It was exactly a year ago that my good friend Barry Marshall died in a tragic paddle-skiing incident in Port Elizabeth.
I remember the day vividly. 2nd September 2009. Sam and I had just received a mail from Elaine, Barry’s wife, sending us a belated congratulations on our new pregnancy. Elaine didn’t know it then, but Barry had already been lost out at sea for many hours. The next morning I received a call from Mike. Mike tends to phone me when massive stuff is happening, like when he called in 2001, telling me that a plane had flown into the World Trade Centre in New York. Mike’s call went like this on the 3rd September 2009, “Aids, I’ve heard a rumour that Barry Marshall is missing. Do you know anything about it?” What followed was an intense 4 hour period as we received updates from the NSRI as they searched for Barry out at sea. At about lunch time we got the news that the search was over. They had found Barry’s body. He did not survive the night out at sea.
I cannot describe the shock that I was in. Barry was a larger than life character – it was inconceivable that he was dead. So, on the anniversary of his death, here’s an ode to a larger than life character …
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