Friday, April 6, 2012
Living as I do in a settlement of mainly retired people funerals are a part of life and not unexpected. Last week we farewelled Russell His partner Mary conducted the service and the Country and Western Music Club provided the music,not po faced hymns but the rollicking songs Russell had loved.Eulogies were anecdotes from friends and throughout a proiector showed scenes from Russell's long life: driving tractors on farms,lorries on back country roads flying old aeroplanes and always fishing. It was a cheerful farewell to a man who had lived a long adventurous life. But we do have contact with young people. Grandchildren come to visit in school holidays. Crib owners bring their children at week ends. We oldies watch them grow, every year taller and cleverer. It has been a special pleasure to watch the two boys next door to me grow from gap toothed juniors to charming young men who would cut my lawns.The eldest boy, Nick, took to the fishing culture with enthusiasm and would spend week ends here fixing up his quad bike and heading to the river mouth. This season he caught a salmon. It has been a good year for salmon here and Nick's catch was weighed and entered in the register. The heaviest fish would be awarded the trophy. There is also a trophy for the biggest trout. Last Wednesday we were horrified to learn that Nick, sixteen years old, tall, handsome, popular, had hung himself. On Friday crib owners came in from all over to attend our annual general meeting. The chairman paid tribute to residents, who had died this year, and then passed on to awarding the fishing trophies. Nick had won the trophy for the heaviest salmon caught this season. If he had known would that have been enough for him to snap out of his depression? He could have been here, fixing up his blue quad bike and headng to the river to cast for trout. Instead a sad little convoy of cars has set off towards the town, driving into the misty rain and my glasses keep fogging up.