My dad’s mom, my last remaining grandparent, passed away at the start of this year. She was 82. As is now the tradition, I was asked to deliver the eulogy at the memorial service, and in an effort to preserve it online for myself, this is what I said…
Beatrice Elaine Lötter (20/04/1935 – 04/01/2018) – Memorial 10 January 2018
Thank you for all being here today. We are gathered here in remembrance and to pay our respects to Beatrice Elaine Lötter, who most of you would have known as Bea, to some of us as Granny Lotter, and to even fewer still, as Mom.
For those of you who don’t know, Gran hails from the Eastern Cape, having grown up in Bathurst before moving on to Grahamstown where she pursued a career as a theater nurse. It was there where she met and started seriously courting my grandfather (and his motorbike), himself a nurse who specialised in working at psychiatric wards.
Following Grandpa’s various postings, the two of them jumped around between Grahamstown, Queenstown and our very own Bellville, with a small family jump-started somewhere in between. Having come from a big family, and now with four boisterous boys to take care of herself, Gran would eventually step back from the nursing profession and move on to being a full time home-maker, as she and Grandpa dove headfirst into quiet suburban life.
Jumping forward in time to 1983, Granny and Grandpa finally settled back in Bellville (shortly after my birth), thereby becoming permanent fixtures in our upbringing – so much so that I still have very fond memories of them playing games with us kids and cards with my folks twice a week, every week, for pretty much forever – first Wednesday evening at our house and then Friday evening at theirs!
Gran and Grandpa had an immense love for the outdoors, and they were almost constantly away for weekends in either their trusty Autovilla or caravan (of which they had many!), spending many of those weekends away in the company of their beloved Tygerberg Caravan Club compatriots. My siblings and I often got a chance to join them on these adventures, which if I remember right were always an absolute blast – probably because gran was known for always making sure that there was always some sort of sweet treat on hand!
In terms of loves, Gran absolutely adored playing games (cards, jukskei and bowls I can definitely remember as favourites) and watching sports – particularly if a national team was involved. She loved watching the cricket in particular – basically, if the Proteas were playing a game then you could always ring her up and be of getting an accurate match update!
Gran was perhaps a natural worrier, but more importantly, she was always willing to lend a hand and step in to serve wherever, and whenever, she was needed. She was always involved, always on some or other committee. She loved her garden, she loved her sports, she loved her kids, she loved her grandkids, and she loved her great grandkids.
And as such, we’ll miss her. Her friends at Eden Park will miss her. Her friends in the Presbyterian church will miss her. We family will miss her.
Hopefully, with the pain finally gone and perhaps now in the company of her loved ones gone before her, Bea can well and truly be in peace.
Rest well Granny Lotter.
In 2054, an unknown alien life form fell from the sky. The destruction began and the United Nations government was forced reorganise the army to oppose them and to defend the Earth. This combat action was dubbed ‘The first encounter action’. In 2059, after five years, the battle is still going on.
Takuto Kaneshiro is a young scientist, currently completing his studies at a prestigious aerospace university. His girlfriend, Maki Agata, is also a young scientist, currently working with Prof. Noguchi to decipher more about the mysterious aliens. Their current project is a gigantic alien iron life form that fell from the sky. They finally managed to piece the patchwork giant up again and now hope to resurrect it.
But the experiment to awaken Frank, or Extra-1 as the military designates it, goes horribly wrong. As the facility known as Morgue crumbles around his ears, Kaneshiro can only watch in horror as the monster Extra-1 crushes his beloved Maki and Prof. Noguchi.
Somehow Kaneshiro’s life is sparred, but he is left horribly scarred and disfigured. As he lies recovering in the hospital bed, a mysterious man with red-hair approaches him. The man proposes a deal. If he gave Kaneshiro the power to destroy Extra-1, will Kaneshiro become his tool? With hatred burning in his heart, Kaneshiro accepts the stranger’s offer. He awakes to find himself with a new face, a new name and a new identity. Ryu Soma.
He joins up with the elite military anti-alien task force known as Funeral. Using their advanced weaponary such as the Sarg Mecha and the Mistel carrier, Funeral wage a non-stop war against the alien menace. Ryu fights alongside them, but his only real opponent shall ever be Extra-1.
Argento Soma is a very stylish artistic anime title. The stories are well told, the use of imagery nicely done and the music nicely presented. The ideas being portrayed are interesting and so you feel that this series should be a good package. Unfortunately it isn’t. It’s not bad, but the pace at which the story unfolds is so badly handled that you find yourself wishing the series would end already, that is, if you have continued watching it so far.
