In Fond Memory of Gawie Venter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eulogy by Johan Stander

 

Eulogy by Michael Arrighi

 

 

Soos ek Gawie Venter sal onthou

Soos ek hier sit en skryf is die hartseer groot oor ou Gawie, maar ons weet dis nie wat Gawie wou gehad het nie.Hy wil hę ons moet hom onthou soos hy was.

In Gawie se woordeskat het die woorde ledigheid en verveeld nie bestaan nie. Hy het waarskynlik as kind( soos Asterix se dik tjom Obelix) in n pot Reactivan geval. Daar was nooit n vervelige oomblik in onse Gawie se teenwoordigheid nie.

Tydens vervelige gebiedsoperasies in n dooie area, sou hy byvoorbeeld n slang vang en dan die arme ding se bek met Superglue toeplak. Die gevolg was n peloton swart troepe verspreid oor n area van 5x5 km!

Gawie se hart was so groot soos sy oë. Ons het 18 maande saam deurgebring op Infanterieskool, en Gawie was altyd daar om te help met n pakkie sigarette of n worsrolletjie by Oom Tjoepie se kantien as die finansies geknyp het. Dit was die tyd toe jy nog baie kos vir 2 rand kon gekoop het.

Tydens n sekere operasie het Gawie ook sy stewels aan n sekere oorlamse jong luitenant gegee wat met flenter stewels ontplooi het. Dit mag na niks klink nie, maar om vir 2 weke kaalvoet met vol uitrusting te loop kan nie liggevat word nie.

Gawie was gek oor musiek en het n reuse versameling van kasette gehad. Vir jare was sy gunsteling liedjie “ Drop the Pilot”, gesing deur Joan Armatrading, wat hy dan oorverdowend hard in sy wit Nissan Pulsar gespeel het. Nog n gunsteling was “ F111 Love Missisles” gesing deur n obskure groep genaamd Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Hy sou dan entoesiasties uit volle bors saamsing met n stem wat n Boeing se voorruit sou laat kraak het! Die enigste genade vir enige passasier was maar om so hard as moontlik saam te sing.

Gawie was ook n heel bedrewe danser. As hy eers daai lang maer lyf in beweging gekry het, het n hele paar jaloerse eggenote met suur gevrete gesit terwyl hul vrouens in bewondering gestaar het. Sy gunsteling danspakkie was n denim “ Bib Overall”. Dis basies n gesofistikeerde denim oorpak. Ons het hom gereeld gespot en gevra of hy vanaand aan sy kar gaan werk! Maar met sy flinke voetwerk en wit Nissan Pulsar het hy egter meisies beindruk wat manne met Porches en Pierre Cardin pakke nie sou kon regkry nie!

Gawie was ook n kranige atleet, veral oor die langer afstande. Hy kon n 2,4 hardloop wat die res van ons bewoë gelaat het. Sy gunsteling “trick” was om agter ons aan te drentel en dan op die halfpad merk n sigaret op te steek en ons dan verby te gaan. Dis nou terwyl die res van ons normales op die punt staan om suurstof behandeling te kry!

Gawie het gevrek oor seekos, veral Calamari. Toe hy en Dave Yates net na Forte op verlof gegaan het, het hy 4 groot porsies Calamari bestel. Daai groot oë was ekstra groot maar hy het al 4 porsies ingekry. Ons glo en vertrou dat waar hy nou is, is daar n goeie verskaffer van seekos.

Gawie het ook n ligte skilders talent gehad. Nou niks wat Picasso werkloos sou gelaat het nie, maar hy kon baie mooi en lewensgetroue potlood sketse doen.

Tydens Forte lę ons in die Tak HK en wag vir die ontplooing. Omdat ons takties is, is dit doodstil en alle vure en ligte is af net voor laastelig. So elfuur die een oggend hoor ons n stem wat klink soos n boerbok wat geslag word met n stomp mes. Almal verdwyn in n oogwink en wag vir EV om uit sy ops tent te verskyn. Dit was toe die groot verveeldheid wat vir Gawie oorval het. Tewyl hy aan n boomtak hang, sing hy uit volle bors: “ I want to break trees, I want to smoke weed” op die wysie van Queen se “I want to break free”. EV met sy tradisionele granietgesig het vir Gawie net n paar oomblikke stip aangekyk en toe woordeloos omgedraai en terug verdwyn in sy tent in.

