Crazy Clown in a Bowl of Hero Soup: a perspective

Robbie Newton


Crazy Clown, in a bowl of Hero soup: a perspective. Robbie Newton.

Yes it’s time for me to focus on my Hero’s, a celebration of some of the pleasures that Denman has offered me in the times that I’ve spent here. The first one is so easy, Glen Snook who spent 19 years as a Trustee. Glen came to Denman with his wife Kathy at about the same time as ‘us’ early arrivals; which is probably the reason he would show up at some of our political gatherings.

At the time Marcus Isbister had resigned from his role one of our First Trustees, leaving Harold Walton on his own; and we couldn’t persuade any of the other senior Islanders to run with Harold. “Oh I’ll do it” were Glen’s gruff words to us; and so it was, a beginning of a 19 year term as Trustee; a term which was only matched much later by Louise Bell.

But for me it was also the beginning of a delightful relationship with Glen and Kathy.

Despite all of the ‘strictures’ that now apply to Trustees in their connections with members of the community; Glen was my friend and we would sit and talk and socialize, and if any of it approached a “tender edge”, he’d let me know.

But more than that it had to do with Kathy, who was on permanent dialysis; that’s how Glen’s heroism defined itself for me: it was both gentle and beautiful; it gave her every reason she needed to want to go on living. It was many years later when I was waiting for the ferry to get back on Denman, I saw Glen’s car join the lineup and went over to see him. “She died, I didn’t” were his words, no more. I squatted down by his open window and cried inside if not out front. We didn’t say much more until, on the ferry I went to sit with him and shared his pain; there was no consolation that I would try to offer him: 34 wonderful years she gave me were his words; and the 34 that you gave her were mine.

That wasn’t the end for Glen, and we still visited, he was still healthy, his love was now his garden; he continued sharing as he always had done until his own time to die arrived and he went on to meet his own Hero, Kathy.