After completing my 4.6km epic swim this morning Nina and I stopped in for our coffee at Columbus around the corner from work.
After the usual banter at the till we sat down discussing the day whilst flicking through the paper. For some reason Nina started reading the death notices (not in her usual routine) and recognized a name from our days at the restaurant.
My heart sank.
Peter owned Lincoln Wines on Lincoln road and was one of the long standing Fredatovich family who have owned and worked land in the area for a few generations now. He was also one of the people who inspired me to raise money for the fight against cancer. It wasn’t too long after we had discussions with Peter about working at his venue with some functions that we found out he was battling cancer.
On the occasion that he came in for lunch or brunch he was always positive, even when you could see he was green from nausea and didn’t really want to be out, he still put a smile on his face and got on with it.
Not long after I found out he was battling cancer I was chatting to my father-in-law about him and his fight when he recalled a story from ‘a few’ years ago.
This is a time when Lincoln Road was all vinyards and there used to be summer parties that incorporated all the wineries. Log (father in law) and uncle David (the only gay uncle in the village) were at Lincoln wines to help out with the celebrations. Uncle David, who was a chef and also Nina’s inspiration to become a chef, was put in charge of the spit and given a bottle of Lincoln wines Sherry for his troubles.
Sun was blazing, everyone was having a great time and a few hours into celebrations no-one could find Uncle David. Log had a hunt around and found him round the back of the vineyard, in a deck chair with an empty bottle of sherry in hand. The spit became the responsibility of Log to finish off and carve up whilst the Fredatovich’s tried to get caffeine down Uncle David.
It is this story I think of because I can just imagine a younger Peter running around in the sun, organising events in the gardens and making sure everyone was happy whilst trying to cover up an intoxicated chef in the background.
Thank you Peter for being part of my family’s life in the way you have and I will keep thinking of you, especially in the boiling sun, half way through the marathon at Ironman Taupo although I won’t be trying to cover up a drunk chef rather I will be trying to mask the pain in my legs.
If you knew Peter or would like to send the family a message click here