Link here to a fundraising page on behalf of Alan.
8 March 2007
The December issue of HeartChildren NZ's heart kids "Heartline" newsletter, included an article on Alan as a tribute to his life, and also in recognition of, and thanks to, Alan and Bettina, family & friends, for the generous donations made to HeartChidren's excellent cause.
View the article as a PDF document here. or,
View the article as a JPG image here.
Over the weekend Bettina and some close friends gathered in Munich to celebrate Alan's 19 October birthday in the Seehaus by the lake in Munich's English Gardens.
Sunday was a wonderful golden, sunny autumn day. Bettina, Ulrike (also her birthday), Nando, Manu, Nicole, Jules, Dan, Sarah, Frank, Bettina, little Ben and littler Kapai enjoyed some laughs remembering many good times shared together with Alan in the past... and a few tears toasting his memory. See some photos on panel 8 of the gallery.
Kapai and Kapai Rua met Dan's good friend Mick from San Diego last month.... see the pictures at the end of Kapai's gallery. Mick will take Kapai Rua back to California and give him to another friend who is travelling to Hawaii.
So Kapai Rua is in safe hands until Iris can find him in Kona and take him on her Ironman World Champ's journey...before taking Kapai Rua back to Munich to be the Karlsfelders' proud club mascot.
Iris, Alan's good friend from the Karlsfeld Triathlon club, is going to Hawaii to compete in the Ironman World Championships in October.
As Kapai has quite a full program of other adventures and visits planned for September and October his good mate, Kapai-Rua, will accompany Iris on the journey and especially on the course of the Kona Ironman race.
Kapai-Rua is currently hanging around with Kapai, in Alan's Roth running shoes in Zürich, waiting for his ride to Munich to meet Iris and the other Karlsfelders.
Check the recent pic in Kapai's gallery to see Kapai and Kapai-Rua together.
Kapai-Rua is also into adventures and wants to hang around in Munich for a while and join other Karlsfelders on adventures...he's always keen for a fast bike ride or an exciting run... he's a keen club mascot.
Read Dan's account of the Roth challenge here! See Kapai's pictures of the Roth Challenge here!
Alan's spiritual mascot, little "Kapai the Kiwi", was found by Sherrida in Wanganui and spent some days in Auckland with Steve Farrell and Alan's other friends in the North Harbour Tri Club.
Kapai attended Alan's Memorial Service, at the Takapuna Athletics and Harrier Club rooms on 29 May, where he met and was also photographed with many of Alan's old friends. On June 2 Alan's good friend and coach, Jack Ralston, made sure Kapai found his way given safely to Felix Walchshöfer, Challenge Roth Race Director, to fly with him to Germany.
Kapai is now with Felix in Roth, Germany enjoying sitting on Felix's shoulder in his comfortable office chair at race HQ.
Challenge Roth is the iron distance triathlon, to be held on 02 July, that Alan had entered late last year and was one of the goals he was training for in 2006. Kapai will be completing the course with, and for, Alan as a positive symbol to encourage us all to share Alan's love and energy in our lives.
Alan’s memorial service was held on Monday 29th May in Auckland. The weather was showery in Auckland over the weekend. However, by midday Monday, it was sunny and mild.
The Takapuna Athletics and Harrier Club rooms was a fitting venue for the memorial, as Alan had trained for many hours there, over the years, along with other Jack’s packers. Thanks to Jack, Lesley and others for organising the club rooms.
About 100 friends and family members attended the memorial, with some coming over from Australia. As is the manner of our busy and disparate lives these days, quite a few of us hadn’t seen each other for several years. But we were gathered to celebrate Alan’s life, remember and reminisce. Bettina and others, unable to be present, were not far from our thoughts.
The formalities started with an introduction from Logan and a prayer and then followed a pictorial power point presentation of photographs from Alan’s life. This was screened along with the ‘For today, we remember your smile’ song. It was a very moving experience for all, seeing Alan as big as life, smiling and interacting with people in those photos.
Tessa, Albob’s niece, then bravely followed, and told of the special strengths of Al’s character that made him Albob. Download Tessa's speech (word.doc) or, view it here.
Logan then read Bettina’s letter to her beloved husband - her anguish, and also the wonderful times they had together. Download Bettina's letter (word.doc) or, view it here.
Sherrida spoke of her pride in Alan and his achievements, and of his love for his nephew and niece. As they matured, Alan and Sherrida’s relationship had also matured, and they were looking forward to strengthening their relationship. Download Sherrida's speech (word.doc) or, view it here.
Phil’s and Daniel’s thoughts and remembrances of Alan (from their speeches at Al’s Munich funeral), were read by Lesley and Greg.
Garth Halliday from the Heart Children foundation spoke briefly, thanking Alan and Bettina, and all who had generously contributed to the charity. He felt that from listening to the speeches, and talking with people, he had come to know Alan a little, and sense the high regard in which he was held.
Brett Roach and Jack Ralston then followed separately, with their thoughts, memories, and anecdotes from almost 30 years of training (and in Jack’s case also coaching), traveling, and flatting together.
Download Brett's speech (word.doc) or, view it here.
Download Jack's speech (word.doc) or, view it here.
Logan then concluded the service asking us to reflect on the afternoon and the relationship we all had had with Alan.