As mentioned before the story is relatively interesting. Aliens have invaded Earth and the military have scrambled to stop them. A special division called Funeral is established, and utilizing advanced mecha and machinery, are in charge of stopping the alien incursions. A pathwork alien falls in their hands and becomes their tool against the aliens. However, the main character, Takuto Kaneshiro loses his girlfriend as well as a part of his face when they revive the patchwork alien, known as Extra-1. Kaneshiro, pushed by a mystery man, assumes a new identity of Ryu Soma and joins up with funeral. The story focuses on the hate relationship between the two and how this is eventually resolved. The character, alien and mecha designs are all first class and the storytelling is very well done, but the series is let down by horrible pacing.
The animation on Argento Soma is very nicely done, with movements being very fluid and realistic. The aliens take on the same feel as those in Neon Genesis Evangelion, something instantly recognizable to Evangelion fans. The music is atmospheric and the anime has a beautifully melodic opening track. However, the end track sounds kind of out of place, so I usually skip listening to it.
Overall, you can see that the director was trying his best to put forward a polished and artistic piece of work. It would have succeeded too, if it only hadn’t been for the poor story pacing. If you enjoy a good drama and some mecha action, then you might enjoy Argento Soma. Just don’t expect to watch the series all in one go though.
(Historical Note: This was written back in August 2003. Thankfully my writing has improved greatly since then.)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argento_Soma
Sadly, my mom’s mom, my Gran, passed away recently. I was asked to say something at the memorial and in an effort to preserve it online, this is what I said.
Iona Ray Bothma (1930 – 2013) – Memorial 19 April 2013
Thank you for all coming today. We’re gathered here in remembrance and to pay our respect to Iona Ray Bothma, who some of you would have known as Iona, others as Mom, and to me and my brother and sister, Granny Sedgefield.
Gran was born in Hanover in the Karoo, though most of her schooling years took place in George where she spent the majority of her childhood. Then it was off to Cape Town where she would eventually meet and fall in love with my grandfather Stefanus, and from there it was life in the Northern Suburbs for them, where they were eventually blessed with two wonderful children, Stephen and Cheryl. Finally it was off on retirement to Sedgefield, which is the part of their lives which we grandchildren associate with the most, hence the moniker of Granny and Grandpa Sedgefield, which to this day remains the way Ryan, Claire and I refer to them.
We spent pretty much every holiday and long weekend travelling up to Sedgefield to visit with our grandparents and it was there that we were spoiled and loved, and truly experienced Granny’s remarkable kindness and empathy, her genuine interest in and love for all her family.
She was a home-maker good and proper, with a huge love for her sewing and knitting, for her gardening, and of course her two little furry doggy companions, Piaf and Chloe. Together she and grandpa were without a doubt the highlight of our lives as children when away from home, always ready with a surprise present, or a delicious snack, or just that much needed hug and cuddle.
Eventually old age caught up with them and they moved back down to Cape Town, and joined the “family” here at Eden Park, where funnily enough, my father’s parents had also moved in. Sadly though, my grandfather took ill and passed away (almost ten years ago now) which was of course a terrible blow to my grandmother, but who instead of just giving up, silently soldiered on, long enough for both my sister Claire and her husband, and myself and my wife to present to her her great grandchildren, Devon and Jessica.
One of the first (and most striking) things that comes up whenever you talk to friends or acquaintances about Gran is the incredible level of thoughtfulness she had when dealing with people, that incredible patience and kindness she showed to everyone, a quality which without a doubt defined her very being.
And it truly is sad to lose a person like that.
The only solace we as family can take from her passing is that she did touch a lot of people with her kindness over the years, and more importantly, is now finally at rest, reunited with her beloved Stefanus and Stephen in heaven.
We will miss you terribly Gran, but we can rest assured that you are smiling down upon us and for that, we are grateful.
Rest in peace Granny Sedge.
I found this Word document dating back to 2006 in my archives, and in an effort to preserve it I have decided to now post it online. This is the eulogy that I read out at my grandfather’s (father’s father) memorial service just after he passed away.
Willem Adriaan Lotter (26/09/1932 – 27/11/2006) – Eulogy 30/11/2006
Willem Lotter to most of you, Grandpa Lotter to me. I’m standing here today to just say a few words, share a few thoughts about my Grandpa and the life he lived before he finally passed on.
