Brisbane, QLD

Monday, January 19, 2009


My brother, David, passed away (this morning Aust time) last night in London. He was diagnosed with liver cancer only 3 months ago. Here is a short tribute to his life.

David was born in London in 1937. His proud parents were Florrie and Len.

Like all little boys he liked to help his Dad start the truck.(about 1938/39)

He enjoyed his Mum reading him stories. (1940)

In 1942, I came along. He was 5.

A rare photo of us playing during the war. There was a shortage of photographic paper.

We were lucky to survive the war but life was miserable in England after the war so my parents decided to migrate to Australia. We went for a trip to Yorkshire to say goodbye to our grandparents. (1948)

We were on an exciting adventure on the ship going to Australia. It was harder for David as he was a young teen and had to leave friends in London.

We lived in Sydney and life was tough for our parents, working hard and building a house on weekends but occasionally we had trips to the beach. Cronulla Beach 1950.

David went to Sydney Technical High School and played Football (Soccer). (He followed football right up to his death. Arsenal being the team that he supported.) During this time he had to look after me while our parents were at work. I could always rely on my big brother if I got into fights with my schoolmates. However we also had quite a few sibling dust ups too.

But in 1956 when he was 19 and I was 14 he got a job in Papua/ New Guinea and he left the family home for good. It was sad to see him go but we were all excited for him in his new and challenging career. I didn't see much of him after that.

His job was that of a Patrol Officer in the jungles of P/NG. He was one of many young Australians who were given the task of bringing law and order and civilisation to the primitive tribes. His stories were of adventure and danger and we were very proud of him.

He would return home on leave once every two years. It was an exciting time for us. In 1962 he was sent to the Australian School of Pacific Administration in Sydney for a training course. It just happened to be the same year that I was accepted by the same school to do a Cadet Education Course for P/NG. So I was lucky enough to spend a year sharing a flat with him and his new wife Ann and baby Michael. The next year they all returned to P/NG, while I continued at the school for another year, before I went to P/NG to teach. However I was posted to the town of Pt Moresby and David was in Daru so we had very little contact.

In 1967 we were all on leave and had a rare Christmas together with our parents. Elizabeth and young David were with us too. They are my brother's step children.

David and me in Sydney 1967. Although we both worked in P/NG we were rarely in the same town except for a short time in Pt Moresby before I left to live in Switzerland with my new husband, Bill, in 1970 and then settle in Brisbane in1971.

Back in P/NG, David had been working hard and progressed in his career as a District Officer and finally he became the Deputy Clerk of The House of Assembly. (the interim government before independence) Here his son Michael is on his knee.

He worked with John Guise, the Speaker of the House at the time.

David was a representative of the P/NG govt. in talks in Indonesia.

In 1975 P/NG became independent and David's job no longer existed so after working for the people of P/NG for 19 years he and his family decided to try their luck in England for 5 years but they enjoyed living there so much that they stayed there forever. Consequently I didn't see much of him.

He came to Brisbane to visit us in 1977. A rare time for the family to be together.

David's daughter, Elizabeth also moved from Australia to England and was married there in 1983. Her brother, David, lives in Victoria. Aust.

He visited us again for Christmas in 1984. He found it hot after UK.

At home and happy in the UK. in 1992.

In 1992 we visited him in London. This is outside his home.

In 2004 we met in Paris for a weekend.

David and Ann enjoyed cruises in their retirement. They went to visit their son Micheal, who lives in St Lucia in the West Indies.

David and Ann in their kitchen. David enjoyed cooking.

David and Ann often went on cruises with this same group of friends.

David turns 70 in 2007.

Our daughter Carol and husband David live very close to David and Ann. On this particular day in 2007, our other daughter, Sonya, was in London visiting at the same time as my brother's son Michael was visiting from the West Indies. It was the first time the cousins had all met .

Only 4 months ago, while we were on holidays in Europe, David and Ann came to Switzerland to join us for 6 days in Spiez. We had a great time together and it was very hard saying goodbye. Somehow we both felt this would be the last time we would be together.

We had a long chat on the ferry on the beautiful Lake of Thun (Toon) and I am so lucky that this is how I will remember him. When he returned to London he had to have a check up, because he had had a melanoma removed. When I returned home in late September, he rang me with the news that the cancer had spread to his liver and he only had a few months to live. He felt well at the time but it didn't take long for this dreadful disease to take him from us at the relatively young age of 71.
He was my big brother and a good bloke. Rest in peace David. All our love and sympathy to his wife Ann and children, Elizabeth, David and Michael and his grandchildren, Adrian and Oliver.


