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Author Topic: Tragic News of a friend of SRGC in New Zealand  (Read 1129 times)

Maggi Young

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Tragic News of a friend of SRGC in New Zealand
« on: August 21, 2021, 06:53:51 PM »
Tragic News from New Zealand

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Steve in 2009 - picture by Doug Logan, who said "How could you not love this man?"

Steve Newall died early this morning after an illness which he acknowleged  very  bravely,  making his  all too short remaining time a cavalcade  of the  things and  people he  loved best.
Steve is  a legend in mountain hiking, seed-collecting, plant-hunting,  public speaking to horticultural groups of every sort  and the world-wide promotion of  "jandals"  ( flip-flop footwear, which he preferred whenever  possible!).
Steve's work in arranging so many  plantsfolk's  travel to New Zealand for speaking tours for NZAGS etc  is no small footnote  in his "palmares" of achievements, either.

He was a unique character of tremendous  humour and friendliness who made firm friends wherever  he  went in the world, and so he will be missed by all these  friends as well as  his  devoted family - wife Mandy,  and children Fiona and Corwin  and their wider family, including  Steve's Dad, who also gained great chums in  Scotland.

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Our last chance to spend time  with Steve  in Scotland: Steve at Grantown SRGC DWE 2019   pic Julia Corden

A new Zealand friend  writes that  " .....we shall all miss him. He did a farewell tour a couple of months ago. It was lovely to be able to say goodbye. He accepted his illness and did some amazing last helicopter flights into areas he used to tramp in, with Dave Toole and Hamish Brown."

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Steve, Fiona and Corwin Newall on the Milford Trail April 2021

Steve's daughter Fiona Newall wrote  of  him :
"Often we hear of people fighting cancer, or battling cancer, or some other word for waging unseen war.
Dad didn't battle brain cancer. He just kept on living as much of his life as he was able, even as his left side gradually lost mobility, until he was in a wheelchair, and then a hospital bed, and then, this morning, he left us. He was almost 63.
There was never any pain. In fact in April he even managed to walk the Milford Track with Corwin and myself, all while his brain tumour was actively regrowing. (Two weeks later he was unable to walk unaided.) We owe  Ultimate Hikes our deepest gratitude for making this trip possible - it was the last time Dad ever set foot in the mountains and it was an experience none of us will ever, ever forget.
Thanks also to the amazing team of district nurses at Clutha Health First, who came out to visit every day for the last couple of weeks and have been a kind, caring and steady presence in our lives as Mum and I pick ourselves up and keep the farm carrying on.
And thanks to our friends and family, of course, and everyone who lent a helping hand or a kind word or just a hug - it means more than words can say.

(Level 4 lockdown means that Dad will be cremated privately, but there will be a public memorial service later on, which Mum will be deciding the details of as and when we learn more about lockdown level changes)"

Steve should have had many more  years of  hilltramping and jokes before him and his loss is a blow to all who knew  him.

Our fondest condolences are  sent to Mandy and the  Family. We will all miss you, Steve!
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Steve by Doug in 2016
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine


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