Everybody loves a pub walk – and the late Jon Walker was no exception.
So when the brainchild of the Petersfield Walking Festival started thinking of a route in Jon’s memory, she had a good idea what places should be included.
“Jeremy Holmes knew I did the walking festival and suggested doing a walk for Jon – I liked the idea,” said Malinka van der Gaauw.
“Jon really helped me and was very good at promoting the walking festival. He also offered to lead a walk for me but it started and finished at a pub, which sadly isn’t allowed.”
Malinka and her friend Beth Svarovska will make a poignant exception next month by holding the festival’s inaugural Jon Walker Memorial Walk. Both were close friends with the much-missed Post and Herald reporter, who was 64 when he died after a battle with cancer on March 19.
The walk will also be a fundraiser for The Rosemary Foundation as the hospice-at-home charity gave typically amazing support to Jon’s widow, Milla, and his family.
Friday, September 29, is the date and there are three starting points to choose from. The guided walks will begin and finish at 5.30pm from either The Townhouse, Harrow Inn or Queens Head Sheet with each following a triangular 3.8-mile route.
The walk includes a 40-minute stopover in each of Jon’s former haunts so there will be plenty of time to raise a glass to the rugby-loving family man.
“The Townhouse was one of Jon’s favourite places in the town so the idea of doing a triangular walk in his memory and raising a glass in each pub really resonated,” said Malinka.
“We’re thinking of September 29 because it’s the date of the Macmillan Coffee Morning, and the subject really is cancer,” added Beth, who organised the March vigil for Jon in The Square.
“So what you could do is have a coffee and slice of cake in the morning for Macmillan, then a walk and a pint in the evening for Jon and the Rosemary Foundation.”
Beth added: “The fundraising will be for the Rosemary Foundation because they helped Jon and Milla the most.
“It’s encouraging everyone to come out, walk for him, the Rosemary Foundation and the fight against cancer.”
Beth and Malinka have been in touch with the landlords of the three participating pubs and have selected leaders for each walk. Booking details will be confirmed shortly but places will be limited to 30 on each walk, because of legal restrictions, with a £5 donation being suggested.
Expect lots more details in the Post and Herald.