Simon Johnston – A tribute from Greg Treadwell
Written by Simon on May 12, 2009
The island’s reeling with the news this week that Simon Johnston, journalist, musician, poet, raconteur, humourist, intellectual, family man and lovable drunk (hey, he liked spades called spades) died suddenly, tragically, prematurely while trying to get back to the wharf from a departing ferry at Devonport.
It’s been noted that just about everyone this week is talking about Simon. That’s good because Simon was one of my dearest friends and it somehow makes his senseless death somehow less senseless if everyone else knows what a special man he was. But perhaps that’s just grief trying to resolve itself before time.
Like the island itself, I’m going to have to get through this. It will take time. I’m going to have to come to accept that I won’t see him striding through the village any more. That he won’t be at the Schooner, kidding with the staff. Or, later on, making merry in one of Oneroa’s bars. That we won’t share our deepest secrets any more. That I won’t ever again read his eloquent journalism. Or listen to him quote Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan. Or read his so-precise account of Denis O’Connor’s mysterious works of art. Or read his moving editorials about his father at Anzac Day. Or listen to him play at the Sunday Jam. Or listen to him talk proudly about his children. It’s almost incomprehensible that none of these things will happen again.