It was great to hear of Alan’s life and sports achievements - with his humourous view of life - some forgotten, some unknown, and celebrate the dear and special person that he was to each of us.
After the formalities, we all mingled and partook of refreshment, telling tall tales (some of which may have been true) and reminisced.
The high school Alan attended, Rangitoto College, was had its 50th Jubilee on the following week, 4th to 6th June. Alan’s heart attack had been publicised at the college event, several old school associates, and teachers, who attended were saddened to hear of Alan’s recent passing.
Bettina and Alan's family ask that you show your support and sympathy with a donation to Alan's chosen charity.
Please refrain from sending flowers or wreaths, thank you.
Link here to a fundraising page on behalf of Alan.
Alan's funeral was held in Munich on May 15, a sunny, warm, spring day with the new leaves rustling in a light breeze and the birds chirping. Over one hundred people attended.
Bettina's family did a wonderful job arranging the location and the ceremony. Bettina's brother Frank was the MC and painted a lovely picture, symbolising Alan's life elements. Download Frank's speech in English (word.doc) or, view it here.
View Franks' painting here.
Bettina's brother Florian played two touching pieces on his Spanish guitarre. Bettina's mother, father and sister were wonderful in their support.
Several of Alan's close firends in Munich said some touching words for Alan. Phil (Morty) and Dan read speeches as part of the proceedings. Download Dan's speech in German or in English. Download Philip's speech in English (word.doc) or view them here.
At the closing of the service the congregation added to the coffin decorations - sending many pictures, letters, small gifts, thoughts and poems with Alan.
Greg in Christchurch (Webmaster) has also posted photographs of Alan's funeral in a new website gallery. Please take some time to look at these with the "Alan - last days pics" link.
Alan passed away peacefully early on Sunday morning in Munich - 07.05.06.
Over the last two weeks Alan gave us all time to say goodbye.
Although Alan was very ill, he was peaceful throughout and he was able to leave with real dignity.
On Sunday a group of about 15 of us sat with Alan for a few hours and said goodbye.
We will each remember something different about Alan depending, upon how he touched us. On a different day it may be his smile, laughter, sporting ability, sportsmanship,
professionalism, caring nature, kind words, generosity, love, and sheer love of life…… the list is endless.
Whatever it is for you, we are all privileged to have been touched by this remarkable man………
We will let you know details of the funeral service in Munich, and a memorial service in New Zealand, via this site in the coming days.
Alan was much the same physically yesterday
– still a bit of a temperature but looking peaceful.
People have been visiting, and of course, Bettina is there every day.
Phillip Morton was by himself with Alan yesterday, for a short time, and Bettina caught them watching Blackadder II.
Phil had it loaded on iPod so they watched it together with a speaker in each ear.
Al probably knew all the dialogue anyway because his memory is awesome for
that kind of stuff. Phil is planning on sneaking back today to finish the episode off, with Alan.
The staff in the IC unit are really great. It would be easy for them to be just very clinical – but they are
not. The Doctors are helping Betty out with a great balance of
professionalism and compassion so that Alan’s wishes on treatment will be
There is one lovely woman in particular called Vera she is from Serbia and
has worked in the same unit for an amazing 25 years. She is so good, she
talks to Alan directly and explains each step to him of what she is going to
do for him next.
As usual Al is being quite ‘smooth with the ladies’
One of the cleaning staff stopped her work and had a wee cry as she was so sad
to see what had happened to this ‘’beautiful young man’’ as she
Along with the seriousness, there are some lighter moments to share with Alan.
One of the staff members thought Sherrida (Alan's slightly older sister) might have been Alan's younger sister.
Sherrida felt flattered. But then, another staff member shortly afterward asked Sherrida if she was Alan's mother !
I am hoping I can give you a little personal insight and impressions to help you all out a little.
It is not easy for you to be so far away so I will try to be another pair of eyes and ears for you.I hope my hugs are somehow good enough to represent you all, I’ll do my best. I know you all love Al as much as I do.
I know Greg Shaw & Dan will have a website up and running very soon for you all to get updates & to share your feelings and support for Bettina and Sherrida as many of you have already by email.
My first impression is that Al is very peaceful - just lying there
peacefully and letting his body decide for him.
Also what he is doing spreading his spirit through the room and across the
Al is doing what he always does – bring people together, make them laugh and make them open up.
Al's room is covered in photos of family and friends and sports photos – including the one from the Takapuna team Dan attached to his email – the room looks great.
He was a bit poorly yesterday as he had picked up an infection and he has a
Bettina & the doctors have agreed that he won't receive antibiotics. It does sound a little distressing but he is still looking peaceful and all the physical symptoms we see are just natural reactions.
Al is receiving constant visits and the mood in the room covers all emotions.
There is plenty of sadness of course, but also plenty of laughter and thoughtful talking too.
I guess you will all try to filter the information we get through our emotions and memories and personality as we see fit.
Please try not to get angry or search for reasons why – just celebrate still having Al with us for as long as he wants to stay.
Bettina just gave me a hug on Monday & said "Pippo – we all just have to help him across the finish line".
He will cross in his own time, meantime he is still giving us his time to enjoy being together and say goodbye.
So keep those good thoughts going for Al, Bettina, Sherrida, Jordan, Tessa,
Eddy, Dan et al …