We said farewell to our friend Graeme today, one of our good friends from the Caravan Club. The service started with the Elvis song, “Huka, huka, burning love”, known affectionately as “Graeme’s Song”, as he loved to join in the chorus. Graeme and Kathryn came to their first caravan rally way back in January 1999, at the Hydrabad Motor Camp. We were put into a team with the newcomers and our task was to construct a race horse out of driftwood gathered from the beach. In the evening the teams brought their horses along to take part in a race meeting. Our horse, aptly named Phar Lap, did reasonably well for a beginner. Also at this rally Graeme and Kathryn were introduced to an all involved water gun fight. At a recent rally everyone was asked to recall something memorable about caravanning. Graeme commented that their first rally was certainly memorable and full of fun. He felt right at home with people who enjoyed themselves doing silly things.
He loved getting away to rallies, and had a dry sense of humour which came to the fore when they were rally captains a few months ago. We were all asked to bring a small potatoe along, goodness knows why! Graeme and Kathryn set up a trio of gnomes on a table, handed us all a Spud Gun, and then the great Gnome Shoot began. Pellets of potatoes flew through the air, with some actually making contact with the gnomes.
There are two types of blokes in the caravan club, the Ford lovers and the ones who can’t live without their Holden's. It is not unusual for one side to make disparaging remarks against the other’s choice of vehicle, and send e-mail jokes to one another. Graeme was a Holden man through and through and his Holden Commadore was his pride and joy. It made an excellent tow car, and over the years has towed his caravan many thousands of kms attending rallies and travelling throughout New Zealand.
We enjoyed his company over the years, and it was an honour to know him. He left is much too soon. Surely he will be looking down at us from the happy camping ground in the sky, no doubt thinking those words from a John Williamson song, “Look at those old farts in the caravan park”.