Saturday, July 26, 2008

The passing of Stanley

Stan the Man, our loving Dad died peacefully on Friday night at the ripe old age of 87. He will be remembered for what he did best; making people laugh. He loved icecream and hated garlic.He loved beer and hated work. He loved West end Draught and hated Coopers. He was an avid punter and what he didn't know about the Australian racing horse industry wasn't worth knowing. He was generous warm and caring and always treated his girls as if they were perfect angels (even when we were little devils!) He maintained his sharp wit right to the end. Even when he lost a tremendous amount of weight and was rapidly fading away, he told Julie he "always wanted to be a Jockey!"
Well he's now made it down the home straight and has crossed the finish line for last time. I just hope Mum wont give him a hard time for taking so long. He still had and few more yarns to spin and people to cheer up. And the yarns about him will go on and on.

Here is a Banjo Paterson poem I recited once at Mum's grave with Dad listening. I think it's apt right now.

Over the Range

By Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

Little bush maiden, wondering-eyed,
Playing alone in the creek-bed dry,
In the small green flat on every side
Walled in by the Moonbi ranges high;
Tell us the tale of your lonely life,
'Mid the great grey forests that know no change.
'I never have left my home,' she said,
'I have never been over the Moonbi Range.

'Father and mother are both long dead,
And I live with granny in yon wee place.'
'Where are your father and mother?' we said.
She puzzled awhile with thoughtful face,
Then a light came into the shy brown eye,
And she smiled, for she thought the question strange
On a thing so certain -- 'When people die
They go to the country over the range.'

'And what is this country like, my lass?'
'There are blossoming trees and pretty flowers,
And shining creeks where the golden grass
Is fresh and sweet from the summer showers.
They never need work, nor want, nor weep;
No troubles can come their hearts to estrange.
Some summer night I shall fall asleep,
And wake in the country over the range.'

Child, you are wise in your simple trust,
For the wisest man knows no more than you
Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust:
Our views by a range are bounded too;
But we know that God hath this gift in store,
That when we come to the final change,
We shall meet with our loved ones gone before
To the beautiful country over the range.

Above is my contribution to the funeral eulogy but I think my sister summed it up much better with her comment.....
" He was a silly ole bugger and I'm going to miss him."


Anonymous said...

When I talk to people about my visits to Austalia they always ask me what my favorite place or experience was. There are so many fantastic places in that lucky country....the Sydney Opera House, Uluru, Kakadu, the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island, Tasmania and on and on. I was lucky to have visited a great many places 'down under' but I can say with all sincerity that my absolute favorite thing to do there was visit with Stan and Val in the kitchen of the house in Prospect.
That was the heart and soul of Australia as far as I'm concerned.
Stan was 'TRUE BLUE' and his spirit and humor and love of life and family will live with me forever. I'm a better person for knowing him and sharing a pint or two of that good old West End Draught. So here's a toast to Stanley, Stanley was me mate!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, Ronnie. But it sounds like he is living right on along in all you do - GO YOUR DAD!!! =)

Love ya, sweets - thinking of you and sending big hugs your way....

XOXO dev