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Written by Don Sonsee.
Retired Ambulance Chaplain, adored, loved and missed by many.
In Memory of
17/12/65 - 11/02/16
Here goes, it all started for me in 1971 when we first started Hatchford Infants school, Ollie and I must've got on because I was invited to his 6th Birthday party and I put 50p in his card (last of the big spenders) and so our bond was formed,we then moved up the Junior School where Ollie excelled at sports, he was good at everything he seemed to take part in and eventually played football for our year and the year above when they were short because he was better than the rest of us and then we moved onto the Senior School, Whitesmore Grammar, I mean Comp and once again even with other lads coming from several different schools he was straight into the football team, he also tried his hand at Rugby and he was bloody good at that as well and soon he was in both teams, is there no end to his talent, eventually he was picked to play for the district team where he was picked up by scouts of Walsall Football Club, he could kick the ball with both feet equally well, head the ball and throw the ball further than anyone I knew but for some reason he left Walsall and found women and beer instead, a much better combination don't you think?
Anyone who knew Ollie well knew he didn't suffer fools too well and if something had to be said he wouldn't hold back no matter how important someone thought they were and I certainly copped his wrath a few times but Ollie didn't hold grudges and he'd soon have his arm around you giving you a hug, soon after we left school Ollie, Bluey, Frank and I joined The Happy Trooper football team, us young uns made up the 2nd team but it wasn't long before Ollie was in the 1st team, he was built like a brick out house even at 16 and it didn't take long before he was a regular in the team, he also played Saturday's in the Midland Combination league for the the likes of Whitesmore Old Boys, Coleshill Town and Knowle Town FC.
Ollie's strong personality at work didn't always make him flavour of the month with his bosses and in his first year after leaving school he had 10 jobs which I think is still a record to this day,eventually in 1985 at the age of 18 Ollie and I decided to find our fortune in London where the streets are paved with gold or so we thought, needless to say we lasted 3 months until I phoned home and Mom told me that her friend from Birmingham, who she had spoken to that day, had moved to the Isle of Wight and that we should travel down there and work the season at the hotels so plans were made and I got in touch with my brother Glen who was going to watch the mighty Birmingham City play Oxford Utd in Oxford that Saturday so I asked him to get me 2 tickets for the game and they could take us back to Brum on their coach, Blues won 3-0 and we got a free trip home, happy days and so a few days later we packed our bags again and headed down to the Island where we ended up staying with a lovely lady called Mrs Bernhard from Sweden.
We then spoke to Bluey a week after arriving and he was soon hot footing after us, I remember us going to the end of Ryde Pier and waiting for him to get off the little boat bobbling up and down in the swell of the Solent, Ollie and I cracking up, eventually he arrived looking a slightly paler shade of white much to our amusement, anyway we decided we needed a job as funds were perilously low and Ollie was first to get a job, I can picture him now with his silver suit and Chris Waddle Mullet and he came back with a big smile on his face, he'd got his dream job, KP, Kitchen Porter at the Sandringham Hotel. I went down the next day but I was after the glamour job, Silver Service waiter and I got it, Bluey decided he was going to stay in our staff house with us do a spot of cleaning for us and gamble on the horses to make his fortune, like most of his bets they started heading south and soon enough Bluey found himself next to Ollie in the kitchen, one of their favourite tricks was to throw some marmalade on the terracotta tiles, which became invisible in the kitchen, they would watch us waiters rush in with a tray full of dirty plates and slide around like Torvill and Dean much to their amusement, we had 3 great seasons away,1985-1987, we didn't have a lot of money but I can honestly say we belly laughed every night at something,we'd find ourselves in one of Sandowns 3 clubs most nights dancing and messing around, we always said we wouldn't have changed a single second of those 3 summers, special memories which will stay with all of us for all our lives.
We came home at the end of 1987 and I got a job with my older brother Wade and when Ollie found out he wanted in, so we found ourselves working in London Monday to Friday and travelling back to Birmingham for the weekend, I was asked if I knew anyone else and sure enough Bluey had just split up with his girlfriend on the Island so I phoned him and asked him if he fancied it, he jumped at the chance of getting back with the boys so he quit his job that day and jumped on the next ferry off the Island back up to Birmingham ready for his big start on Monday morning but for some reason the job never materialised and Bluey ended up on the dole much to our amusement, he still hasn't forgiven me, cruel but funny.
Years later when Ollie had had his fill of Alcan, Kim and Ollie decided that they were planning on immigrating to Oz, I was looking for a mate to work with and Ollie said he needed to get away from factory work so we teamed up again, it didn't take long for him to pick it up and soon he was working as if he had done it all his life,just before they left for Oz I got a new work mate in to work alongside him and asked Ollie to to teach him everything he needed to know so there was a smooth transition, Scott was a lovely lad but not the sharpest so one day Ollie had gone to fetch some sandwiches for breakfast and Scott and I got around talking about our heights and Scott told me he was 5 foot 11 to 5 foot 12 so soon as he told me this I thought wait till Ollie gets back, Ollie soon arrived with the sandwiches and I just dropped into the conversation "Scott's a big lad, tell Ollie how tall you you are, "5 foot 11ish -5 foot 12" said Scott, in a nano second Ollie was onto to him, "What the f@&k you on about 5 foot 12 you f&£King idiot" like I said Ollie didn't suffer fools too well.
I've got so many fabulous memories of Ollie that I could be here for a month writing them down, I should've been a better friend whilst you were all in Oz, we should've spoke more and now I feel really guilty that I'll never get the chance to but I loved him so much, he was a true friend and I'll miss him until I take my last breath.
Love Mace x
JUNE 17 1963 - DECEMBER 21 2013
A memorial tribute to Bill Devine AP480, sadly Bill took his own life in 2013. With Permission from his family we publish this video to remember Bill and help raise awareness of Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Suicide Prevention within the Emergency Services.
MARCH 5 1978 - NOVEMBER 24 2014
Today i wish to write a memory to Marcia to celebrate the life of a lost soul, a kind soul, a soul of determination, strength and above all a soul of courage so much so that at times it was her weakness. Marcia, Marcia Marcia, I use to say! Warrior to the world. Sister to me in many uniforms. A sister as a serving ADF member, a sister veteran to East Timor, a sister paramedic. A way in life which you chose to assist, above everything in life those that were in need. My sadness remains within the web that failed to catch you Marcia! as you have caught many before you! I wrote this for you! And for our serving paramedics, and serving defence members!
Today I offer you my hand,
A guide to being sincere
Out of control life seems to grow
Consequential through the years,
Only those who see or hear the whispers, of the world and its people,
In their darkest hours, their life becomes ours,
to relive the morality sequel,
Tomorrow I offer you my hand
Today it's my tears,
Out of control life seems to grow
Consequential throughout the years ,
I'm so sorry to be writing this today
As a memory to your life,
As there were no hands, nor ears, that could grip and hear your whispers,
the demons that kept you up at night.
My uniformed sister, your lost soul it may have wandered,
the fears you had contained many times pondered,
but now they can Rest in Peace amongst others,
now your safe and secure to lie with your soul sisters and brothers.
Today I offer you my heart
Tomorrow it's my fears,
Out of control life seems to grow
Consequential throughout the years.
Stand down my friend,
Your shift is over, your duty has been served,
But I have no doubt
Your spirit will live on,
to guide others to a place to be heard,
Today I offer you all my hand
Tomorrow it's time to hear,
Out of control life will at times grow,
Consequential over the years.
Forever in our memories Marcia
Lekkisha Duncan xx