By Kathy Martin…
Friday 16th December 2016 – Have just returned from the funeral (or if I may be permitted to say “An affirmation of Life”) of Bob Lamb, Claire’s loving, caring and completely crazy husband!
As you will read further in this article Claire’s journey to this day was NOT an easy one. I failed to count but suffice to say there were a great many of us in attendance. We were so lucky in that the torrential rain that fell later that day held off for us!
This photo of one of the various twisters spotted over the sea shows the onset of the rain! Several people reckoned this was Bob having a good dance over our heads before he finally moved on to a different place!
Claire Lamb wrote on her Facebook page:
“My loving, caring and completely crazy husband passed away at 00.42 this morning (10th December 2016).
Life was always a roller coaster with Bob in my life – we laughed, we loved and we had our ups and downs but we were always a team. I truly feel as if part of me has been torn out, never to be replaced.
Bob made it back to his home in TRNC and, although his time back here was short, he lived it to the max. He achieved his aim of helping on the stall, he saw his beloved furbabies and best of all he laughed and enjoyed life once more.
The sad thing is, it wasn’t Bob’s cancer that was the cause of his death. He had an infection, which once again turned to sepsis, and he just wasn’t strong enough to fight it off. He DID fight it though, right to the end. Thankfully his passing was what we would all wish for our loved ones. He fell into a deep and restful sleep, then passed away peacefully, surrounded by some of our amazing friends who loved him dearly.
Thank you to everyone who has been there for us – we were always stunned at the kindness we were continually shown. Words can’t express how your kind words and gestures helped us both.
I can’t even begin to imagine how I’ll cope knowing Bob won’t be coming through the door ever again. At the moment I just feel completely numb, as if this is happening to someone else.
Goodbye my wonderful man. I hope this next stage of your journey is as exciting for you. Love you always my soul mate.
Rest in Peace Bob. Huzur içinde yatsın
After Bob died Claire posted this on her page on 13th December:
Bob’s final wish is to come true thanks to the kindness and understanding of the mayor and people of Tatlisu village. He is to be buried at 10.30am on Thursday (15/12/16) in the cemetery at Tatlisu. It is a great honour for us to be able to bring Bob home to Tatlisu one last time. This will be a celebration of Bob’s life so may I please ask everyone to wear one item of brightly coloured clothing. May I also ask that in lieu of flowers people give a donation to Tulips/Help those with cancer association who have been a great help and comfort during Bob’s final weeks? Thank you.
Today is going to be a stressful day as I will be sorting out Bob’s death certificate and funeral details so it was lovely to start my Facebook day with a smile. Bob’s daughter Rebecca messaged me this wonderful photo – setting off for another BIG family adventure! Thank you Rebecca McCarthy for making me smile.
HOWEVER, on the following day 14th December:
Absolutely nothing is straight forward when it comes to my husband and this country. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control we have been informed that Bob CANNOT be buried in the graveyard in the village at Tatlisu! The mayor is helping us find another burial plot, but this means the funeral will now not be taking place tomorrow unless a miracle happens. I will let you know the alternative arrangements as soon as I have them.
EVENTUALLY on 15th December:
At last, we now have the final arrangements for Bob’s funeral. Thanks to the help and understanding of the mayor and some of the people of Tatlisu Bob is still to be buried in a secluded spot in the village. We will be meeting at 10.15am tomorrow (Friday 16/12/16) at the ground at the bottom of the hill leading up to the village, next to the ambulance station. From there we will go to the burial site. As before may I request you wear a bright item of clothing to celebrate Bob’s life. Thank you.
Well, today’s the day we say goodbye to Bob. It will be a sad day but it would be good if we can remember him with a smile as well as tears. He was always the life and soul of any party so why should today be any different? May I please ask that all of you who think of Bob today write your comment about your favourite memory of Bob? Be it a funny experience (and I’m sure there are plenty of them!) or an example of his kindness, whatever your memory is please share so we can all smile as we remember this crazy, fun loving, kind and caring man. Good bye my soul mate, keep smiling!
The comments from Facebook in response are in a separate article
Claire’s Eulogy for Bob
Thank you to everyone who has come today to say goodbye to Bob. He was a larger than life character who touched the lives of so many people. It has been a great source of comfort for me, and Bob’s family that he was looked upon with such respect and fondness. This will be an unconventional funeral for an unconventional man.
