Monday, January 14, 2019

Farewell to a gifted brother

 I knew my elder brother was ill but the news of his death this morning came as a very real shock, not just family-wise but also to personal planning and to that place where we store the expectations of
life, right into the inner sanctuary where stowed are the prospects of our own likely time on the planet.
Peter was an adventurous fellow, though in quite a different way from me.
 I wanted to explore the world out there - the oceans - and he seemed happier to explore the ways of society, of people, on land.
Adventurous and daring, not distracted by a lack of funds, he founded the first children’s newspaper in New Zealand, Junior Kiwi, and the very first Sunday newspaper, which he had as a giveaway in the days before giveaways became normal.


I helped with both projects as editor, and as labourer and lifter of great stacks of newspapers, and of their deliveries ... of manning the phones, of being a full-time reporter, and helping him with all that went with getting the projects to the public. The family had emigrated to New Zealand when we were children.
Peter seemed to feel at home almost instantly. Something of a magnetic nature reached out from Britain for me, and in early adulthood, I returned home, as it seemed to me.
 Peter wrote powerfully and insistently about injustice when I was subjected to a corrupt trial.

A great following

When I was released in 2007, he spoke of a desire for a website that could prompt consciences about failings in society.
I helped get it launched and did the coding and web development and sub-editing.
His drive and good intentions encouraged well-establish writers like John Northcott to contribute regularly. He had a great following, but it came to an end when ill-health robbed Peter of his energy. His death today came just a few weeks from this eightieth. Eighty! Sounds huge, but it isn’t so old these days.
I’ve been toying for some time with the notion of sailing round the world again. I passed Cape Horn alone on Spirit of Pentax aged just 40. How fantastic to do it again when I’m eighty.
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at


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