Remembering Bill Royds

The GOSLING community is very sad to learn of Bill Royd's departure on Friday February 20th, 2009, just before sunrise. Bill has been active in the GOSLING community from its beginning in 2003.

Norman Cousins once wrote: "No one need fear death. We need fear only that we may die without having known our greatest power -- the power of our free will to give of our life for others. If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality." ~ Norman Cousins. 1974. The Celebration of Life: A Dialogue on Immortality and Infinity.

When Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Movement was in town a few weeks ago, a couple of us brought him over to visit Bill at Elizabeth Bruyère. You can blame that patch on his head on us! We were running a little late in our itinerary. Hoping not to miss us, Bill stepped outside looking for our car, which is when he slipped. He was going to join a group of us at the pub with RMS. He said he was able to share a beer with us, since the stuff would exit the darned tube anyways. Well, we missed his insights in the conversations in front of the fireplace at Patty Boland's, but fortunately our gathering was just a few blocks away, and we walked over afterwards.

Life is the water that enters a pond. While it's there, it gives life to all sorts of things: the algae, the water lilies and the roots extended from nearby trees, the diversity of insects, the frogs and small fish. The water in the pond also helps us keep the garden growing through dry spells. Its mere presence creates a more beautiful space to be in, no matter if the weather is cold and windy, or warm and gentle.

Life is the water that also leaves the pond. As things and people flourished while water was circulating there, then even after its departure, the water has made its own approach to immortality. We wish to express a fond farewell to Bill, and say thanks for all he has given to the life of his community and family.

Bill's memorial service will be held on Friday, April 24th at 1:30pm in the "Sacred Space" within the Beechwood National Memorial Centre. There is also a fundraising concert for the Poet's Pathway project being organized for sometime in the spring, in remembrance of Bill's commitment to that project.

Photo and text by Joseph Potvin, shared under the GNU-FDL License.