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Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #1 

It is my sad task to announce that our friend Rosemary I passed away recently.

Most of you did not know Rosemary much more than her name, which you would’ve seen here every week for the last two years and a bit.

Please allow me to tell you a little bit of her story, partly because she was much too reticent to ever do that and, partly, because she meant so much to me.

Rosemary was one of my dearest friends and, particularly in the last 12 months, an absolute rock to me. She was actually a life coach to me and my closest confidante.

When she came aboard this Battleship, I didn’t even know it was her at first.

No fanfare. She just saw a post I’d put on Facebook, inviting people here, and jumped on.

(Incidentally, the l in her moniker is actually a lower case L for anyone who’s ever wondered.)

She grew up here in Brisbane a ‘70s child on a diet of the Bay City Rollers, Status Quo, Kiss and Leif Garrett. And she still listened to them!

But she became a dedicated supporter of the Battle and would vote every week, without fail. 

Rosemary was a quiet lady but she was intelligent, quick-witted, had a great sense of humour and was a very caring, generous and beautiful soul.

We would speak on the phone virtually every day and regularly for hours at a time.

A typical night would entail her ‘coming’ to the gym with me, jotting down my weight, and then taking my call afterwards, noting my new weight, ‘accompanying’ me on the walk home, ‘sharing’ my protein drink with me, ‘watching’ TV with me for a bit, then ‘sitting’ with me whilst I checked the Battle and e-mails, etc; all the time sharing jokes and anecdotes about Battle songs including the ones she hated(!), other songs, our lives, etc, etc.  

Our relationship was such that we wouldn’t even necessarily talk for several minutes at a time during these calls; just keep each other company.

I could ring her any time of the day or night.

If I was troubled and we’d had a marathon call, at the end I would thank her wholeheartedly for her help.

Her reply was always the same. “What for, Sweetie? I didn’t do anything.” But, of course, she had.

She was just in her early fifties and much like an older sister to me; a slightly older sister, I’m sure she would emphasise!

Unfortunately, she'd broken an ankle a while back. It never healed and became infected. As a diabetic, she had no feeling in her ankle to notice the difference.

She was house-bound as a consequence and would spend her days knitting ‘trauma teddies’ for families who had lost young children.

But she made, what I realise now, a huge effort to come out and support me at my shows.

Only a couple of months ago, I told her I wanted to learn how to waltz.

So, as a professional dancer in her younger days, she took it upon herself to stay after a solo gig one day, threw off the crutches, and spent the next two hours trying to teach me to waltz!

Nothing was too much for her.

We never had a single cross word in the nearly 15 years I knew her. 

I was very happy to take her to see Love and Mercy in the cinema (with another good friend) last July so she could learn more about the music legend whose website she visited most days.

Life was not fair to Rosemary.

She had struggled free from an abusive marriage and had been single, with two children, for many years. 

She had other setbacks in her life but never complained. 

She’d also lost both her parents.

Her health was obviously an issue but, again, she did not complain. She was always positive and funny.

She surprised me at Christmas with a book on The Seekers that she’d ordered from Melbourne for me. The book alone would’ve cost $50. I’d mentioned it in passing one time in October and was amazed she’d gone to such an effort. That’s the kind of person she was.

The last show she came to was my NYE one. I was thrilled she’d come, driven by our other good friend.

I rang her afterwards – past 2:00am – and we talked for the customary hour plus.

We spoke in the early hours of Sunday 17th for over an hour.

It was the last conversation we would ever have. 

Bedridden, she had a stroke a couple of days later and was induced into a coma. Her infected leg was amputated.

She never regained consciousness. Her son and daughter and close friends kept a bedside vigil for days.

But I did observe her acknowledging her daughter’s voice and questions which I wouldn’t have believed otherwise.

Rosemary passed away on Thursday, January 28th; much too soon.

She had no funeral. Typically, it was her wish. No fanfare. 

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I will never speak with her again. At least not in this lifetime.

She is greatly missed by all those who loved her. 


Posts: 2,996
Reply with quote  #2 
Very sad news.  

I'm sorry for your loss, Darren. 

So far, in the first few weeks, 2016 has been a particularly cruel year.  
Verden McCutcheon

Posts: 461
Reply with quote  #3 

 Hi Darren

           I am very saddened to hear you lost your close friend.I do remember her being in the battles.One never knows whats in store for us down the road.My deepest condolences.

Lee Marshall

Posts: 2,378
Reply with quote  #4 
What a loss.

So sorry for her family, her friends and for you Darren.  Everyone, [except Rosemary thankfully] suffering.  This one'll take years to get over.  It has been a simply awful start to this '2016'.
bonnie bella

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Posts: 2,043
Reply with quote  #5 
Darren, I am deeply saddened to hear this.  My sincere condolences to you and her children.

