27/11/1949 – 11/01/2015
Paul was a wordsmith and loved the English language. He was also a natural orator and a wonderful father, husband, friend. He was a family man and his love and devotion to us knew no bounds.
His trademark was humour and laughter at all times. Right to the end he maintained a wicked sense of humour and put in a special request for a song to be played at his funeral. I told him that I thought it wildly inappropriate and not funny at all to which he replied that it was actually very funny and incredibly apt.
This is the great man he was.
The laat lammetjie of three, Paul’s formative years were spent in Johannesburg and later Cape Town and Pretoria.
He was extremely proud of the excellent education he received despite his magnificent failure of his first year at UCT. Perhaps this was due to his tender age of 16 and his priorities being rugby, beer and mates, who could blame him? Thereafter whatever he did in his typical humble un-boastful manner he excelled in every possible way.
Paul the comedian, excellent storyteller and never short of joke, won many of us over and always managed to make other people laugh, no matter what the situation.
Paul always used to say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. He was definitely one of those people that lived to work not worked to live. His work ethic was unparalleled and his dedication to the veterinary profession inspiring. We have received so many letters but the underlying message is the same, his patience as a teacher, his kindness, integrity, humility and honesty. A true professional with high moral standards and old school principles.
Paul was passionate about the natural world and his advice was to never stop appreciating the power of nature and its life force. His love of it was all encompassing and he marvelled at its ability to heal, often against all odds.
He particularly loved the African bush and never underestimated how privileged he was to have spent time tracking hyenas and cheetah with his good friends.
His love of life, thirst for knowledge and his willingness to open himself to new opportunities letting providence take its course often led him into fascinating life experiences which he relished and absorbed, the most recent being his time in Qatar. The horse being a common denominator in what ever the language brought the Muslim brother and infidel together with loving respect and admiration. Within a short period of time he was speaking pigeon Arabic to hoots of laughter from the locals.
The unanimous message from Qatar is that we have lost a very good man; an honest man, a professional and a real gentleman. One of his close friends Emad wrote that he was trying his best but failing miserably to come to terms with the fact that he no longer see and talk to the only man that he thinks loudly with and without any reservation. I think we all feel the same because only Paul had that ability to connect to our inner thoughts.
Paul was extraordinary and looked only for the good in people and in any situation. He was a larger than life character whose moral compass never waivered; he leaves a void that can never be filled but we have been truly blessed to have had him in our lives.