10 May 1948 – 14 September 1998
30 October 1998
My dear Rob,
Eugénie wrote to me some time ago and told me that Hazel had died. You have all been very much in my thoughts ever since.
I should have written sooner, but I have been travelling a great deal. I have however lit a good many candles for Hazel and you and the children in some out-of-the-way and multi-denominational churches.
Hazel’s early death is so very sad that words seem quite useless. I suppose we can only be glad that her great suffering is at an end.
I did not know Hazel very well, but she made a very vivid impression on me.
The thing I will remember most about her is her voice. It was very musical — she seemed to have more notes in her voice than most of us — and she had a very delightful delivery of what she had to say.
I met Hazel for the first time when John Spence and I met you both at Bondi Beach — you and Hazel were walking ahead — I said to John something like — "What’s Rob up to these days?" — and John said — "Hazel — that’s what Rob’s up to." I remember being very envious of your deep absorption in each other.
I look forward to seeing you and the children at Christmas time, when John will be back in Australia.
I send love and the greatest sympathy,
Penny was a friend of Hazel’s and is sister of John’s, a godfather.