Constantine Cornwall


Oliver Carne

Oliver Tresillian Power Carne
1929 – 2021

Oliver was born on 16 May 1929 to Valentine and William Carne. He attended local schools before going to Dartmouth College as a cadet making the natural progression to the Royal Navy. In 1952 he found himself involved in the Korean War where his ship came under heavy fire and missed being hit by inches.

In 1954 he married Sally Ennor, of Western Terrace, Falmouth. The wedding took place in King Charles the Martyr church to a huge congregation with crowds even standing out on the pavement.

They started their married life in Portsmouth. Oliver’s many postings included Sydney, Australia, where he was seconded to the Royal Australian Navy and where, in 1956, his first child, a daughter, Deborah was born. Oliver and Sally went on to have two more children, both boys, Mark in 1959 when they were stationed in Glasgow and Andrew in 1961 in Portsmouth where Oliver had been posted back to. In 1963 he was sent to Culdrose for a year, then to Londonderry until 1968 when he left the Royal Navy with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He loved the navy where he made lifelong friends and had many amusing anecdotes to tell of the various antics they got up to, one being when they accidentally torpedoed the Isle of Arran which fortunately didn’t sink!

On leaving the navy Oliver went to work for an Industrial Training Board where he reached the post of Director but due to a certain Maggie Thatcher, all training boards were closed and it became one of the many casualties of her drastic cuts.

As a result Oliver’s job disappeared so he decided to go into early retirement at the age of 53. At this point he bought Tresahor Vean from his mother Valentine, where he and Sally set about creating a beautiful family home and a valley garden of over six acres. They planted numerous trees and shrubs including Cornus, Viburnum Magnolias, Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Camellias of every variety. In springtime the slopes would be covered with bluebells on a carpet of primroses. Oliver was a very regular exhibitor at the Falmouth Flower Show with impressive success, winning many cups.

Tragically Sally died in 2000 leaving Oliver and his family totally devastated. Supporting each other they managed to cope with their pain and loss. Oliver threw himself into the beautiful garden they had created together. I once asked him how long he spent in his garden and he said “About three and a half hours a day”

In the evenings he loved to sip his favourite red wine whilst listening to music. He had more CDs than anyone I know, it was a real passion. He also loved a party and would host at least four a year for which he would don one of his very colourful and flamboyant brocade waistcoats and entertain his friends in style. I was fortunate to go on a couple of family holidays with him. One of the decisions we made was to allocate everyone a specific duty in order to make everything run smoothly in the villa. Oliver was appointed“Sommelier” which put him in charge of all drinks. One hilarious memory of him was on one particular occasion after his afternoon doze, during which time everyone else was lolling around the pool, he called out to us from the villa “I don’t care what time it is, I’m opening the bar, I need a gin!” Whenever we went out for the day we would all agree a rendezvous. I have absolutely no idea how he did it but he did it every time, as we turned to go our separate ways, Oliver had completely disap- peared, into another dimension it seemed, he’d totally vanished, leaving us not know- ing if he’d heard all the arrangements. One day, on a trip to Florence, he was very late back to the meeting point, just as we were beginning to worry, he arrived with bags full of yet more CDs, a big grin on his face, wondering what all the fuss was about, declaring that he’d been waiting outside an expensive jewellery shop just in case a beautiful contessa came along and fell in love with him! He was such fun, he had an almost childlike joy about him, when he laughed his face completely changed, his eyes would close and the tears would run down his cheeks, you couldn’t help but join in.

Whenever you met Oliver and in greeting, asked him how he was, his answer was always the same “Flourishing thank you.” Every summer, his children, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren loved to visit. They would gather together and have a week of fun. There would be pirate battles on the river, croquet tournaments on the

lawn and various other games and competitions to be won, with a cup for all the winners, very competitive it was too!

Oliver was also a faithful member of Constantine Church which he supported at every opportunity. He would be there at each fete, bazaar or table sale, with his enormous collection of home grown plants and shrubs, sometimes there were so many stacked around his house you could barely get into the garden without tripping. He also supported Save the Children, Friends of the Surgery, White Cross Mission and several more. His generosity knew no bounds.

One of Oliver’s greatest gifts was his ability to listen. His whole attention would be focused on the person speaking, his eyes fixed, intently listening to every word without interruption, his mind taking in every detail, his concentration absolute. It made you feel so special and important. He was a wonderful friend, kind, generous, fun to be with and an honourable gentleman with impeccable manners.

There will be a Service of Celebration for Oliver in Constantine Church on Monday 12th July at 2.30 at which everyone is welcome.

Kate Graves