For those who only know of the TRNC Bob this is a snapshot of who he really was.
Bob was born in New Zealand on 15th April 1948. He was the youngest of 3 children, with the eldest being his brother, Alex, then a sister, Annette.
From an early age he was used to tinkering with machinery on the farm, something which he took through to his adult life. If it was broke, Bob would try to fix it…………..with mixed success!
Bob has always been sport crazy – either taking part or just watching. Once upon a time Bob was in training with the junior All Blacks and he did get a junior All Black cap but, typical Bob, an injury put paid to his rugby career.
He always had a love of the sea, something that was reflected in his choosing to join the NZ navy. Although he loved the life he wasn’t too keen on the discipline, probably not a huge shock to everyone present. He did make promotions but usually had his stripes taken from him for some drunken misdemeanour! His favourite tale was of coming back to the ship after a very boozy night out where he slipped down between the wharf and the ship resulting in complete chaos while he was fished out and a loss of all privileges for quite some time.
He married in NZ and went on to have 5 children. The eldest being Mike, followed by twins Nick and Eugene, Eugene passed away at a very early age, something that Bob never quite got over. Following the twins was Rob and then his only daughter Rebecca. By all accounts he was a great father but sadly lost touch for a while before being re-united in 2000 whilst on our belated honeymoon. The fact that Bob met up and spent quality time with his children during this time was something that he was always so pleased about. He was so proud of all his children and the amazing adults they became, raising families of their own. Although we never got to see his children again before Bob passed away, he was kept up to date with all their lives via Facebook and loved the photos, insisting that he passed on his genes for good looks!
When Bob left NZ to move to the UK his crazy lifestyle didn’t end. He would work in any job to get enough money to enable him to indulge his passion for travelling. His trips around Europe, a very different place then and not so accessible, in his camper van were stuff of legend. Many of the countries he visited don’t even exist any more! He was even there when the Berlin wall came down.
As well as his love of travel he also had a passion for speed and motorbikes. When I first met Bob he was still racing with his partner – he was the lunatic in the sidecar keeping the bike on the straight and narrow…………or not as the case was on many occasions. In one memorable race in the Isle of Man at the TT races he and his partner came crashing off the bike, they sailed over a hedge only to be followed moments later by the bike. I guess that was one race he didn’t win! When Bob and I became a “proper” couple he hung up his race leathers and stuck being mechanic instead.
Bob and I met at Charing Cross hospital through our work in the late ‘80’s. Contrary to what Bob would have you believe it was HE who pursued ME! Although we had known each other as friends for quite some time it seems everyone else knew we were destined to become a couple, a team. Life was never dull with Bob and for a time we shared a typical kiwi flat with various people. The amount of people living there seemed to vary day to day!!! In 1994 we bought our first property together – a one bedroom flat in Shepherds Bush. Although we both worked we both found time to travel as often as possible visiting such places as Cuba, Mauritius and Zanzibar where we made some wonderful friends.
Unfortunately Bob was never lucky with his hospital stays even then. He went into Charing Cross to have a vein stripped and almost lost his life. Still, it didn’t put him off living life to the full. Even when we got married in 2000 it wasn’t plain sailing as he was still in hospital 6 days before we were due to say “I do”! His hand was heavily bandaged so we joked that I had broken it in an attempt to get him up the aisle. Then in 2002 he was given the diagnosis that no-one wants to hear. He was told he had prostate cancer but had every chance that it wouldn’t spread. We sat and talked about what the diagnosis could mean and decided that life is for living and carried on enjoying every minute we could, travelling and even moving here to North Cyprus.
The rest as they say is history. You all knew Bob as a man who loved life, who was always the life and soul of the party but who could always be relied upon to lend a hand or help in whatever way possible. Bob and I were always a team so it is with great sadness that I say goodbye to my soul mate.
Now I’ll hand you over to Brian who will be reading a tribute to Bob as a father. This was written by one of Bob’s sons based on the memories the children have of their dad.
After the tribute Alan will be reading a poem dedicated to Bob, then, if anyone has a particular memory or story about Bob that they wish to share then please do.