My Gran and Grandpa got married in 1954 and enjoyed 52 years of marriage, enduring both the good and the bad times together – on that note I suppose I’d better include their four sons as a good thing (after all one of them is the reason I’m here). But it was the together part that I want to harp upon. I don’t think Grandpa and Gran ever did things apart – they always stuck together through thick and thin and I think this has been especially noticeable through Grandpa’s final years, when Gran has pulled through the strain and stubbornly stuck by his side no matter what. So for this I want to thank you Gran, thank you for showing all of us just what the bonds of marriage means. You have without a doubt stood by those words uttered so long ago “In sickness and in health, for better and worse, until death do us part.” For that alone I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
But this is about Grandpa and his life. Throughout his life, Grandpa worked to the benefit of those others who could not help themselves. He started his career in psychiatric nursing in his hometown of Grahamstown at the Fort England institute before moving down to the Cape where he continued his good work at both the Stikland and Valkenberg psychiatric hospitals where he eventually became a matron.
Outside of work, Grandpa shared with Gran a love for the great outdoors. For as long as I have known them, Grandpa and Gran never ceased to travel. Almost every weekend they would be in some new location, travelling by trusty caravan or AutoVilla to some far off location, braving wind and rain simply to enjoy the beauties of nature and the company of all their friends in the Tygerberg Caravan Club. And every now and then one of us Grandkids would go along for the ride – and make no mistake, it was always fun!
There is probably ONE word that sums up Grandpa – ‘Mischievous’. When you saw that twinkle in his eye and that small little grin sitting above that ‘bokbaard’ of his, you know you were in for a treat (or trouble if you were his intended target). I remember how he would mercilessly tease Gran or us kids, or pull the funniest pranks and tell the most hilarious jokes. He had a particular trick with his false teeth that always got the better of us when we were little. Grandpa was always a laugh and that is something I’ll never forget. He also made the best pancakes – the largest, most delicious pancakes in the whole wide world)
Grandpa took great interest in us his grandchildren. He would literally spend hours playing with us, be it cricket with his old plastic cricket set or ludo with us taking up all of Gran’s table. We played cards and board games until it came out of our ears! And he always made it treat for us to be there by them.
He really enjoyed his sports and mom and dad involved in good natured battle of either Jukskei, bowls, darts, cards or whatever caught his fancy at that moment. Every Wednesday and Friday night without fail, mom and Gran (The ladies) would take on the men at Canasta, but I’m afraid to say that 90% of the time dad and grumps came out on top.
Grandpa was a stubborn man who did things the way he believed things should be done. I once remember when we were with on a caravanning trip through the Kruger Park how Grandpa insisted on getting out of the car in the middle of a game drive simply to admire the view better and have a cup of coffee. No matter what the rules were or said, Grandpa would insist on staying true to himself.
And that’s the memory I will hold onto of my grandfather: The white-haired mischievous stubborn man with a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his face that always had time and a place in his heart for his family.
And although he may no longer be with us in the flesh, I can picture him even now, sitting somewhere in the veldt under a giant shady tree in his trusty old camp-chair, watching down over us with a great big mug of coffee in his hand.
May you rest in peace Grandpa, you’ve earned it.
I found this Word document dating back to 2004 in my archives, and in an effort to preserve it I have decided to now post it online. This is the eulogy that I read out at my grandfather’s (mother’s father) memorial service just after he passed away.
Stefanus Cristoffel Bothma (Fanie) – Eulogy, Wednesday 7th January 2004
Stefanus Cristoffel Bothma. Or Grandpa Sedgefield as he was known to us kids all the years. There is a lot that I can say about this special man, but I probably don’t have all the words I want to use, or the time to say it all. Perhaps I should start with a poem by Henry Scott Holland. He probably sums up death the best and this poem in particular is special to the family for other reasons as well. It’s called “In Deepest Sympathy”.
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed,
At the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
It always was, let it be spoken without effect,
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am
out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval,
Somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well
He is waiting for us, somewhere very near. Just around the corner. Grandpa Sedgefield, or Grumps as I used to call him, was probably one of the kindest, gentlest of men you would meet. Very unlike his fiery red-headed appearance, Grumps almost never raised his voice nor spoke a word in anger. He always did his utmost to help people in need, no matter who they were.
A loving husband, he and Gran were married for 51 years. It would have been 52 in March. It was a loving friendship and relationship that stood the test of time – and brought many wonderful memories and moments with it.
Grumps was a very meticulous and thorough person. He was also very dedicated, and if he started something then he would see it through to the end. He worked for the post office for his whole life, and made many friends amongst his colleagues. He was a hard worker and a respected man. He was also a very cleanly man, and I remember that if there was a bit of fluff or dirt on your shirt, then he would lean over and remove it for you. He hated to see things out of place, and even now at the retirement home, he would walk around picking up things off the floor and giving it to the nursing staff to get rid of. With him everything had a time and place of its own and it was an ordered universe in which he lived.
