The Coldest Day in History

(Non-Fiction)

It was a very cold morning in Johannesburg. The coldest in 60 years in some areas. It snowed for the first time in over twelve years. It was the week of my father’s funeral. We joked that it was his revenge on the family and the world in general. We were cold.

Wednesday 29 June 1994. Two o’clock at the Catholic Church in Lancaster Avenue, Craighall Park. People not seen for years were there, mostly at the back, paying tribute to a great friend.

The Father was on crutches, he had broken a leg, but still managed to deliver a wonderful service, with Dr Charles Potter, brother of my father, giving an exceptional eulogy, full of truth and chuckles. My mother was taking it extremely well. So in fact was my grandmother, my father’s mother. She had taken charge of all the arrangements, and now and then showed the signs of grief.

After the service, most of the congregation followed Charles and Meave to their house for the tea afterwards. With a fire raging in the fireplace, helped along by about five other heaters, the house was transformed into a warm haven for those grief stricken people called us.

Tea was to be had, and also coffee, alchohol, soft drink, sandwiches, cakes, loaves, sweets, sausage rolls and other pies and things. A most enjoyable time we all had there, and when my mother toasted her husband, my father, everyone with or without a glass raised their hands in respect for a wonderful man.

The date is now 15 July 1994, and I still remember the day well. Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder to all of that day, and all that was spoken of my father, Mr Roderick Alexander Stuart Potter.

Rest In Peace.