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  1. #1
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    RSS Feed Steve 'Rolyshark' Rowlands - a video celebration

    In May 2009 one of our most popular Moderators, Steve ‘rolyshark’ Rowlands passed away at the age of just 46. Steve was diagnosed with an advanced and aggressive form of oesophageal cancer; at the time of diagnosis Steve was given just 6 months to live. A few months before he died, Steve asked a film director friend of his to make a 'death video' – Steve’s words! It was intended to be a lasting video record of his life.

    As a TV director of some years, Barry J Wale and Steve agreed on a simple documentary approach and on 7th March 2009, just a few days before Steve left on his final trip to Thailand and the hardest journey, Barry interviewed Steve at his parent’s home in Matlock and at the White Lion pub, Steve’s local, for what was intended to be the first of a series of interviews.

    It was Steve's wish to do some more filming when he returned home from Thailand and to contribute to the editing of the video that would ultimately remain on the shelf until the day of his funeral - some years in the future, it was hoped. Sadly, Steve died sooner than was expected and that first interview with Barry turned out to be his last.

    The film was first shown at The White Lion in Matlock after Steve’s funeral on the 1st of June 2009. It was an incredibly emotional day for those of us who attended. Thailand-UK were represented by Lee & Tar, John & Nat, GTG & Lek, Mark W and Tobias & Jenny. The funeral itself was a non-religious service where heartfelt tributes were made by, and on behalf of, some of Steve’s family and close friends which included the reading of a particularly heart-wrenching note written on the back of a photograph by Steve’s partner Noy.

    As organised as ever, Steve had left instructions for his funeral and those instructions were that it should be a ‘celebration’ of his life ... and that was exactly what it turned out to be.

    Sadly, Noy and the children were still in Thailand at the time of Steve’s death and it soon became clear it would be impossible for them to attend the funeral as visa and flight arrangements could not be made in time. Consequently it was decided to video record the funeral so that Noy, the children and all Steve’s friends in Thailand could ‘take part’ in this celebration of this great man’s life.

    In accordance with Steve’s wishes, Noy scattered his ashes in Thailand after a Traditional Thai Ceremony of Remembrance where the original video was played to those congregated.

    For those who were unable to attend either Steve’s funeral in the UK or the Service of Remembrance in Thailand, below you will find the links to the two films in celebration and remembrance of a truly great man.

    Both films have been released after numerous requests from Steve's friends. Our gratitude goes to Steve's family and Barry J Wale for their kind permissions to allow these films being made available. Whilst both these films are hosted on YouTube, they are not listed and are only available for viewing by following the links below.

    I would recommend viewing the film 'Carpe Diem' before viewing 'The Funeral'.


    Stephen David Rowlands (1962 - 2009) - Carpe Diem




    Stephen David Rowlands (1962 - 2009) - The Funeral

    Last edited by Tobias; 2nd Aug 2011 at 10:08. Reason: Tidied up content.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

  2. #2
    f.k.a. Chris M m0ntecarl0's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this to all Thai-UK members - I didn't know Steve but it was a real pleasure to be able to view this tribute to him...........
    ขอแสดงความนับถือคริส

  3. #3
    Banned handyman's Avatar
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    Came across as a very nice guy ... Tragic to pass away so young. But he did so much in those years .. A lesson learned. Thank you for making this available.

  4. #4
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by handyman View Post
    Came across as a very nice guy ...
    The way he came across in the video is exactly like Steve was in real life. Put a few beers in him and the stories would flow ...

    Several times after forum meet-ups Steve and myself would sit in a hotel bar catching up whilst imbibing copious amounts of beer only to find the hotel had started serving breakfast before we'd finished drinking! Indeed once or twice we decided to tuck in to a nice Full English before retiring 'for the evening'

    Please Note
    I should point out that whilst both films linked above are hosted on YouTube, they are not publicly listed or searchable and are therefore only available for viewing by following the links. If those who are not members of Thailand-UK wish to view the videos, please advise them to sign up to Thailand-UK.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

  5. #5
    Banned handyman's Avatar
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    Just out of interest Tobias ... Do you keep in touch with Steve's partner ? What came across in the interview was his love for her and the children.

  6. #6
    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
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    Very moving stuff.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
    R.I.P. colin244's Avatar
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    Yes good stuff Tobias and I had some good banter on the forum with Mr Shark as I called him.

    colin 244

  8. #8
    Premium Member Phetchy's Avatar
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    Steve's attitude and philosophy on life was particularly poignant for me. I joined the forum at the time of Steve's passing and although I never had the chance to get to know him, it's clear he was one of life's gentlemen and his dignity and joie de vivre come shining through. Carpe diem indeed.

