Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
EULOGY FOR GERRY
BY JOHN ATKINSON
Charlotte and I, and we're sure all other absent friends from all over the globe, wish to express our deepest sympathies and condolences following the incredibly sad passing away of Gerry. In what is traditionally an occasion of mourning and sadness, we are absolutely sure that it should also be an occasion of celebration - a celebration of the wonderfully unique contribution that Gerry has made to all of our lives.
When we say unique, we mean it! Gerry has made an indelible mark on all our lives. Her strength in adversity, her resilience, her sense of humour, her boundless enthusiasm, her bluntness (oh yes, she always told it straight!!) are all seared in to our hearts and consciences.
We are all indebted to Gerry because she has taught us all a most important lesson. Whatever happens to us, we should never give in and we should fight back with every ounce of spirit that we can muster. For the past nine years she has battled one of the most awful diseases imaginable but it has never got her down. Her battle has been a truly remarkable one, defying every medical prediction.
Medical science has made enormous progress over the past fifty years in its treatment of cancer and is now having to comes to terms with a hitherto unknown reaction to that (to quote Dave) 'bitch' of a disease. This reaction is currently attracting the terminology - 'Gerryism' - and is baffling experts everywhere. 'Gerryism' puts up two fingers to all normal responses to the disease and says 'I'm going nowhere until I've had my wedding anniversary and my birthday, so stuff you!'.
Charlotte and I (and we are certain many, many others) owe Gerry a huge debt of gratitude. Many times we have arrived on the island with our perceived worries related to work and/or relationships, or the stresses of airport experiences or even the traumatic 'Hellenic' timetables that we all know and love. We arrive thinking we are hard done by and then we've met Gerry who greets you with optimism, cheerfulness and a totally 'half full ' approach to everything and suddenly all is put into perspective. You then realise how damn lucky you are and consequently you have a happier time on the island. Thank you, Gerry.
None of us should forget the outstanding contribution that Gerry and Dave have made to the island. They are both respected and loved by residents and non-residents, from Greece, the UK, America, Germany, Italy and indeed all over the world. Gerry has been a tireless fund raiser for the island helping to improve the medical facilities, the opportunities for young people and the animals of the island. She is a great example to us all and we hope that we can recognise her community spirit by ensuring that future fund raising is committed to further improvement of medical services.
It would be remiss of us also not to remember the remarkable work done by the 'Angels of Mercy' over the past few weeks. I'm sure that we all need to reflect on how we can all contribute to ensuring that such support is available to everyone who needs it in future years.
We are very sorry that we are not there with you today, as indeed many others will be too. We sincerely hope that there is a fantastic celebration of a wonderful life. We'll raise a glass to Gerry and thank her deeply for the difference she has made to our lives.
Cheers or .... Yeia Mas.