Tributes paid to Upper Norwood's parrot man
A popular community figure well known for his pet parrots has died.
Charles Judson Harwood, or the Parrot Man or CJ as he was known to the Crystal Palace triangle and Upper Norwood, got an emotional send off last week from friends and family across the globe at his funeral.
He had become well-known in the area, along with his two pet parrots Jack and Annie, who he owned for 30 years.
Annie went missing in December, and following Mr Harwood's death, Jack will now be looked after in Bournemouth. The 70-year-old had lived in Crystal Palace for more than 20 years after moving there from Tennessee, America.
Mr Harwood was a lawyer while he was in America and was remembered by family members as a strong athlete, someone who liked travelling the world and on several occasions flew aeroplanes with his father.
He also dabbled in journalism and wrote a series of blogs ranging from legal matters to current affairs. Dozens of friends and family attended Mr Harwood’s cremation at West Norwood cemetery last Thursday.
His daughter, Brooke Russell, 42, from Oakland attended the service. She had not seen her father for 20 years due to family issues.
She had planned to see him at the turn of the year and make amends but did not get the chance to do so.
She said: "My Dad was frighteningly intelligent. He had some issues and it got to a time where he needed to go off and do his own thing.
"It is good to meet people here who knew him and find out what he has done for the last 20 years."
Mr Harwood’s other daughter, Rebecca Driscoll, said: "My father loved his parrots, and had them when I last saw him in 1987.
"It was more like CJ lived with them in their house, rather than the other way around."
Asher Johnson, 48, a friend from Crystal Palace, said: "I knew CJ as birdman. He was such a non-judgemental person and didn’t hold any grudges against anyone."
Paul Harvey, 45, a good friend of Mr Harwood, said: "He was such a colourful character and I counted him as one of my best friends. We often spoke of politics and I would always enjoy seeing his parrots."