Sunday, 30 December 2007

'a tremor in the force'

In the words of Freda Lane, "there is a big change this year, who will look after that blue mountain now, that sacred place?"

Fred Unjima Forbes died quietly and comfortably at Wannarn Aged Care on the 23rd December 2007. He had been unwell and the first week of December evactuated to Kalgoorlie by the flying doctor service. After his hospital stay, Mr. Forbes was sent to Wannard Aged care to recouperate. Kantjupayi Benson was headed that way for respite care and it was thought Mr. Forbes would be well cared for with a good friend and family for company. So it was, for the last few days of his life. He had been happy, eating well and chatting with Kantjuapyi Benson. Life simply slipped away from him.

This world will not be the same again.

I now grieve for the old man who came to me when I was so sad at the loss of Reggie Jackson, earlier this year. Mr. Forbes who must have been experiencing the loneliness that comes as you watch your contemporaries die; knowing he was one of the last of a generation of Wati who held the structure and substance of his ancient homeland. Mr. Forbes came and wept with me, shared my grief, comforted me. How gentle and great was this man, yet most of the world never knew him and never had the priveledge of his company. I should be grieveing for those who never knew him, their loss is greater than mine.