He was a very helpful person, and Granny can’t even begin to remember how many people he would stop to help alongside the road, pulling their cars along when they got stuck with his trusty old Toyota Corona bakkie. Talking about cars, Grandpa was really passionate about his vehicles. One of his first cars that he owned when Granny met him was an old Morgan sports car. To this day Gran’s not sure whether she fell in love with Grandpa or with the car first. The car I will remember him the most for was his old Corona bakkie. He saw this old thing parked at the apartments where my mom and dad were staying and instantly fell in love with it. Gran and the rest of the family couldn’t understand it. It back had completely rusted off, so it looked more like a truck without a trailer. Still he persevered and managed to buy this thing off its owner. We don’t even think it was for sale at that time. Anyway, he fixed it up and had a wooden back-end fitted. This bakkie took him everywhere, and us grand kids had great fun on its back.
My mom remembers her dad of course as any daughter would. But she also remembers in particular how helpful he was when she and Ronnie first got married and moved out. Grumps went out of his way to help them and show my dad the tricks to DIY. Grandpa was a very practical person, and his garage was always packed with tools – all on their specially marked out places of course! He loved his woodwork, and I can remember him making all sorts of toys for us.
I remember my Grandpa as the great man that he was. I remember the time he spent with us grand kids, how he would take us for drives and walks, how we would sit staring over the Sedgefield Lagoon or run over the sand dunes. I remembering snuggling up against him late nights and watching the Lone Ranger riding into the sunset. He was a special man and we loved him dearly.
A good way to end this is by remembering his greatest passion during the year. He was an avid Formula One fan and wouldn’t miss a single race. He was a great Michael Schumacher fan and no matter how much I made fun of it, his man always seemed to win. Like Formula One, life is a race, and Grandpa has finally completed it. I think he won – but to him it was probably just the joy of taking part that kept him going. We love you and miss you. But we know that you will always be close by.
Over the course of the round the older gentleman and young man traded stories of past rounds, good shots and poor shots, and simply put, had a grand old time.
At the 14th, just as the older gentleman was lining up to tee off, he witnessed a funeral procession going past the golf course. Very quietly he stopped, hung his head and said a quiet prayer.
The young man stood astonished at what he had just witnessed and asked the old man, “That was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed, but may I ask just why you did what you did?”
After a moment of silence, the older gentleman replied, “Well we were married for 40 years you know.”
So another short day at work yesterday for me, but not for an enjoyable reason this time though. Aunt Sophie, my grans brothers wife passed away over the weekend at the ripe old age of 76, after battling debilitating illness for quite some time now. The funeral was scheduled for yesterday morning at 11:00, at the Kuilsriver Community Church. Kyle agreed to let me attend and I hit the road, managing to actually find the place without too much difficulty (pops and Claire on the other hand managed to get lost).
The service was moving and well presented, and I’m sure Auntie Sophie would have been proud of her family. Obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.
And as with all weddings and funerals, a lot of family who I haven’t seen in quite some time travelled to make the funeral. It was good to catch up with some of the people that I literally haven’t seen in years. (I even managed to make a poephol of myself, by completely forgetting that Laughlin has two children instead of one and she’s two and a half years old already!)
But the funniest, most embarrassing event for me of the day, had to be Aunt Thelma’s slip up after the service. I had been outside, chatting with Claire and Laughlin and admiring her new car. (The Polo looks mean, sporty and very powerful, and the black definitely works in its favour. I just don’t like the stretched doors thanks to it being a two door model). Anyway, on our way back inside the church, we spotted Auntie Thelma from Sedgefield. We’ve known them for years and spent a lot of time with them when we used to go on holiday to our gran and grandpa in Sedgefield back when we were kids. Having not seen them for ages, we headed off to say hi.
Auntie Thelma immediately recognised Claire and started chatting with her. After a little while, she turned to me standing by Claire’s side, looked at me, and then turned back to Claire, asking her if this was her fiance.
She wasn’t joking.
“No Auntie Thelma, I’m Craig. Claires brother, remember?”
“Really? What happened, you used to be so thin!?!”
And then to make it even more embarrassing, her husband, Uncle Louis joined us. Before he could say a word, Auntie Thelma promptly informed him that I was in fact Craig. First thing he did: Traced a large stomach with his hands in the air and asked: What happened?
*sigh* Of course the rest of my family found this completely hilarious. I’ve dug around and pulled an old picture of me from 2004. I guess if I look at it, I can see their point :(