30th December 1971 – 30th July 1992
A personal dedication to Sarah and all of my thirty five cousins (Gaffney’s and Ellis’), to my brother and sisters and Liam, Dylan and Ryan.
Today marks the twenty second death date of our special Benjamin, usually I don’t like to be so sombre but the recent death of the young motorbike rider, just up the road (http://julie-annellis.com/2014/07/25/the-lone-man/) has resurrected many thoughts and feelings.
Benjamin died as a young twenty year old in a “bad accident” and I am taking this opportunity with you all to share and celebrate some of my moments with Ben.
To me, Ben was my older cousin, friend and mentor.
The last time I saw Ben, we borrowed my mum’s old car and went on a road trip to Toowoomba. I remember this trip clearly as it was my opportunity to get to know Benjamin a little better, one-on-one, as young adults (N.B. my younger brother Josh was with us too).
After the trip, Ben and I went to a friend of mine’s party, then we went bush-bashing, yes, in my mums’ car. Naively, I had never been bush-bashing before, I felt scared and thrilled all at the same time. Most of all, I just thought it was COOL that Ben wanted to hang out with me.
When I was in Year Eleven, I was very much a lost soul, Ben and Sarah helped me through a few teenage angst moments (and I will always be forever grateful). Ben and I also lived in the same house at Paddington (Nanna’s) for a short while. During one conversation, Ben asked how school was going, what am I studying and so forth, I asked him about an art assignment that I could not get my head around. Benjamin read it and came back the day later with an armful of resources for me.
The assignment was about Line, Rhythm, Shape/Line/Dominance, Proportion, Tone, Colour, and Contrast. Benjamin purchased a $5 copy of the Handbook of Art (1971. The Specialty Press Limited: North Clayton, Victoria.), from the old Patty’s book store at Paddington. He also had a made me a bound book of his own notes and comments on Line, Rhythm, Shape, etc.
I would like to share with you the remains of that bound book that Ben gave me, with reference to the Handbook of Art.
(To those of you that knew Ben, I hope you get a giggle out of his references and a thrill out of seeing his writing.)
I have also managed to dig up a piece of paper from the “Prayers of the Faithful” from Ben’s funeral:
Ben has touched many people’s hearts and I pray that these people reflect the peace and love that he wished for them.
(Written and spoken by me.)
Help us to learn gentleness and peace from Ben’s example.
(Written and not sure if spoken by Aunty Grace Watson.)
Ben you’ll always be, Forever Young.
To me you’ll be Forever Young.
Your smile will stay with me.
And ignite my dormant soul.
Free us from our earthly bonds.
With light guide or way to the stars.
Your peace gave us a sign.
May your peace leave us a sign.
(Written and not sure if spoken by John Ryan.)
PEACE TO YOU ALL!