  9. #9
    R.I.P. ddwjg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by handyman View Post
    Just out of interest Tobias ... Do you keep in touch with Steve's partner ? What came across in the interview was his love for her and the children.
    Tobias, I heard Steve's parents were going to come to Thailand later that year to meet Noi, but didn't hear any more.

    Have they or you, any further news of her and the girls progress in life. If not, I may venture to see if I can find her and give some sort of update, for those who are interested. If she is still living at the same place.

    I met her a couple of times, with Steve, and also attended the Thai Funeral, and it was plain for anyone to see, the bond they had between them, and the love Noi had for Steve.

    Dave.

  10. #10
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Harvey at home's Avatar
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    I started to write this post after I viewed the Videos of Steve talking about his imminent passing, this was early morning on the 31st of last month.
    That day after breakfast I was due to pick up my Grandchildren for the day, I couldn't continue with the post and had to abandon the idea because I turned into a sobbing mess.

    Its now early morning on the 3rd August and I am having another go but failing, the tears are once again beginning to come and I cannot concentrate.

    Those who know me will understand why this is happening, for those who dont its because just before last Christmas I lost my son Jerry.

    I think that it is significant if not wonderful that people are affected in this way by the grief shown by others who have gone through similar circumstances.

    There I was eating my breakfast looking forward to a day with my three lovely Grandkids and then in a nano second a blubbering mess just because I started watching a video of some one deceased on a thread started by his wonderful friend.

    I did not know Steve but through the love shown by Tobias in starting this particular thread I feel that I knew him.
    He (Steve) did answer some of my earlier questions when I first came on the forum but I feel that I have come to know more about the man through people talking about him.

    There are of course people passing away every single second of every single day and this does not in any way diminish those deaths, in some way I suppose we are all connected by those deaths in that we can be effected and touched
    .
    It is good right and proper when these events make us take the time to stop and think about these things, especially when some one starts a thread reminding us of the untimely death of a good friend and mate.

    It is then that I know and realise that each minute of every day should not be taken for granted and should be used to the full, accepting that some day we all will have to pass through this mortal coil.


    When some one close dies it is sad but not final..............

    I cannot comer to terms with so many aspects of organised religion and would not wish to argue, debate the issue, its like politics so infinitely complex and at the same time vague but one thing that I feel so very strongly about and this feeling comes without any basis in fact is that Love seems to be carried on when all life is gone.
    In this thread we are talking about simple love and the love that I personally have experienced throughout my life gives me the impression that while flesh and blood die and return to the Earth from whence they came, love never does die, it carries on from one person to another.

    So Stevie lad wherever you are, your love seems to be still here and very much felt and I hope that if you are where My lad is you will have a word with him and tell him that that I love and miss him, just as your friends, family love and miss you.................................

  11. #11
    Banned handyman's Avatar
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    Very moving post Harvey, and very well written. I guess most of the forum members have experienced the loss of a close loved one. I certainly did a couple of years ago. Your comments about religon are spot on ... Each to there own I say. I'm a christian, wouldn't dream of preaching or persuading. Like you I wouldn't want to debate the pros & cons. I just like to think there is something after, and truth be known ... Laying on your death bed .. I think we all would hope for that.

  12. #12
    Member สมาชิก James & Ta's Avatar
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    I am sure I am like many members on Thailand-UK that didn't get the chance to meet Steve, but its people like Steve who give so much back to society that they earn great respect by their actions and natural ability to help others.

    I watched the videos late last night and its quite clear that if I had the opportunity to share a pint with Steve I would have thoroughly enjoyed his company. At the end of the 2nd video, I too stood out of respect for Steve
    James & Parichat

  13. #13
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ
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    As with many others I didnt personally know Steve but had seen and learnt from his posts. Thank you for sharing this very personal film, I was very moved while watching as his humility and positive reflection on his life was quite something. The very fact that at the end of his film he was able to urge others to be proactive and enjoy their lives as he had was remarkable.

    I have just come through the back of a very difficult three weeks losing my closet friend who died at the age of 36 who sadly I believe would not have been able to look back on his life and be satisfied with this lot, unlike Steve was able to. A real lesson to us all.

    Thank you Tobias for sharing.

  14. #14
    Premium Member Grahame's Avatar
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    Tobias, thank you for sharing this with everyone. I've been away from the forum for a few years and having logged back in today it goes without saying that I was shocked, saddened, and devastated by the news of Steve's passing. I met him a few times at various Thai-UK events, he was a genuinely lovely man and a pleasure to spend time with and chat over a few beers. I know how much he will be missed by everyone, my only regret is I didn't get to say goodbye to him personally. RIP Steve and god bless your family.
    Grahame
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