Memories of simple pleasures

THE simplest things are often the most profound. The birth of a child, the stars in an outback sky, the touch of a lover, the death of a friend. So it has been with the passing of Maurice Brockwell.

Last Thursday was a difficult day, for our friend had passed away some hours before and it was the scheduled monthly Bentley Boys lunch at the WA Club. Instinct called for cancellation, but Marianne (his wife) would have none of it, insisting the “boys” should lunch. We did.

Several years back, when the club was first formed, it was my turn to explain why I should be accepted as a member. Simply owning a Bentley is not enough. The irrepressible Peter Briggs challenged me, “What do you think you can bring to this club, that others can not?”

“Youth,” I replied!

“Oh, that hurt,” said Maurice Brockwell, four or so years my senior.

In that same club, at that same table last week, hurt now lay heavy upon the spirit of us all. The staff had placed a chair against the wall with a white rose upon it. A glass of port was quickly added, for it was impossible that Maurice could be without a celebratory drink.

In what is natural and proud behaviour for most women, it was and is, stunningly moving, to see a group of middle aged businessmen stand to salute a friend, with their voices breaking and tears in their eyes. Such is the value we place on this man.

On Friday evening, as I sat remembering the good times, of an all-too-brief friendship, another friend rang to ask for the grieving family’s address, for although the SAS are mourning the loss of one of their own, Maurice had assisted them in a dreadful previous tragedy.

The death notices in the newspapers stand as testimony to the esteem in which this man is held throughout our community. In a world where politicians think nothing of using children as bait and a Head of State thinks nothing of a priest seducing a child, I mourn the loss of one good man.

Greg Ross

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