship which selfishly I wish had many years left to run. But Gwill chose his own path and it involved flying! Something that many people close to him would have talked to him about doing in a way that would get a little lost in translation I guess. It’s how he wanted to live and agree with him or not he was damn well going to do it.
Maggie, Gwill’s sister, wrote a very fitting tribute to him and I think it’s closer than my words can get to portraying this guy that so many of us will miss:
MY BROTHER GWILLYM HEWETSON CAN FLY.
AND HAS A BIGGER, FATTER HEART THAN COULD BE IMAGINED.
GWILL HAS A BIGGER FAMILY THAN SEEMS POSSIBLE AND WE MUST ALL HOLD HIM IN THE LIGHT.
I have never been one to share personal posts or photos on social media or send group messages on apps but for all of you who have sent love and warmth and kindness and prayers and memories and pain and unwavering support, this seems to be the way the universe is offering connective tissue between us all. I can not begin to thank you all for making us know we are not alone.
Gwill knew just how much you love him and he will live forever in your memories and hearts.
Thank you for kicking off collecting photos and videos and written Gwilly stories. I mean who has bloody friends in Guam? We would like to share these with not just with his mother and my sister but all who loved him.
Our beautiful brother will be cremated in Bern Switzerland at 2pm today. We have the great honour of bringing him home to all of you and he certainly would have loved one last adventure. As you know, Gwill was very clear he did not want the end of his life to be morose for all of you but rather a celebration with parties round the world. We have not been able to turn our attention to the celebration part yet.
Gwill has and will continue to make the world a better place for passing through. And your outpouring of love should be channeled to continue his work. We will not just honour him with memories but continue what he started, both in our lives and all the lives who were touched by his and in the bigger world where he so hoped to effect change.
We are thinking about the best way, be it a foundation or scholarship or fund for the single mothers who lost their husbands jumping or all of those things and so many more and would welcome your suggestions. We have a responsibility to both live in the moment and make the world a better place as he did.
For those who would like to give Gwill a send off, his sister is organising a gathering on Friday 19th October. Open invite. Time and location TBC, but likely Soho.
Please check our Facebook page for more updates.
There is also a crowdfunding page listed below which can help the family, if people feel inclined. There are further details in the link and I urge you to read the inspirational story of Gwill and his last journey taking his mother Robyn on a skydiving adventure.