A TRIBUTE TO GAVIN SLENDER
In the early hours of yesterday morning the 1st of Feb 2015 Gavin Slender passed away after losing a battle to brain cancer.
Our sincere condolences go to his family and his wife Maria.
Gavin was a long battling soldier of Scientology for over 35 years.
Those who should most appropriately pay tribute to him will not do so on this forum. It is hoped that a proper and fitting memorial will be held by the friends he had in the church but many here knew Gavin and remember him fondly – and it is thus important we pay our respects.
Gavin was a gentle soul with a real desire to help. His smile and temperate nature will long be remembered.
He was a man who was always around – never being the centre of attention or trying to claim it. A man who was just happy to be part of the action and do his part. During 35 years in Scientology he almost always played an active part, either in the field or on staff.
One of his true loves was music – in particular he was a blues man. He never missed an Arts Festival and always amazed people when he got onto stage and blew them away with his songs. He was involved in virtually every Arts Festival activity and participated keenly in drumming, dancing, acting and of course singing workshops. He was also a stalwart supporter of Creative Arts.
Gavin was a legendary book-seller up there with names like Dennis Glynne and Dave Atkinson. His success at this activity was attributable to his keen interest in people and a true desire to help others. He was interested, never interesting.
He was involved in just about every 4D campaign activity going. If there were drug booklets to hand out, he was there. If VM’s were needed, Gavin was in his yellow T-shirt ready to assist. He handed out WTH booklets in the thousands. While trying to find a picture of Gavin for this tribute, we were amazed at how many photos there were of him at virtually every org event. If Gavin could give, he did so willingly. He never sought accolade or praise – he gave from the heart.
Gavin joined Joburg Org staff in 2011, Division 6, posted at the Braamfontein Test Centre. Although he could only be on staff part-time due to having to support both himself and Maria on staff, he was nonetheless a valuable and stable terminal. He used his own car to transport staff to and from the test centre every day – no complaints, just got on with it. He was a successful body-router, could always be seen on the street chatting amicably to passers-by and made friends with everyone he came into contact with.
Belinda Van Pype, (former PES of Joburg org) kindly lent Maria and Gavin a helping hand towards the end of his illness. Her final words in tribute to Gavin echo the sentiment of the BIC community:
”Gavin was always smiling and ready to help – all the time. An awesome being.”