In Loving Memory of Michael Channer
"I Miss You Mike"
by Gus Burgess
9 Sep 2015
It's been 11 years since I got the terrible news that I would never get to share your company again. Not a day passes without holding you in my thoughts. Of course with the passage of time the heartbreak has waned to a degree, but I have finally come to the realization that the sadness will always remain. I've resigned myself to that realization now.
What I have come to realize more than ever is that I am tremendously lucky to have shared so many great memories of your last summer here before leaving for school. We had been friends for a number of years up until that point, but that summer we grew much closer and the friendship grew deeper. Even just hanging out while you were at work at the Carp Airport was time well spent because you were just such an awesome person to be around. Big Sugar's "The Scene" will forever remind me of that summer every time I hear it. When it comes on the radio I always just smile and think of you. I still can't hear Fatboy Slim's "Rockafeller Skank" without breaking down though. It gets me every single time. In fact, Rockafeller came on the radio a few weeks ago and I wound up having to explain to my daughter why Daddy started crying. It was right then and there that I realized she would have loved you if she ever had that pleasure of meeting you, and I am sure you would have loved her too.
You were a bright spirit who loved life and lived it with so much passion that I am simply better for having known you. I am richer for having experienced your wonderful friendship that I still think about daily and that's what makes this anniversary so hard Mike.
The other fond memory that I will always cherish was seeing first hand at your service just how many people you had touched with that gentle fun-loving spirit of yours. Never have I personally seen a place so packed for a service. It was so packed it felt like the building was bulging at the seams; that's what made it so beautifully bitter sweet; almost poetic in-fact. It was then that I realized just how incredibly lucky I really was to have a friendship with you. How you ever had time for me I'll never know, but it is evident in hindsight that you cherished your friendships dearly and always made the time for them. I often think of our trip to Boston; of fixing your car exhaust in the barn; of the coolest flight I ever took - which of course you piloted; of racing the lawn-tractors at your house; and of your Honda Civic of course - I still laugh when I recall when you got that discman and mounted it on that anti-shock tray that stood erect and shook around when we drove. That sub you had in it was pretty sweet bro.
I miss your laugh; I miss your sense of humor; I miss your company; but most of all I just miss you Mike.
9 Sep 2006
It’s confusing for me that the song that reminds me most of you is about someone taking chances. A man taking his life and running with it, dreaming and running with that dream, pushing himself, challenging himself. "Superman" of course - "Only a man looking for a dream". So many times we played that song cruising the M1 to Sandton or over to Monte Casino for a pizza and a slight gamble, or downtown to Newtown to mix it with the Homies or just plain chilling out in the Ritz Backpackers. How I miss those wonderful times Mike, those crazy, wonderful times. I will never forget beating you on poker bro. I now lay on my couch in Sydney, Sydney Mike, can you belive that. I remember those times we had as two "pioneers" in Africa, well, in our eyes, pioneers. Two men with something inside of them. Something they were chasing. Dreams of course, different dreams, but the same goal……..Chasing what we want, getting what we want! Thats what made us friends mate. Great friends over a short time, but a lasting forever time. The closest time.
At least you were on a road to discovery that was original. I was just chasing a girl; which has no originality. And as it panned out, you achieved yours. I’m still chasing mine, although I’m sure that you already know that. I'm sure you see over me. I must say though, not just any girl, Nici, and you know Nix. Mike, sometimes I wonder, why did our paths cross? Why did we meet, then be torn apart? What am I to take from it all? You have many friends back home who you grew up with, who knew you so well, yet I feel as though I have known you more than anyone. Tonight, I watched my team lose their first final by 1 point, I think of you, and the Senators. I lost tonight, but I wish you were here with me to share it, make the best of it, plan for next week, you know?
Mike, my first meeting with your parents was under the most strained times. I shared with them our memories of Africa, our experiences, our victories and our failures, our dusty, dirty times in the land of granted dreams. I told them of your dreams, the ones you had surpassed and the ones we had dreamt up over a few sneaky late night bevies. Some sneaky times that, well, drift off to the hills of darkness. You know what i mean. I even told them about the pool table scam!
I know you watched over as I visited your home, as I visited your farm, as I sat with Gerry and Sharon, your loving wonderful parents. I watched as you dug the enormous holes for the garden whilst Gerry sun baked in Sri Lanka:) I watched as you built the tree house. I shared a meatball sub at your favourite local, I even cheered your beloved Senators in a pre season game at the Corel Centre. A wonderful time I had at the Corel Centre. You were there.
Even though you are missing in body Mike, you still play a role in my life. You still stand tall. Our paths crossed once in a far away land, away from our homes, away from our closest loved ones………………I don’t believe in fate or anything else of that order…………… I just say thank you that I spent some time with you. Thanks to you my best friend forever. I know that you hear me.
Hey Mike, you know in times of stress, times of confusion, you're there. I found myself 2 months ago in a distressed position. You know, I turned on the computer and wrote to you. It made me feel so much better to write to you, because you know in SA when I had a problem, you would always be there. And I know if I write, you're listening.
Thanks Mike. 2 years bro, 2 years!!! Sometimes it feels like 2 long years (without you), and sometimes I just wish you were here with me having a beer chatting and giving me advice. The best thing though is I know you are happy. I know you are where you are carrying on your open driving happiness. I know I will see you again. I know I will see your smile.
Until then.......open arms Mike Mathew xxxx
"Mike...you are missed!"
by Lissie-Anna & Raymond
9 Sep 2006
Mike...it's been two years since your tragic accident. You are missed so much by your family and friends! We know that you would be SO proud of your parents...how, despite their grief, they have continued on their adventurous journey...writing some of the most amazing Travelpod entries!
A beautiful sunset, bright dancing northern lights, jet planes in the sky, amazing cloud formations...these are some of the many things that keep your memory alive!
We will light two candles today...in memory of you...and in support of your grieving family & friends.
With Love & Hugs,
Liz & Raymond
Lissie-Anna & Raymond
"Miss you Mike"
9 Sep 2006
Days, weeks, months fly by - and yet it feels like we saw you yesterday.... maybe that's cos you're the one person I know that truly did live each day to it's greatest! Dammit Mike we miss you... it feels like we have SO much news to tell you - like you'll pop around some time so we can catch up!
by Paul vd Meer
19 Aug 2006
The hardest part about these tradgedies is that it's so final. On the day of Mikes accident, Jeremy Wood a Helecopter pilot and also a very good friend of mine based in Livingstone, offered his services in the Search and Rescue which went out without delay. Tragically, a year and a month later Jeremy was killed in a helicopter accident near George in South Africa. 2 great aviators lost within a year was a massive loss. We will never forget Michael and Jeremy and we miss you guys.
Paul vd Meer
by Julie Fumerton
12 June 2006
Love You, and Still Strong in my memories!
I talk about him at least 3 times a week, it's getting easier with time... time just seems to keep on goin' on eh?
Every Body take a second and smile... just for a second... It feels good!