Thursday, July 23, 2009

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Kris Hembury

When I opened my emails yesterday to find that Kris had passed away, I sat there whispering, No. No ...

I got to know Kris through the Vision writing group and EnVision, the week long intensive manuscript development workshop that I organised. Kris didn't let his severe handicapped prevent him from dreaming of being a writer and aiming for that goal. I was impressed by his intelligence and determination.

So, when Fantastic Queensland was looking for committee members, I thought of Kris. I approached him explaining that we needed someone with a good head on their shoulders. He grinned and said, 'That's about all I've got.' (He had a very dry sense of humour).

And he came on board, getting involved in the running of FQ's various projects as well as organising the web site. He spent several years as president of Vision writing group and, when the numbers dipped, he approached Marianne and I for tips on how to breathe new life into the group.

He came along to the workshops Marianne and I ran, turned up at launches, joined in the Aurealia Award celebrations and I missed him at this year's awards. So I emailed him, asking how he was. He never let on that he was battling ill health. When ever I posted to the Vision E-list I'd think of Kris, somewhere in the background, watching over us all, guiding the group.

That's why it was such a shock to hear that we'd lost him. Life is not fair, sometimes it is horribly unfair, but we have to battle on with what we have. I'm glad Kris was such an active part of the spec fic world up here in Brisbane. We'll be the poorer without him.

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