Fiona and Tim

Fiona and Tim

Yesterday I received a surprise Email from Mathieu McGuire in the UK. Mathieu was one of the young junior orienteers about the same time as my grandson, Aaron. He was a member of the Mini Cyclones Squad, competed in the annual Queensland Schools Orienteering Championships and was selected in the Queensland Schools team. He came to our sport as one of Helen Sherriff’s St. Edmunds Orienteering Club, always excited about participating no matter what his result. He had stumbled across my Writer’s Blog, and having been absorbed by the enlightened mindfulness written into some of the blog posts, he had felt compelled to be in touch.

The compliments he said about me brought a lot more than one tear to my eyes, but it also made we realise how much Fiona Calabro would have deserved even more praise. Till she died of a brain tumour and the complications of a stroke in 2014, she was the State Junior Coach and organiser of the Mini Cyclones training camps, amongst making many other contribution at State and National Orienteering level. There is rarely a day goes by without me thinking about her enthusiasm for our sport and her friendship.

The other person I so miss from our Toohey Forest Orienteers is Tim Apelt, for three years our club president. Like Fiona, Tim died of incurable cancer not that long after Fiona’s departure. He was truely a best mate — close bushwalking and orienteering friend with, like me, a passionate love of Toohey Forest where his ashes have been scattered. He died in dignity after 18 months of palliative care. Now I am on the same journey. Three for our club in six years is hardly fair, but we have to accept that we all die someday, it is part of the gift of living, and I’m sure none of us wanted our lives to being dragged out when the writing is ‘on the wall’, or the massage for me clear to see in my blog posts.

Yes readers go on visiting my blog. Rob’s Write will be cactus too by 2020.


About rpsimson1936

Retired geography and outdoor education teacher who loves orienteering and writes novels.
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