Friday 24 October 2008

Adam Barry Watene

Last night my family and I had the opportunity to say our public farewells to a very close and dear friend Adam 'Uncle Baza' Watene. A giant of a man with a heart of gold who was taken from us at the early age of 31.

We came to know Adam when he first came over to the UK to play for the Castleford Tigers and did so having to leave behind in Australia his much loved Moana and the two children, Arana and Ena. You could see from the first time you saw him play he had a determination about him to succeed at all costs when he was on the field but off it he was a gentle giant of a man who always had time for anyone who wanted a chat or an autograph but would always shy away from the media spotlight.

Five months after arriving in the UK he was finally re-united with his beloved family and Adam became much happier with home life and that all too familiar wide toothy smile of his was everywhere and infectious. His family became part of my family and we enjoyed many happy hours together with BBQs, dining out and watching rugby always high on the priority list but also inlcuded a large family holiday in Tenerife when his dad Barry(Pops) joined us from New Zealand.

I cannot begin to explain the size of the loss my family feel now that Adam has been taken from us especially as Moana, Arana and Ena have returned to New Zealand for the funeral and we have no idea when we will see Mo's bright shinny face, watch Arana play rugby or listen to the little angel that is Ena laugh and giggle again. We do hope it's soon but they will always have a place in the hearts and minds of Heather, Andy, Jenna and myself here in England.