After Claire finished Brian McCreath read: A wonderful tribute to a wonderful man
My name’s Robert Lamb,..yes I know what your thinking it’s scary there were 2 of us! I’m 44 years old the middle child of 5 proud Lamb kids. Michael is the eldest 48, then the twins Nick 46 and Eugene who also is sadly deceased and our little sister Rebecca, who is 40. We all knew Dad was sick but this news definitely came as a shock and as the reality of Dad’s death has hit, we have all cried a lot and laughed recounting stories of Dad’s past. We are definitely celebrating his life, as he lived a bloody good one.
Let me paint you a picture of a younger Dad…when we were growing up he was larger than life, over 6 foot tall, tattooed freezing worker with biceps like baseballs! For such an imposing figure he was still charismatic, funny and had a contagious laugh that would fill the room. It was always easy to spot him in a crowd as he stood taller than most, had curly thick black hair and his signature black beard. At a party or BBQ he undoubtedly had the beer in one hand and the tongs in the other. I’m sure that would never have changed!
As kids, we would hang off his massive arms and he would throw us in the air with such ease. When my mates came over we would gang up on him to wrestle him down but no matter how many of us there were and as hard as we tried he would ALWAYS pin us down!
Dad was a hard case and a joker…one of his party tricks was to pop his false teeth out of his mouth…whether it was to freak our friends out or just to flash his gums or talk funny it was his thing and we loved it. He lost those things all the time…there is even an old story of Dad losing his false teeth while midnight skinny dipping with friends in a Rotorua hot spring called Kerosine Springs…I can only imagine what a night that wouldve been.
Dad had many jobs, he drove logging trucks in Rotorua. In Wanganui he was in a men’s fashion shop and for the most part a freezing worker. Over in the UK he was on building sites, where I’m sure he would’ve thrived.
Because of all his different jobs he adapted quickly to all situations and identified to all types of people from high fliers to a brickie’s labourer he could hold a conversation and relate to everyone. But I reckon because he was more of a larrikin, he was more at ease with the working class. That made him well liked and a popular person.
I could go on but I want to share with you all just a few memories that stick with all us kids of our time with Dad. We loved to go swimming, watching All Blacks games in the middle of the night, watching cricket games and constantly debating who was the best NZ batsman of all time, Dad watching and coaching our sport, driving trips, drinking beers and playing cards, snoring on Sunday afternoons after a big feed, hearing his motorbike on his way home from work, lots of love and plenty of smacks, sitting in the car outside the Red Lion Pub with chips and a raspberry drink while he had a few beers with his mates. Our epic camping and ski trips around NZ, traveling USA and Europe and one of the craziest drunken haka’s I’ve even seen in Austria. We all hold onto these times in our hearts and are so thankful for them.
I’m sure everyone has their own stories and experiences shared with our Dad. On behalf of our family and my mum I’d like to thank Claire for the amazing love and care she has had for Dad. As you said when someone with such a large than life personality leaves, they leave a larger than life hole.
So many special memories of this special man, our father, our Dad.
We used to kiss you before bed every night and if we were all there now we would kiss you one last time to send you off. So from myself, Mike, Nick, Eugene, Bec and mum this is a final farewell for now. We love you Dad rest in peace.
After that beautiful eulogy from Robert Lamb, the New Zealand National Anthem was played. To listen Click here
Alan Worboys read his poem
The funeral of Robert John Lamb
Robert John (Bob) Lamb a friend to all
He was six foot three, he was so tall
He worked so hard from morning till night
He would give you anything, he was not tight
While Claire was away on a visit to the U.K.
He would call for a drink in NE and SA and not go astray
Have another pint Bob and sit with me for a while
We are not going to tell Claire that would always make him smile
He lived life to the full taking in all that he could
But you couldn’t stop him working although you knew that he should
So we are here today to celebrate his life
Along with Claire, his adoring wife
He will be looking down to see if all Is well
We wish you god speed, so now go and ring that door bell
God speed Bob to your final resting place
You chose Tatlisu, where they have given you a space
Farewell old friend you will be sadly missed
We continued our celebration of Bob’s life at the Ne & Şe Restaurant, one of Bob’s local bars.
As a final note we all joined together to wish Claire Lamb a long and happy life, the pain will diminish in time, darling lady!
To read the tributes to Bob Lamb Click here