At just 23 years old (03/05/1988 – 29/04/2012), one of my best mates, Stewart was involved in a motorcycle accident on Tidbinbilla Road, Canberra. He sustained serious brain trauma and died in hospital a day later on Sunday April 29. Loosing Stewart has been like loosing a brother and even 2 days later, I’m still so numb that I don’t really know how I should be feeling.

Stewart was a bloke that was ever so responsible. In the years that I knew him, there was only one time that he was a little silly. The time he had a few too many drinks during a camping trip. It’s sad to see that a bloke with such integrity is no longer here. There isn’t enough young blokes like Stewart around.

A passionate young man that loved life. A true adventurer, explorer and photographer. Stewart loved the outdoors. He loved people and above all, he loved Jesus.

There isn’t enough words or pictures that could sum up the incredible bloke this guy was.

The photo above was taken on photo walk up Gibraltar Creekwith another friend of ours, Steph on Dec 28, 2008.

In amongst all this sadness, I know one truth, the truth that I will see my dear brother again in heaven. What epic hope.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. 1 Thessalonians 4:1314

Stewart, it was a pleasure knowing you and I will always remember the amazing adventures that we had together. From Canberra to the Fraser Coast, we certainly covered a few kilometers, even if we didn’t finish our ultimate around Australia adventure. We gave it a shot and now, I’ll keep traveling around and try to live the adventure for the two of us. (Do you think that means I’m allowed to drink twice as much scotch? Drew might not agree!)

You’ve been an inspiration in my life, a brother, always there to support me, to tell me when I was wrong and to encourage me in all the crazy ideas that I had. You kept me accountable to follow Jesus and what the trusty bible had to say.

You have most certainly been a light in my life and the life of many others. A light brighter than any lamp. And salt? Man, when you had to, some of the conversations we had felt like you were rubbing salt into a wound. You certainly had some zing! (Matthew 5:13-16)

Your heart was focused on Christ and it showed though the way you lived your life. Humble and servant hearted, you loved every person that you met. Your generosity I’ll always remember. Your ability to interact with people from all walks of life. You never judged and you stood up for what you believed in. Nothing could get in your way once you had your mind set on a goal.

Mate, It was an epic drive and those annoying point to point average speed cameras slowed me down but I’m glad I made it back to see you one last time. To hold your hands (Which are huger than I thought), to give you a foot massage and even if we would joke about it being a little homo, a kiss goodbye.

Fraser Island with Stewart OrmeAn epic road trip to Fraser Island with five blokes jammed into the Patrol

I remember….

  • The day I first said hello to you. I don’t think I even got your name. Black Stump in Sydney. I walked up to a bloke with a volunteer shirt on and gave him one of those white Make Poverty History bracelets. Because it didn’t fit me. Little did I know I would meet you again at a Church in Canberra 6 months later. The beginning of a very epic friendship.
  • Camping in the Blue Mountains with Richo, Sharpie and Adz. We took Adz’s trusty corolla along with the Nissan and the Corolla bottomed out the whole way though those dodgy roads into the campground. How about that short cut we took to avoid the delays on the highway that was being upgraded. How we ended up with a whole bunch of cars following us thinking we knew what we were doing. We missed a turn and ended up at a rutted dirt track. Naturally being in the Patrol, we kept on going. The poor buggers behind us had no idea what was going on! They had to turn around! Haha!
  • Heading snowboarding for the first time ever with Adz. Adz is reverse parking the car. “I’ll tell you when you hit the car behind”…. *bang* ….. “You just hit the car”. Bahaha. What an epic trip. What was the deal with taking snowboarding lessons at the end of the day? That’s right, Adz couldn’t work out how to stand up, he spend the start of the day using his board as a toboggan!
  • Heading snowboarding with Brimmy, that was epic too. You piked and skied instead. How about that sweet beanie that Brimmy had. No reverse parking incident there. How fortunate!
  • Getting bogged EVERY time we went 4WDing together. How about the time, you had to pike for a church meeting and your old man and I were out for hours trying to get un-bogged just 200 meters off the highway!
  • Heading to Batemans Bay for a weekend away together. We packed your swag and a 1 man tent into the Accord Euro and buzzed down to the coast for a night. I didn’t even know what a swag was back then.
  • Helping to paint your mums place with Bel.
  • Talking about girls.
  • Talking about more girls.
  • Talking about serious stuff.
  • Talking complete nonsense.
  • Learning to riding your old dirt bike up and down the driveway at Strewdines.
  • The time we road tripped to Fraser Island together.. 5 blokes (Rich, Adz, Drew, you and I) in the trusty Nissan Patrol. We squashed your hat so many times because you ALWAYS left it sitting somewhere where it would get squashed. And how about that middle seat and that really annoying bar? The one guaranteed to give you a sore bum. Ha!
  • Heading camping just out of Canberra and having a few too many drinks. Then we started trying to chop firewood with an axe (When it was already in the fire) I have the photos! Drew went to bed early whist we carried on though the night with our crazy antics (We’ll watch the video replay of that night together when I see you next eh?).
  • Our last BBQ together at your new house, just 3 weeks ago during my brief visit to Canberra.

