Before I get to the nitty gritty of this post, I want to welcome back Bec.
Go & say hello. We all missed her wonderful posts while she was away.
Today's post is dedicated to the memory of Arthur.
Arthur was one of our Employers. He was a wonderful, generous, humourous, and totally likeable man. He had great presence, & charisma. He became the New Zealand President of the The Hotels Association of New Zealand.
He had been a Colonel in the Army. He really was a diplomat, & a leader of men.
He was a most generous 'boss'. He was wonderful to our children, & treated them as grandchildren.
Sadly he died before he knew his own grandchildren.
This photo is taken of Meggie & HYPH, aka GOM, around the time of this story. He was Happy Young Publican Husband then, of course. This was taken in our flat, that Arthur had had made so pleasant.
We dont seem to have any photos taken with Arthur, though I know there were some taken at various Hotel Assn meetings.
HYPH was the licensee of the Hotel which Arthur owned, & we lived in a flat above the Hotel, which was a tavern.
The building was well over 100 years old, & the 2 upper floors were largely deserted, apart from our flat, & for a time, a hostel for staff for other Hotels in the city. That part was separate from us, & was administered by other people who leased it.
This is a photo of Arthur taken at his youngest daughter's wedding, not too long before he died.
Every Monday Arthur would come to the Hotel, & a Stocktake would be done. The accountant was Colin, & it became the custom for Arthur, Colin, GOM & myself to have morning tea together.
I often made pikelets which were favourites with Colin. Or I would bake some type of morning tea biscuits, slices etc.
Arthur loved us to spend time together & he would often tell us tales of his many trips overseas.
One morning, he came to the Hotel limping & in obvious pain. When we asked, with alarm, what had happened he told us the story. (this is the point where you look away if you are offended by 'colourful language').
Arthur said he had been trimming his rather high hedge, at his home, & he had a chainsaw, & was standing on a ladder.
Of course the inevitable happened, as he leaned too far over the hedge.
He felt the ladder begin to topple.
In his words- " All I could think of, was the chain saw would come down & cut off my cock! I tried to throw the thing as far away as I could, so I fell even more heavily!"
After 3 days of being in utter agony, everyone managed to talk him into consulting his Doctor who was a personal friend.
He went off to have his Xrays done. He returned to the Hotel, bearing a new vaccuum cleaner for our personal use, flowers for me, chocolates, a new vaccuum for his wife, a few toys for our children, & a boot full of gifts for his own children.
He called us into the office. And gave us the gifts, then the news.
He had been told it looked as if he had cancer. One lung was apparently riddled with it.
At the time I was running the Restaurant, & I just could not stop crying, all through the lunch time. Our Barmaid thought we must have got the sack.
Arthur asked us not to tell anyone else, of the cancer news.
He was sent off for surgery, only to be told it was not cancer, after all. There had been a mistake, it had only been massive bruising.
It all seemed like a hideous nightmare for nothing.
But the measure of the man, to me was his generosity. When he got the news he had cancer, his first thoughts had been to give all those he loved gifts.
Sadly there must have been cancer after all, though it didnt show up for some months. Then began the harrowing treatments, the surgeries, the hospital stays.
He lost his hair, & was so embarrassed. He had always been a neat & upright proud man. He wore a wig for while, but was not happy with that. In the end he took to wearing a Tartan Cap, in honour of his Scottish name.
He managed to live long enough to see his daughter married. He really was, a wonderful person, & true Gentleman.
He was only 62 when he died. It seemed far too young.
Mercury Rev, Endlessly.