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Dolores Roberts

Sending all my love to you in these difficult times. Hugs and kisses, Anna

Jennafae Mikhaela “Jenna” Fenton-Goldsmith

Dear Ruth and Mark, I just heard this terrible news today and just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine the devastation you are feeling. Know that we are thinking of you and send you our sincerest condolences. May God bless you all. Love, Arabella, Edward and Sophia.

Jennafae Mikhaela “Jenna” Fenton-Goldsmith

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Julian Charles Horne

This is the eulogy I wrote for my Dad: Most of my memories with my dad involve laughter. So many memories come to mind that it’s impossible to pick the funniest. Throughout our young lives, he taught me, Oli and Rosie to see the funny side of almost anything. Not so long ago, Dad told me that a sense of humour is a sign of resilience. I think he said that he had learned this from someone or somewhere else, but the statement itself was what stuck with me. This was one of many vastly helpful life lessons that he managed to fit into a few words. He was always able to joke about the things that troubled him most. Dad had a consistent, underlying frustration with modern western society. Like so many of us, he wanted to believe that things are fair, that justice is intrinsic, but it bothered him a lot more than most. When he could clearly see that people were being exploited or otherwise wronged, he genuinely cared. Perhaps this immense empathy that he possessed was a burden, as well as a gift. Nonetheless, his empathy led to much more good than it did bad. One night when I was about 9, I couldn’t sleep for whatever reason. My dad stayed up to talk to me. I don’t know whether it was because he thought it would help me sleep or just because he was thinking about it, but he introduced 9-year-old me to the philosophical problem of free will. Though the solidity of the logic blew my mind, I still believed that free will existed, but what Dad had taught me, on this occasion and many others, was to think critically. This is still the most valuable skill that I have ever learned. My dad only lived for 47 years but in that time he accomplished more than most would in 80. By the time he was 25 he had lived in many different houses around Wollongong, Sydney and the mountains, gotten married, had his first son, was qualified working as a high school teacher, had cycled from Sydney to Melbourne with mates and restored a rusty shell of a 1963 model EH Holden to pristine condition. In the second half of his life he had two more kids, fought fires with the Rural Fire Service, here in the mountains and in Deniliquin, effectively hiked from Goulburn to Katoomba with his brother, my uncle, Al, and had careers as diverse as teaching, local government, IT, as well as intelligence work with the NSW Police Drug Squad. All the while he was constantly studying different things through TAFE and universities. To people who didn’t know him, it might be hard to believe that a man who was this accomplished also spent most of his life battling with depression, anxiety and alcoholism. Dad told me that physical exercise is a healthier, more effective way to blow off steam than substance abuse. It seemed like riding his bike would always make him feel better. I’m sure he realised that his love of nature was just as powerful, if not more. The beauty he saw in nature was reflected in his knowledge of it, which he began to pass on to us, his kids. Up until the past few years, almost every outing he took me on involved going into the bush in one way or another. I can remember going camping with him back so early that the memories are blurry. I assume that my dad taught a lot of people valuable lessons. He taught me to see the value in nature, compassion, poetry, humour and critical thought. He taught me not to make assumptions and not to compromise my values.

Julian Charles Horne

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