So hard to believe this is so long ago!
Final Lord Malcolm reports: Malcolm Gordon Gleeson, died 1 June 2007
Monday 28 May
His beloved Swannies won at the weekend at least. I told Sirdan I would check in this afternoon and Lord M was less cyanosed: the blue lips were more or less back to normal. His half-brother in Tassie has been in touch and a last bit of organising Lord M is doing as far as he can is to enable his half-brother to come to Sydney for the funeral. Lord M was on the phone about that this afternoon. He told the friend he was talking to to come in ASAP as every minute now was that much nearer the end. “If I can stay alive overnight — and that’s the hard bit — I’ll fix that tomorrow,” Lord M said. “Then I can go peacefully.”
I said as I left, “See you again, if the gods permit.” I put a smile on his face by telling a story about my mother. Years ago we were seeing the Picton great-uncles off the planet at rather regular two year intervals. One was left. My mother, slightly the better for sherry at the time, said, “OK, Uncle. See you in two years.” “You might see me girl, but I won’t be seeing you,” he replied with a bit of a twinkle in the old eye. My mother was a touch embarrassed.
See a blessing for Malcolm.
I had quite an amazing conversation with M about all this…
Tuesday morning 29 May
Phone conversation. He’s still hanging on. Compare Sunday, May 29, 2005.
Thursday 31 May
I have just come from the hospice. His ship is about to leave, it seems… He was conscious of my visit, and I am told his half-brother came to see him Tuesday. He couldn’t talk though as he is only just breathing. The hospice will ring when the time comes.
Mind you, he looked worse on Sunday, but then, as I said to Sirdan, on Sunday he looked worse than my mother did after she had died.
Sirdan, The Empress and I met at The Shift this evening to talk about arrangements. Sirdan had spent several hours with Lord M this afternoon, together with another friend from Lord M’s flying and music lives.
Now to watch Air Australia on ABC, in Lord M’s honour, so to speak.
As you now know, I was right to think that would be the last time I was to see Malcolm…
Notice of memorial service
A Memorial Service for the Late Malcolm Gordon Gleeson will be held in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst Friday, 29th June 2007, commencing at 11:00am. It is a red ribbon occasion.
All who wish to celebrate his life are welcome to attend.
If you have not yet done so, do visit the tribute to Malcolm.
The first two weeks after 1 June 2007
The Empress and I have approved the beautiful order of service prepared by Dorothy McRae-McMahon. People who wish to may bring some object they associate with Malcolm, as there will be a space in the service for the receiving of such objects.
A poem read at the actual funeral last week will be read again.
15 June 2007
Today I went possibly for the last time to Malcolm’s place for the great CD and book clearance: possibly 1,000 books. Peter from 2MBS-FM was great; not so great was that only one lift in The Northcott — do read that — was working. Still, with a shopping trolley and a proper trolley we managed to get them all down from the third floor and into the van.
One odd coincidence is what was already in the van: Marcellous’s books!
I brought home a bag of items for the Bangarra Dance Theatre archives; yes he had a connection there too!
I found a great picture of Malcolm as a young sailor. He was very handsome.
I also found a small book of quotations in English and German, written by Malcolm. Here is one surprising one.
If you love without evoking love in return — that is, if your loving as loving does not produce a reciprocal love; if through a living expression of yourself as a loving person you do not make yourself a loved person, then your love is impotent — a misfortune.
— Karl Marx, 1844 Manuscripts
The Empress has finished with Malcolm’s flat now. He and I have a few formalities to do, then that’s it until the Memorial Service.
Today I had a nice letter from an old aunt of Malcolm in Tasmania.
I see Sirdan has just been reading this in South Africa. See his comment on the guest book.
You will see I have created a page for the Memorial Service. It is simply the text of that service. I have sent a copy to the aunt in Tasmania.
There is a lovely comment just appeared from Norma, one of Malcolm’s colleagues in the NGO NorthAids: see the tribute page.
Sirdan returned to Sydney this afternoon from South Africa.
It seems I will be voicing others during the service. I am of course reading what Malcolm said of himself, as on the tribute page. That was not read at the actual funeral, and Malcolm wanted it read at the memorial service. I also received another letter and a poem from his Aunty Joy in Tasmania. She was glad to receive the documents I sent her. It turns out too that she knows Dorothy McRae-McMahon’s brother!
This entry is now archived to its beginning date. The order of service has now been unlocked. It will be expanded after the event.