There is an old proverb I recall that goes along the lines of; "The death of a good friend is much like losing an arm or leg."

Really tough.


Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery


Posts: 1,194
Reply with quote  #6 
RIP Rosemary.

So sorry for your loss, Darren.
Cindy Hood

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Posts: 1,522
Reply with quote  #7 
Darren, my heart is breaking for you.  A friend such as she was, is a rare thing in this world.  I had no idea that she was so ill.  Rosemary voted in my BOTB's contests - in fact, she voted in my last one which was Christmas week.  

The way you described her, sounds as though she was the perfect friend and confidante.  I love what you said about her, especially where she threw her crutches down to teach you how to waltz!

Even though she is gone now from the physical world, she is able to watch over you from above.  Don't be surprised if you get a sign from her that she's around.  

My deepest and sincerest sympathy, mate. 


"They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God".
Lisa G/TS

Posts: 803
Reply with quote  #8 
What a beautifully written eulogy, Darren. 
Very sorry for the void she's left, but you were very lucky to have known her.
Amazing how in spite of all the sad and terrible things that happened to her, she remained strong, feisty, and above all else...positive. (And she wasn't familiar with Brian Wilson's life which which kind of echoes that in its own way). 

~Sigh~ there's that "K" word...knitting. Am I the only knitter on board now?
I looked up your Aussie version of the "trauma teddy" and it's similar to the "Mother Bear Project" (U.S.) or "Teddies for Tragedies" (Canada). 

If anyone else knits (or knows someone who does), maybe we can make one or two each to send to Oz in honour of the extraordinary Rosemary and in support of her family and friends like Darren. Just a thought...

...either way, you know we'll be thinking of you and her family, Darren. May you all take comfort in that.
Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,660
Reply with quote  #9 
A beautifully worded tribute to a friend and guiding spirit.  There are those that do this to us in our lives.  Very saddened to hear this. 
A diamond necklace played the pawn...
paul g adsett

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Posts: 1,404
Reply with quote  #10 
beautifully put, djr.
big hugs from up over.

Posts: 234
Reply with quote  #11 


Another beautiful person taken from us too soon.

This is a lovely, heartfelt tribute to Rosemary.

A beautiful lady, who will be sadly missed by all her family and friends.

My condolences.




David W

Posts: 466
Reply with quote  #12 
Very sorry to read that Darren , she sounds a lovely person .
I have much sympathy as my wife has been a type 1 diabetic since childhood and know what a difficult condition it is to deal with .
Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #13 
Darren, sincerest condolences on losing your close friend, Rosemary. It certainly sounds like the two of you had a very special friendship, so I'm sure it's difficult to say goodbye. But you have done so for us in such a lovely and poignant manner.

Take heart and cherish the many valuable times you shared, and the help and comfort you both shared with one another. When we think of all the friends and relatives we come to know and appreciate throughout our lifetimes, there are usually only a handful who really touched our lives, or us theirs, in a deep and lasting way.

Your sharing Rosemary's memory with us is also a good reminder that each of us who appear on the board are not just names, votes, or comments, but also real persons with our own interesting, complex, fulfilling, and sometimes challenging lives. It's also a reminder that each of us only has so many years to live out our lives, to do what is most meaningful to us, and to appreciate those around us. Death is as integral a part of one's life as birth, so we must all take our departure at some point, and we usually have little control over when that will be. 

All the more reason for each of us to be positive and civil with everyone else here, to appreciate every individual for who they are, whether we often agree or not, and to live our lives to the fullest in our own personal ways. 

RIP, Rosemary, and my condolences to you, Darren.
paul g adsett

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Posts: 1,404
Reply with quote  #14 
tom t (and everyone else)
- you're right,
this community is an extended family.
a cherished one
(even the 'odd'  chap who's like the dodgy uncle,
whom one is reticent to mention),
all and sundried have a place in this family
with close friendships made and nurtured.

i'm immensely reminded of this by last weekend's,
um, 'significant' birthday party
(well - let's shout it out:
brian barry's reached 60!
and security has yet to eject him from any gig,
despite jeffrey foskett calling for 'em!).
there were blueboarders and bb / bw fans a'plenty
meeting up for a night of chat and live music.

so, such news, good and bad, is relevant here
and, in itself, helps that bond between us across the globe.

and mwuhs to you / us all.

Lee Marshall

Posts: 2,378
Reply with quote  #15 
My best to Brian and his sensational 'significant other' when you see both B and J next Paul.  That's what THIS board USED to be ALL about.  [every day]
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