Plans proceed apace by my colleagues as they conspire to provide me with a farewell party. Sometimes I am taken into their confidences, on other occasions I am left in the dark.
I attended a valediction ceremony in a court room the other lunchtime. It was full of the legal profession in gowns and wigs as they gathered to enunciate and share their memories of a dear friend of mine who also happened to be a Judge. The proceedings were formal with speeches on behalf of the judges, the bar and the solicitors; the atmosphere less so, as amusing anecdotes were shared, each speaker seeking to outdo the next. Finally the retiree himself spoke and in time-honoured fashion gave an anecdote or two himself and thanked everyone for being there.
I don't think the event my work colleagues are planning will be anything like as formal. At least I hope not. As for making a speech.. Well I just keep telling them corpses don't speak at their own funerals, even if it is a wake!