Thank You

Trip Start Jan 20, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Mike's Memorial Service was held in Ottawa last Saturday. It was a very moving and humbling experience and we would like to express our deep gratitude to everyone involved. It is a rare occasion that allows people to express their feelings to such an extent. We thank everyone who travelled from far and near to be with us, and to support us in our pain and grief.

We continue to be overwhelmed by the magnitude and depth of the love and assistance from our families and friends. We knew Mike was a fine young man and a gifted pilot, (we might be somewhat biased!), but it is obvious that he had touched a lot of hearts in his short life, and we have been very moved by the outpouring of tributes on his website (set up by his "younger brother" from our days in Sri Lanka) and through hundreds of private e-mails. Despite the tragedy we have no regrets that he followed his dream, as we know he was doing what he loved and was so happy flying in Africa. We truly feel that we "gave him roots, but also allowed him to soar". He was his own person, and was living his own life to the fullest.

We have heard from many people around the world who could not be with us, but whose lives he touched, and who had lit candles for him. From Canada to New Zealand, from Hong Kong to Ukraine, and from UK to Peru and Bolivia, we were joined in thought, prayer and meditation.

On Sunday we will be flying to Zambia to meet with Mike's boss and colleagues in Airwaves Airlink, and his friends in Lusaka and around the safari lodges of South Luangwa. Mike's cremation and another Memorial Service will be held in Lusaka on Friday October 1st at 1 pm local time (3pm GMT). This will be another difficult time for us and we ask that you be with us in your thoughts and prayers. Not only for us and Mike, but also for the other victims of this tragic aviation accident: Rebecca and Justin Ward in England, and Matthew, Justine and Shirley Watters in Australia and their bereaved families.

"High Flight"

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
RCAF Pilot, 1941
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