also had a passion for rugby, she was devastated last year when
the Poms beat us in the world cup, and although her father was
born in Swindon England and ex-RAF, she could not bring herself
to barrack for those "cheating Poms" as she said. Although
she was born in Sydney NSW Australia, she always swore that she
was a Queenslander at heart, I told her she that her grass roots
were in NSW and she had to barrack for the Waratahs in the super
12's. She is having the last laugh on me now, as the Reds don't
look so hot this year.
Ronde was also involved in the local rugby here
in Penang, often coming down to watch the boys play and hurl
abuse at the referee when a decision didn't go our way. She
helped out in the stalls during the Penang 10's, spending 2
days running beer to me while trying to sell merchandise. Whilst
helping to coach the Penang side for the Sukma games last year
she would often say " go away with the boys for the week
end, you need a break and they need a hand." This usually
resulted in jewellery being bought or me being out of pocket
for something else.
Melanie and Win's
memories of their time in Penang with Ronda.
We'd like to thank Harry, Sharmaine
and Shantelle for asking us to share some of the lighter moments
of being Ronda's friends and to share these with you today.
We got to know Ronda and Harry
while tutoring Sharmaine and Shantelle and we both became close
friends with the whole family. Some of the funniest moments
I experienced in Penang were because Ronda was around, just
being her injudicious ( Mel this means not always judging things
correctly, ill judged, unwise) gorgeous self.
We all know Ronda was a vegetarian,
so Win and I tried to introduce her to some wonderful vegetarian
food at our home on our Balcony Bar. One of the first trials
was with sushi. In true Ronda style the questions came in thick
and fast. What is this? What is that? You expect me to eat seaweed?
What do you mean raw fish? But the most priceless moment was
when she spread the wasabi onto the Sushi and put it in her
mouth. Her face, her watering eyes and then the light-hearted
abuse were hilarious. This was most definitely a Ronda moment.
The next incident I'd like to share
also occurred at our Balcony Bar. Someone, who will remain nameless,
( look directly at Harry)decided that we should let off some
cherry bombs to help celebrate the New Year, and to pay back
the Hungry Ghosts. Anyway, Win was relaxing in the hammock when
Ronda lit a Cherry bomb, held it in her hand whilst staring
at the rapidly shriveling wick. Reality struck, she panicked
threw the Cherry Bomb up so it hit the ceiling and bounced back
into the hammock between Win's legs. Win then panicked, flipped
the hammock, fell out and the cherry bomb burnt a hole through
the fabric. This was most definitely a Ronda moment.
Ronda had a passion for darts,
bowling and cards. She introduced us to the card game called
'May I?'. We would stay up for hours at the Butler's playing
this game drinking mango slushies. Harry would get tired and
announce 'a quick game is a good game' which was Ronda's cue
to slow down proceedings. The card spies, constant banter and
winding up other players were part of her strategy. These games
are another cherished Ronda memory.
Last but by no means least
I mention the car? On a regular basis, almost as if planned,
Ronda would tell me about another typical Penang driver who
attacked Harry's car while she was driving it. Harry's car seemed
to be in constant need of repair when Ronda was around. The
funny thing was that the damage always happened in similar places,
with a similar repair cost and it was always the same person's
fault. That is, not Rondas! If you ever need car repairs, Harry
knows exactly where to go and who to blame it on. This is called
"doing a Ronda."
It must be said that Ronda was
great fun to have around, her antics and banter were a constant
source of laughs, her faces down the web camera once we moved
to China and her love for the simple things, Jack Daniels, John
Denver, Mango Slushies
. but more importantly her friends
and family. We, who are lucky enough to have known Ronda, appreciate
her for herself. A person who would go out of her way to help
those she loved and those whose lives she touched. She has left
us a wonderful man and two fantastic children who will help
revive the good memories. We will miss her.
Ronda, thanks for the memories.