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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 09:08. Reason: Tidied up content.
    Tobias - โทเบียส
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  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
    Stay home. Stay alert. Save lives.

  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. 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.

  8. #8
    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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