  1. I am so sorry. What a wonderful post and tribute to your brother. I'm so glad that you had what must have been a wonderful relationship with him. That doesn't happen in every family and you were very blessed indeed. Love to you at a sad time.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your big brother. I can only imagine how difficult this time is for you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you...

  3. Sorry to hear of your big brother's death. Your photographic journey through his life is a wonderful testament to him, you and your parents.
    Lots of love
    Chris XX

  4. My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy Diane on the passing of your brother David. May he Rest in Peace.
    Thank you for the beautifu Tribute.
    May you find strength in your faith, comfort in God's love and peace in knowing your friends are praying for you.
    To meet and to part is the story of life....
    To part and to meet is the glory of life....

  5. A marvellous tribute in memory of your brother Diane....I`m so sorry for your loss....
    Love to you and your

  6. Thank you everyone for your kind words

  7. Oh Diane,

    It must be so sad for you, but your last memories of him are so joyous.

    It is such a beautiful pictorial tribute you have created - I'm sure he would be very pleased.

    Jeff lost his brother to liver cancer in his 30's. It is hard to fill the void. We all got together and remembered the good times and felt he was there with us laughing along as well.

    Love and hug each other lots.

  8. Oh Diane, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. I have one brother, Warren, I am so close too. I can only imagine the day I have to say goodbye to him. Please know you are in my prayers, and I send you hugs and kisses from Memphis, TN. May God give you that strength that passeth all understanding dear lady.

  9. I'm so sorry for your loss, Diane!
    This post is a beautiful tribute to him and his family. He must have been a very special man.
    God Bless,

  10. Hi,
    So sad to read of the loss of your brother.
    Great pictorial tribute!

  11. I'm so sorry for your loss- your tribute was touching and beautiful - my, he was a handsome man!
    As I struggle with my brother's cancer, I appreciate your planting the tree - this I must remember to do for him when God calls him home.

    I am sending healing thoughts for you and all of his family. Please accept my deepest sympathies.

  12. Dear Mum,
    What a beautiful tribute to Uncle David. I'm so glad that Dave and I had then chance to get to know him properly while we are living in London. It was obvious that he thought the world of you and I will always remember the two of you at the dinner table in Speiz, laughing and talking together.
    May he rest in piece.
    All my love
    Carol mmmmmWAH!

  13. Thank you again all my friends

  14. So very sorry but what a wonderful tribute to him

  15. condolences for your sad loss. you have made a wonderful tribute and i hope the david tree flourishes. Fran

  16. I am so sad for your loss. This is a wonderful tribute to your brother, his life and the love he had for his family and the love you had for him. For me this is very close to home as I lost my sister in January 2009 also. She had fought a long fight with cancer and seemed to be hanging in there but then all of a sudden lost her battle and in the space of a couple of weeks was gone. It's like a hole has been punched right through you, she and I were very close, if not in distance. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers tonight. God Bless!

  17. I just found your blog...moved by this beautiful tribute to your brother. I in my circumstance am the big sister (also 5 yr senior). We are in our 30-s 40-s...and still quite connected.. .maybe not as much as I would like...I am moved by this tribute,inspired even more for more connected connection and thank you for sharing this/ God Bless!

  18. Hi Diane, I've followed your blog for a while and today I clicked on the icon of your tribute to your brother. Wow, it's beautiful. Lovely photos from the thirties. Your mum and dad were wonderful looking people and raised two lovely children in you and David. My deepest condolences. Blessings Jo, South Africa.

  19. Dear Diane,
    I read this very moving tribute and couldn't help feeling sad and at the same time very grateful. The pictures although taken along time ago are well-preserved. What a wonderful way of remembering your beloved brother. I am grateful for men like your late brother (and women like yourself) who had the guts and an adventurous spirit and had given their time and lives to PNG. What was your late brother's surname? He was there at the time when PNG was going through a big big change for many of her people and often very confusing and uncertain. Thank you for sharing your late brother's life and his career in PNG. I enjoy your posts so much so I've included your URL so that others can also be blessed by your adventures. Hugs and smiles, Mari

  20. A nice tribute. I suppose there have been books written by PNG patrol officers. It must have been interesting.