" The thing that Anton had over all of us was that he knew himself and had the courage to live his dreams. In that sense, by far and away the richest one amongst us. Anton has passed through this phase of our lives too soon but not so quickly that he did not get his message across. Selfishly, I wish that I could have had another twenty years with him.
It was clear to me that he was here for a purpose and his actions throughout his life followed this thread. There can be no doubt that everyone's life was richer for having known Anton and he showed us the true meaning of real life values - Humour, Humility, Generosity, Achievement, Kindness and a great set of Bollocks - both literally and metaphorically speaking. The second purpose was possibly that the experiences throughout his life were grooming him for his last moment; to give his life to save and protect others.
I am extremely happy that the manner of his passing was so appropriate and was a fitting end to this chapter of his remarkable life with us.
That he died in Africa, in the bush, doing what he loved best and in the company of great friends is an enormous comfort to me. His last few weeks were such fun by all accounts and the efforts of that day from everyone present, his trackers, Pen, the medical team of Fi and Nick and other team members, the evacuation team and from Ben, were nothing short of outstanding.
That his last selfless act, which has already become and will continue to be the stuff of legend, is just pure Anton.
That his family has borne the brunt of this tragic accident with such dignity, serenity and courage has allowed all of us to come together and openly share our feelings; typical of that quiet kindness of the Turner family. Tim, Tricia, Georgie, Dan, Claudia, Saskia and Caius, we are indebted to you for bringing Anton into our lives and for sharing him with us. The level of respect in which he was held will continue to be seen beyond today over coming months and years.
In closing, my thoughts turn to Sara and Anton's great news. That there will be a further chapter in Anton's life is a blessing. The birth star sign will be the same as old 'Tony Maloney'. The inheritance may just be an old tin mug, a medallion or two and an old pair of shorts, a lifetime of stories and dreams. But also a deep well of love from which to draw, filled by our respect for and memories of Anton.
If it is a girl, I hope that she does not inherit the chunky thighs and frizzy hair of her Father. If it is a boy, I hope that he can be passed on at least one of those famous kikois to continue to work that special Anton magic for years to come.
To my dearest of friends, it has been my life's greatest honour to have known you, Anton Turner, once met, never forgotten"
Whenever I am in wide open spaces, sailing across the seas,
Through all the laughs and adventures you were there
You cannot be forgotten, your dhow will sail on
|By Ed Swales|