Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Eulogy to a Hero

Busy day today. OK – so who am I fooling, almost all days are busy. The price I pay for taking a day off (even on the weekend) is added busyness. I did get almost caught up though so that’s a good thing.

I was greatly saddened to read that my high school idol and scuba instructor died. – Bessel VanderHazel. He was 77 years old. Very active in life. He ran, canoed, cross country skied and snow shoed. He had a keen interest in fitness and nature. He opened an outdoor centre near Woodstock where I grew up. He loved scuba diving and infected me with a love for scuba for a number of years when I was in high school and university. I remember fondly a camping trip to Tobermory that he took a group of divers on when I was in my teens. He always treated me with respect, even though I was a scrawny kid and I appreciated it. He always expected the best from me. He was a great man who never would have said he was great. He touched my life as I hope I touch some others.

I read a great Bernard Shaw quote on the weekend. “Life is not about discovering yourself, it is about creating yourself”

Bessel did just that – he created his life.


At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim - Thank you for the very kind words about my father, Bessel. As I travel throughout Ontario for business I frequently come across people who were taught by, or otherwise crossed paths with, my father (having an unusual last name certainly aids in that recognition). His life was dedicated to teaching, so it's a great feeling to know that he had such a lasting influence on you and others. I'm especially touched by your choice of a title for this entry. My Dad said he wasn't a hero (usually a reference to the limited combat he saw in the Dutch Resistance during WWII and afterwards serving the Dutch military in Indonesia), but I always considered him a hero for his gift of tireless education to his family and the thousands of students that passed through his classrooms.

Best Regards,
Mark Vandenhazel

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

No need to think me for the kind words. They are from the heart.



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