You believed in the small things, and it was those small things that truly mattered the most.
The day you took us all to your Heralds bay home for ice cream, will be itched into our memories forever. It was not just the ice cream that made that day sweet, but how you openly accepted 25 children from a children’s home in George into your house. You made all of us feel very welcome and accepted when others may have closed their doors.
The weekend you and your wife Margie let our teenage girls have a self-esteem getaway camp at that same house provided an amazing opportunity for us all to learn to cook meals, talk about our dreams and share a dinner with your family.
Uncle Bernard, we are so sad that you are gone and can’t thank you enough for making our Canadian volunteers feel at home here in South Africa. The day you first approached us in crusaders’, and immediately said “I bet you girls are Canadian…my family lives in Canada and they are here on holiday…you must come have lunch with us”.
Honestly, at first we were not quite sure how to perceive the offer, but immediately realized it was genuine after meeting your niece from Ontario outside and there after the rest of your family.
The support and goodwill you have shown ever since that day will not be forgotten.
As we remember your kindness, it is with heavy hearts that we must say goodbye to you. You see Uncle Bernard, even though you are not our actual uncle, all the children and our volunteers automatically see you as one since you treat us all as family, a trait which is often hard to come by in a world so full of fear and apprehension. Other people could learn a lot from you and learn to believe that some times it is the small things that truly count. The small things, the time and honesty in being; these were your gifts to us.
Bernard Strickland’s life will be remembered this Thursday, Oct 29th, 3pm at the Catholic Church on Mead St, George.