'A last good-bye to a great friend'
On Monday, I posted in this space a remembrance of Ted Patey, by veteran local journalist Don Power. He wrote the piece at my invitation. Power attended Patey's funeral Tuesday in Badger, and one of the first things he did, on arriving back in town, was write this addendum to Monday's post. I am only too pleased to publish it here:
The sun shone brightly through the windows of the small but beautifully designed Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Badger Tuesday afternoon. It was a very fitting setting to say goodbye to a man whose smile shone brightly on everybody he met Ted Patey.
The Badger native was laid to rest at the age of 66 after a wonderful service by Fr. Eugene Morris, who knew Ted very well. His eulogy and selections of readings complemented each other and they certainly complimented Ted.
Fr. Morris told stories about fishing with the Badger native, and being forced to swear not to tell anybody about Ted's secret fishing hole. He spoke of Ted's penchant for practical jokes, his love of music and family, but mostly his love of sports.
Monday in this forum, I spoke about how Ted was absolutely loved in St. John's. Tuesday I discovered he was revered in Badger. It was unbelievable to witness.
Gord Follett and Brian Rogers two close friends of Ted's and former members of the Molson St. John's Athlete of the Year committee joined me on the trek to Badger. While we were there as friends, we also carried with us the thoughts and prayers of the entire committee. During the five-hour drive, we reminisced about Ted, and old times. We shared many laughs and stories. Rarely did the talk turn to Ted's illness. Mostly it was about Ted's smile and life. It was similar to the show Brian and I had done the night before on Rogers TV, except the extended, unedited version.
When we arrived at the church 30 minutes before the service, we were ushered into a small room adjacent to the main worshipping area. It was where Ted had been waked. After signing the guest book, I turned to see Ted's daughter, Colleen. She ran towards me and gave me the tightest and seemingly longest hug I have ever received. Colleen then called her sister Sharon, who repeated the scene. Colleen cried as she said into my ear how happy she was that I had managed to find time to attend her father's funeral.
That moment alone made the trip worthwhile.
But really, how could we miss it? Ted was so special, and went out of his way so often for others. What's five hours out of your way to say a last good-bye to a great friend?
And we weren't alone. Len Mackey, Junior Stoyles and several others from Ted's old Kilbride Hockey League were in attendance. His brother Mike read a letter from Premier Danny Williams a long-time friend of Ted's that you won't find any communications specialists writing. These heartfelt and personal recollections about Ted were Danny's words. It had many in attendance crying.
At a post-funeral reception at the local hall, the place filled quickly with people, and even quicker with food soup, sandwiches and desserts enough to feed a town. Because of a long ride home Tuesday, we stayed a short while, long enough to share memories and a few laughs.
Before we left, and despite a biting cold wind, the family placed Ted's urn he was cremated Saturday evening in its final resting place.
He's home in Badger now and forever.
It's a day I won't soon forget.
- Don Power