On 18 Septermber, Brian Shirnack my beloved friend killed in a car accident in Levin. I said to him, see you tomorrow, when he was working amongst orchid plants in the warm sunny afternoon. I didn't know that was the last time I saw his smile.
I got to know Brian through Norm Porter, Norm described Brian as a man who always had a Big smile on his face,The first time I met Brian 5 years ago, I liked him straight away,and indeed he had a big big smile, the smile was so genuine an always went from ear to ear. He came over all the way from Levin to Waikanae to give me a hand, just because Norm told him a young chinese girl who had taken over the orchid nursery needs some help. We spent a whole sunny afternoon working together. That was the first time, I ever met Brian.
Since then, Brian started helping me more and more, meanwhile he also helped Roger at Black's. He always was keen to lend a hand when I needed him.
3 years ago, I relocated the orchid nursery at Manakau, much closer to Levin. Brian started helping me more often. At that time my life was in a low ebb, also re-establish the business, sometimes I would not see any people for a few days, Brian would always be there to listen to me, and shared my tears. He watced me grow, I grew from a single woman to a mother an Brian was so happy to see me happy an was such a blessing with my son Bjorn,also growing the orchid nursery from small to big bissiness. Every day at 2 o'clock, his car would drive into the gate, you would just know the time without have a look the watch. Brian was very old school, he always changed to his working shoes and cloths before coming to work. We spent many many afternoons working together, he always refused to take any money from me, every time his face got red and embrassed. And every now an then he brought me biscuts, veges or fruits his genirosity was endless, My mother would say to me, that Brain is crazy, why he come over help you out and still brings you stuff? You can not find a one like him in China, how can you ever repay that?
From our conversation, I knew Brian only cooks simple meals,an often eats out. He has a sweet tooth, one time we saw him eating a 3 giant scoops icecream outside a dairy shop. And another time we ran into him enjoying a cupa tea and yummy cheese cake at a cafe on a Sunday afternoon. Mum makes Dumplings and pork buns for him, and we invite him to come over to our home for dinners. But he always worried to bother us, we had to convince him, and let him know he is part of our family.
Brian helped Norm back 20 years ago, then helped Roger, and me. We often joked to customers that he came in with the business,as part of business chattle.
Brian was very private person. Its a privellige for me to know him. Today we celebrate Brian Shernick's life, I will tell stories to my son that he was legend who helped 3 generations of orchid growers, as this is what he loved. His endless kindness and generousity is a blessing, his smile and compassion will be remembered. It is a great loss for me, for our family for everyone who knew him.i will never say goodbye as he will always be with us so Farewell, my friend, farewell, my listner, farewell my helper, farewell my Angel Brian.