|Brian was with us last
Christmas, and a few weeks later his body shut down from Liver failure,
brought on by a condition called 'Hemochromatosis' which is when
excessive Iron builds up in the blood, damaging the liver, causing
Diabetes, Arthritis & failure of the joints (he had both hips
replaced, and was due to have a knee replaced). Brian had recently come
back from a five month cruise around the Pacific, which he enjoyed
immensely, but was feeling tired towards the end.
Mawingo in Melbourne
is no cure for 'Hemochromatosis' but it can be controlled by
blood letting. In Brian's case the diagnosis was far too late, &
during the five months away he did not have any blood taken off. I said
that his body shut down because when I last saw him in Hospital he said
"my body is shutting down, I don't want to die". When I said "see you
soon", as one does, he replied "In a Box!". I have an open mind when it
comes to spirits, but if Brian's spirit is up and about, it will
probably be with his precious Yacht "Mawingo". That is why it is so
important that "Mawingo" is taken by people who will sail extensively.
Brian would not be happy to see his Yacht rusting away at some berth or
other. He built "Mawingo" out of steel to a Dennis Ganley design.
Brian Eric Harvey Humphreys was born in Nakuru, Kenya, on 14th November
1937. We were living in the old house on the hill on Lomolo Sisal
Estate at Kampi-ya-Moto in the Rift valley 30 miles North of Nakuru.
|It was here that
he was attacked by a pack of dogs belonging to the Estate owners, he
had been a bit negative regarding dogs thereafter. When eating Brussels
Sprouts, which he hated, he used to pretend that they were "Auntie
Dunc's dogs". When Brian was older he developed an interest in
ornithology & taxidermy (not to be confused with 'stuffing birds'
which came later in life), and produced some very good specimens, in
particular a Lilac Breasted roller. Bill Bonson used to assist
him. I was three years older than Brian and because I was shunted off
to boarding school at the age of 8 he was a bit of a stranger to me.
|I only saw him during school holidays and
as I left home at the age of 15, hardly at all. Brian was sent to New
Zealand to attend Massey University & when he returned I did not
recognise him. By then I was living in Tanzania and only saw him when
our holidays coincided. There were three occasions I remember, a trip
to Iringa to see Brian & Betty just after they were married, I was
on Railway construction at Mikumi at the time, a trip to Kitale when
they were managing a farm, and a few days at Pangani on the Tanzania
Coast. I left for Zambia in 1963 and didn't see him again until they
arrived in New Zealand.
Iringa with Babs Campbell-Gillies
Brian bought a Yacht in Kenya
and restored it, then Brian, Betty & their two daughters, Heather
and Cathy sailed down the East Coast of Africa to Durban. In South
Africa they worked & lived on a Sugar plantation at Stanga, North
Brian also had an interest in
Vintage cars, he restored an Invicta and a Lancia Lamda.
Invicta 1930 at Kitale.
Brian in his element.
funeral was non religious and held at the crematorium in Whangarei.
There was a wake at a local restaurant situated by the boat
moorings He had a lot of friends, including several lady sailing
companions. One of them, Marylyn, said that Brian's spirit was there,
bummer not being able to have a beer! Most of the organisation was done
by Heather, and she did a very good job of it.
On his last trip to sea.
More pictures of 'Mawingo'.
"Mawingo" has a new owner and has been refurbished prior to a
trip around the Pacific.