The Fiji TimesFarewell Simon – An ideal critic and sharp shooter

A number of years in the past, for those who picked up a duplicate of The Fiji Occasions and flipped to any of the Letter to the Editor pages, a reputation you’d in all probability stumble throughout and bear in mind — Simon Hazelman of Rava Property, Savusavu. These days, that chap isn’t any extra.

He rests within the depth of the ocean off his homestead, the place he needed his cremated stays to be interred till that superb and fantastic morning. Simon handed away on the Colonial Warfare Memorial Hospital on November 27, 2022 after a brief sickness.

He was 59. If there’s something Fiji would bear in mind him for, it’s the objectivity with which her wrote his letters. He was typically controversial however he was by no means mundane about points he needed to convey.

The Sunday Occasions staff was invited to witness the casting of his ashes at sea, throughout solemn last rites carried out by his shut household and associates in Savusavu on December 9, 2022. Simon spent a number of time planning, even to immaculate particulars, his personal funeral and last rites.

Being the perfectionist that he was, a personality that typically seeped into his writings, Simon selected the color and make-up of his urn, his bouquet of flowers, his sermon, his boat, his pastor and the spot of his last interment.

His last rites at sea spoke quantity of his fond linkages to the ocean and his coastal upbringing.

He was a real son of Savusavu. “He cherished the ocean and he cherished to fish,” his spouse, Noleen Billings Hazelman stated.

“Within the ended he needed to have his ashes dedicated right here at his favorite fishing spot off Rava, the place he typically fished together with his dad, Robert, and caught big trevally.”

The eldest in a household of six, Simon spent as much as 35 years of his working life within the tourism sector and was certainly one of Savusavu’s outstanding names in tourism. He began growing his letter writing expertise in his 20s and was by no means afraid to precise his emotions on paper.

Upon his retirement, letter writing grew to become certainly one of his best passions. It offered him with a platform to talk his thoughts throughout some of the managed and tough occasions in Fiji’s political historical past.

“He believed that one ought to by no means be afraid to say what somebody needed to say,” Noleen stated.

“His writings confirmed that he needed individuals to talk their minds and communicate nothing however the reality.” One among his most transferring letters was a sequence titled “COVID-19 Ordeal” the place he shared his private experiences of the pandemic in Fiji and his close to deaths.

On the conclusion of his letter on COVID he wrote: “Life is a privilege! Treasure it when you have it. Don’t simply throw it away!”

Beginning in 2016, Simon had been writing non-public messages to his spouse, maybe because the burden of his sickness weighed closely on his coronary heart. He considerably knew the top was coming and that he wanted to organize for it.

His last message to his spouse was retrieved from his e-mail. In it have been the opening phrases: “Hello Babe, you will have modified my life…”

“Simon by no means sugar-coated his phrases, he all the time spoke from his coronary heart and I do know he meant each phrase he wrote,” stated Noleen.

Earlier than his passing, Simon had been coaxing his spouse to assist him write his last letter to The Fiji Occasions. In that letter, he had deliberate to say his last goodbye to all his fellow letter writers and readers, with whom he shared many endearing recollections.

“All he needed to say was goodbye and to encourage them to proceed the nice work of expressing uncomfortable truths and unearthing lies and deceit ,” Noleen stated.

Because the urn containing his cremated stays was dedicated at sea, Simon’s 79-year-old mom, Caroline, watched the ritual from her dwelling in Rava.

She would later share her grief throughout a small lunch on the Hazelman household property by saying “I miss my son.”

Caroline outlived her husband and two sons whereas Simon is survived by his spouse, a daughter and two granddaughters.

Mentioned Noleen: “I miss Simon. He was visionary, an amazing critic and a pointy shooter.”

“I really feel relieved as a result of I used to be with him all the way in which and skilled with him the ache he went by. I do know that he now not has to undergo and whereas all of us miss him, I’m completely happy he has discovered peace.

In the direction of the top of his life, Simon received nearer to his maker and believed that though he would sleep for some time in his watery grave, he would someday be resurrected to everlasting life from the depths of the ocean and reunite with all who cherished him.

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