 

10 Responses

  1. Korske,

    You’re awesome. Thanks for sharing the memories of the Stew we all knew and loved. Missing his smile so much already. What an honour to have known such a top bloke with such a passion for life. Will be thinking of you and your ongoing adventures – take a few pics for Stew, hey!

  2. Thanks for sharing the above. My daughter Emily has gone to Canberra from Toowoomba for the funeral and to be with her friends. We all knew Stuart from Tuggeranong Alliance as well as Covenant College when we lived in Canberra. I also had the privelage of coaching him is soccer for two years. He was one of the best – God’s Gentleman. For Emily, he was one of her best friends and he was around a lot when he was younger. I never knew him to have a mean thing to say about anyone – such a gently soul. I haven’t stopped shedding tears for the last few days – I feel I am in some bad dream that I am sharing with others from which I hope to wake up soon…

    Yours in Christ

    Dennis Lund

  3. I was lucky enough to know Stewart, though briefly and luckier still at one point to call him family. When I was pregnant with his cousin, he welcomed me with open arms and no judgement. Even though things sadly did not work with his uncle, he was always very kind to me and never made me feel unwelcome. I didn’t know him as well as you all but I consider myself lucky to know him the short while I did. My condolences, prayers and thoughts to his family and friends. You are all so blessed to have the memories of someone with so much integrity and morals. RIP Stewart.

  4. I did not know Stewart as I live in the UK but his dad is my nephew. I have been affected by his death and am humbled by the wonderful comments that have been made about Stewart. He has certainly been an inspiration to a lot of people. My thoughts and prayers are with the family, my family, at this time.

  5. This is an awesome write, Korske …. and a VERY healthy thing to do during the grieving process. Keep sharing these thoughts openly with people as long as you need to ….. God will bring healing in time as you talk and share , bless you heaps

  6. I wanted to reach out to Stewart’s family and friends – let them know that he was in good hands before the medics arrived. I put the following message on his website – very grateful if you could pass on for me.

    “It was a stunning Autumn afternoon, when we happened to pass by on that country road. Whilst strangers, just know that you were in the company of friends during those fleeting moments on the roadside. We could see you were a fighter, and you did so well to hang on for so long. It is a moment shared and so terribly sad. But just know, you were among friends.”

    Special thoughts to Stewart’s riding partner. You’ve been in my thoughts constantly – I am hoping you are doing OK – my heart goes out to you.

    Sylvia

    1. Dear Sylvia,

      Thank you so much for reaching out to us. I am Stewart’s mum and it gives me great comfort to know that someone so caring was there for Stewart before the medics arrived and was also there for his best friend Drew who was riding with him. Drew was a brother to Stewart and they were fondly referred as the Strew brothers.

      You were so right that Stewart was a fighter and he hung on for me and his brother and sister to arrived the next morning from Darwin.

      I feel the same way as our friend Dennis Lund’s comment that I keep waiting for this nightmare to end and to wake up so soon. How could we lose such a beautiful man who made such a difference to this world. He was so loved and I was so very proud of him.

      Thank you again Sylvia for sending this message and for being there for him that day.

      Kind regards,
      Helen

  7. Dear Korske,

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful memories of Stewart. I have fond memories of you and Stewart when you first helped me paint my unit. You all made a boring job very enjoyable. Then when you came out a few days before my wedding when the weather was beautiful and still managed to take such beautiful photos on the day when it rain. I know now that God was trying to tell me not to get married but I didn’t listen! It was also a beautiful thing when you massaged one foot and I massaged the other foot when Stewart lay in bed. I believe in my heart that he was very touched by what you did. He loved you very much Korske and I wish you had both been able to make that trip around Australia and I hope that you now do it because Stewart would want you to do it.

    Thank you again and please stay in touch.

    God bless you!
    Helen

  8. I wasn’t sure if you would see my message. It meant so much reading your message and I wanted you to know it brought me great comfort. Thanks again Sylvia!

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