On Thursday last, Debra and I attended the funeral of Fay (Chookie) Gay. Fay was mother of Geoff, Tania, Janice and she unofficially adopted me many decades ago too! She and her late husband Allan were my "other parents" and were a big part of my life. Together, Allan and Fay started Gaytone Studios at Kedron in that amazing big old house. Allan had bought it from farmer Mr Rode after the war. Rode Road was named after him. It stood on an acre of land right in the middle of Kedron and it came to be my second home. A big studio in the lounge and a darkroom downstairs. Flash batteries all over the lounge room floor being recharged for Saturday's weddings… the memories…..
I had come into their lives when I met son Geoff in the Escort Car Club of Qld. He and I were as thick as thieves for many years.. until he married in 1988. Then he simply disappeared! I guess some wives have that effect on their husbands! And some husbands silently comply with out so much as a whimper!
When Debra and I came to be a couple post my divorce, they welcomed her to the family with open arms. Fay and Allan really were wonderful people and it was Allan who convinced me to become a wedding photographer as he had done.
Allan was some years older than Fay and swept her off her feet when he came home from the WW2. He had been a bomber pilot serving as an Australian RAAF officer on seconment with the RAF. His crew were all in their late teens and Allan was the old man at 27. He brought his crew home safely night after night in their trusty Halifax. After his death Fay and I met one of his crew.. he told us that they all owed their lives to Allan's skill and judgement as a pilot. He was a special man was our Allan.
Fay (and the world) lost Allan in 1998 and soldiered on very well until her health began to fail. Old age is not kind to some people.. Fay fell into this category and ended her days in a care facility.
The roll up at her funeral was really amazing.. so many people from all the chapters of her life. And it was good to meet her grand children again… I hadn't see them for so many years. Also I had to chance to meet another of her grandchildren for the first time. A good looking young man who has a lot to learn about life. At present he is self centred, arrogant, worships money and has no concept of service before self. He is yet to learn that he is not the centre of the universe, nor God's gift to the human race. I guess he'll learn this or become very lonely as he ages… very sad really.
An old flame of mine was there (she told me she heard me on Greg's program) as obviously was Geoff and we had a chance to talk a little bit…. 'er indoors wasn't there to intervene this time you see.
So two funerals in two weeks and the common denominator was the Escort Car Club of QLD. Forty years ago when we terrorised the streets of Brisbane in our Lotus Twin Cams, I don't think any of us could have imagined where we would be four decades later.
Farewell Fay… your passing closes a chapter of my life forever. it was a loving, fun time and we will always remember you.