10 May 1948 – 14 September 1998

See a letter from Hazel to Henri, written after Hazel had taken Josh to a performance of Henri’s one-man autobiographical show I Am Not A Dentist in early 1997 here.

Subject: Re: A couple of impressions from Henri
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 09:29:48 +1000

Dear Bob, Josh, Zoë and Pat:

I am terribly sorry that I won’t be at the funeral. It is our first day of rehearsals and it would have been impossible to reorganise. I feel a little relieved that Mary Ann and I were able to say good-bye to Hazel in her own home. She looked beautiful

We met Hazel, as Bob reminded me a couple of days ago, under less than perfect circumstances when there were council discussions about the design of this large new house going up right next door to us. None us knew then what wonderful neihbours we would end up being to one another.

I must confess that I really didn’t know Hazel all that well. Our forms of interaction were very limited. We chatted about the state of the world over the back fence when hanging up our respective laundry. I would tell her jokes, some to tell Robert and some which were just too dirty. And she told me some that Robert had got off the internet.

Josh and Zoë. What I will always remember about your mother is an elegant, intelligent, gentle woman, whose eyes easily widened about a new point of interest, or point of view or question. And there was that ever accessible smile. Not just about funny things as such but also about life in general. Its quirks and twists. And then there descended the sadness. The weight of regret. Not so much at losing life itself, so much as losing you. That was the hard bit she had to deal with. And what can I say? She will love you always.

All four of you have, as you know, my deepest sympapthy.


Henri was a friend of Hazel’s and mine.

Last Updated 3 June 1999