In Memoriam: Peter Roberts

I heard this morning via email that my dear friend Peter Roberts died last night at 7pm.

I had only recently learned - late yesterday afternoon that he was sick. Very very sick with stage 3 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL).

Who was Peter Roberts?

I met him in my first year of college. 1988 to be exact. I was doing my BA at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa, and Peter was finishing off his engineering degree. We met through the WITS Ballroom Dancing Society. I joined that year. That was the year that the movie Dirty Dancing was still fresh in everyone's mind. Membership really increased due to that movie.

I met so many incredible people through WITS Ballroom Dancing Society. We would go to dances together, dance cheese and wines, and once a year we would have an annual ball.
I remember Peter - so bright, full of life and laughter. We had so much fun. In Dec 1989 a whole group of us hired a beach cottage aka the Hovel in Plettenberg Bay. There were 10 of us. That's where I met Jeanne (Cooksister). We had 2 weeks of fun and laughter.

Peter touched so many lives - he knew so many people. Somehow with him gone, it feels a lot less friendly. Peter was the one that always could be counted on. He is the one that you want on your side.

I am going to miss him.

W H Auden said it best in this poem..

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Rest in peace Peter Roberts.

My love and deepest sympathies to Mr and Mrs Roberts, Alison, Linda and Ken.

Update: Jeanne has posted a wonderful tribute to a wonderful friend.