Ek sal Gawie onthou soos hy gelyk het op die onlangse foto in die (drog) Beeld. Met n bont vadoek om die kop en die groot oë wat eintlik so klein word van lekker lag.


Mooi loop Kwagga Venter, daar waar jy nou by jou finale ontplooing is. Ons hoop jy meng lekker sement saam met Scruffy terwyl Oom PW oor julle toesig hou, terwyl Dave Light en n paar ander daar is om rustigheid oor julle te bring. Sou dit gebeur het dat jy die verkeerde reisdokumente gekry het en aan die warmkant beland het, weet ons dat die Satan homself binne n week daarop sal aandring dat jy n verplasing sal insit!

Groetnis ou Grootoog, ons wat jou geken het sal jou altyd onthou soos jy was.

Johan Stander
12 Oktober 2005

 


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Willem Gawie Venter

 

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,

A race that can’t stay still;

So they break the hearts of kith and kin,

And they roam the world at will.

They range the field and they rove the flood,

And they climb the mountain’s crest;

Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,

And they don’t know how to rest.

 

Robert W. Service

 

Robert Service wrote these words in the early 20th century. Our brother Gawie could have easily served as the inspiration for these words.

 

Gawie was known and loved by many. To say Gawie lived a full and colorful life is truly an understatement. He was a loving son, brother, friend and military comrade.

 

The news reports quoted his brother stating Gawie as being a “sworn bachelor.” I suspect many women did in fact swear at Gawie.

 

Sadly our brother Gawie was taken from us a few short days ago. But, if you knew Gawie, you would know it was not his wish to pass from this earth old and sickly. Rather, he would be happy knowing he passed after living life on the razor’s edge. The type of life lived by those who truly lived.

 

You may or may not know that Gawie came to Iraq without a contract. In typical Gawie Venter fashion he purchased a ticket and rocked up! Poked around a bit, was unimpressed with some of those he came in contact with and after a bit found his way to Omega. Omega and their clients were blessed to have this burly prankster, if only for a few short months.

 

All those who came in contact with him felt that they were truly in the hands of a professional soldier. Gawie was not only a competent soldier; he was somewhat of an anachronism in this modern age. This age of high tech, fire and forget missiles and all manner of military gadgets.

 

Gawie was a true warrior! A warrior to be reckoned with. A warrior without peer in any time or any age in the history of this earth. He possessed the mind, the heart and the soul of a warrior. Every breath he took, from his birth to his death was that of a warrior. A proud and decorated member of 32 Battalion.

 

There were not many things which bothered or upset our brother Gawie, but what did upset him was the suffering of the children, whether here in Iraq or anywhere else he served. When you would find Gawie at the braii he would be the one entertaining the small children, with his wide toothy grin, fireworks, games and toys. The soul of a warrior wrapped with the compassion of a guardian angel of the young and old.

 

As we were reminiscing the other night, the night of his death, the remark was made that now God has a new archangel. Heads were nodded in approbation. However, the next remark made was, “God now had one hell of a bouncer.”

 

We would like to end now with a verse from the poem, “Horatius,”

By: Thomas Babington Macaulay

 

Then out spoke brave Horatius, The captain of the Gate:

“To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late;

And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods.”

 

 

Rest in peace brother, rest in peace.

 

 

Thomas Munsch

Michael Arrighi

Eric Schwartz

Sidney Doyle

Paul Christianson

Leon Cater

Christopher Farley

Daniel Deluna

William Griffin

Kenneth Farmer

 

Herman

Jaco

Johnny

Ben

Sakkie

Johan

Smittie

Pannes

Stephen

Dion

Franswa

 

 

 

Michael Arrighi, upon request Omega PSD, AN MB 13 October 2006