Last month I went to the funeral of a man who interviewed me for a job many years ago. He offered me a test consultant position on the spot despite my glaring lack of experience in software testing in general and the banking sector in particular. A few months later the company employed a similarly clueless Australian with an inexcusable haircut and an endearing smile. On close inspection the Australian turned out to be South African, and in due course became my husband. Being prone to unprovoked bombastic rhetoric, I have frequently thought of Paul as the man who shaped my destiny and gave me the gift of my future family. Viewed from this angle, Paul was one of the people who made all the difference.
I needn’t have worried. Celebrations of life do not come any more powerful than this.
Paul was an exceptional guy. It was clear from today’s turnout and from everything that was said that he inspired a lot of people to do something with their lives. He nudged them, encouraged them, gave them advice, gave them chances, and if nothing else worked, he bribed them to do well. I walked away from the service being inspired by Paul all over again. His optimism, his love of life and people, his effervescence.