Tribute to David!

16 January 2011

I’m back on the mountain today but today’s update is a reading I prepared for David.

I’ve had the privilege of knowing David for close to ten-years now and we’ve shared some wonderful moments together, not only in the mountains but golfing, at corporate days at Wentworth, at my 50th and at David and Chrissy’s wedding. Besides spending hours commiserating with each other about the plight of West Ham and Southampton, we had a similar taste in music, films, and blondes of course, and always had something to talk about together.

But David wasn’t always easy as he was a perfectionist, and too often he’d berate himself over a bad turn here, or a little tumble there. And when I was brave enough to compliment him I’d often get, “That snow was easy! Anyone could ski that snow. If you can’t ski that snow you shouldn’t be here.” There were times when you couldn’t win for losing with David. But at the end of the day he always made you laugh, either he had that big cheery smile on his face, or you’d have a giggle as he beat up on himself.

But underneath all that he truly loved his skiing. He loved the search for, and the skiing of powder snow. He loved the anticipation when arriving at the top of big slope of trackless virgin snow. He loved the thrill of the skiing and took pride in the team effort involved in laying a perfect set of ‘Alpine’ tracks.

David also adored the sea and his sailing, he loved his cars, and by the way his face and eyes lit up when telling me about his trip to Peru with Chrissy and Keith, he’d also found a new passion in horse-back riding.

But all of David’s pursuits had the common thread of risk. And like many of us here today that element of risk added to the enjoyment and exhilaration of the sport. It made him feel alive. And that element of risk was also what made these pastimes bonding experiences with those who he shared these passions with, and bred camaraderie that most don’t often get in life. It is part of why he has so many friends and loved-ones here today.

But none of us really think that we’ll die pursuing what we love in life. David didn’t want to grow old but he’s been taken from us far too early. He’s paid the ultimate price and because of that we’ll never forget him. He’ll always be with us and a part of us. He’ll be with us when we ski our powder snow, when we head to the Fornet and most certainly each time we ski the Combe du Signal. No matter where we are in the world he’ll be with us each and every Boxing Day for the rest of our lives. He’ll be with us at Penny’s New Years drinks parties. He’ll be with you sailors when you’re on the water and each time you line up for a race. David will be with us when we admire a beautiful car and he’ll be with you equestrians when you saddle up your mounts. He’ll be with us through his music and he’ll be with me each time I hit my lob wedge, which was a gift from David and Chrissy for my 50th.

A quote from Kaye’s e-mail, “ we all know the risks but all hope it’ll never happen. Sometimes it does and it’s now more to do with how we cope rather then dwelling on the event. David would want us all to cope and move forward. He wouldn’t want any of us to quit. He’d want us to continue doing the things we love most and he’d want us to savour each moment and cherish our experiences because no one promises us tomorrow. David would want us all to get back in the saddle and continue on.

David was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He was so proud of Sasha and Jeremy and of his grandchildren. He would also be so proud of how strong and brave Chrissy has been since his tragic accident. David was also a true gentleman. Myself and everyone at Alpine Experience are so sorry about what’s happened to David. He will be sorely missed but he’ll live on in our memories and through our pursuits.

David would sometimes quote on tough days from one of his favourite films Gladiator, he’d say, “Wayne, no matter what comes through that door, we’ve got to stick together.” Then he’d punch his left breast and hold his clenched fist over his heart and say, “ Strength and honour, Strength and honour!”

David, may you rest in peace.

Find us on Facebook