As I recall Victor was a tall and athletic boy. Like me, he lived in Linwood Ave, just up the road and we were friends from school. Unlike me he was fine rugby player. Visiting the Harris’ house after school to play was a treat – there were different toys and things to do and Mrs Harris was always pleased to see me.
In 1976 Victor started at Linwood High School along with my other good friend Nigel while I went to Shirley Boys’. On a Saturday in early March Nigel, Victor, Victor’s father and some others were up near Hanmer along the Hurunui River when a rock or similar came down and struck Victor on the head and he fell into the river.
He died at the scene.
It would have been Victor’s birthday last weekend and despite the 40 years past I still remember him on his birthday.
Life is short, but Victor’s was way too short. I remember the funeral – sitting near the back at the chapel in the Crematorium at Bromley in Linwood Ave. It seemed surreal. I was probably too young to fully understand.
I also remember visiting Mrs Harris with Mum. She seemed amazingly composed and at peace. Nigel is still in touch with the Harris’ and he tells me they are at peace about Victor.
Never underestimate the power of reflection. It’s taken me 40 years, but I’m pleased to have said something about Victor. A great friend and never forgotten.