Last Friday early in the morning our good friend and colleague Daren Day passed away.
Daren had been fighting lung cancer for the past three years and up until his last breath he did not give up the fight. As Dylan Thomas wrote: 'do not go gentle into that good night but rage, rage to the dying of the light", and that was Daren, not willing to miss a moment of living whilst he still had a breath in him, he fought to the very end.
Daren has been in and around Greenpeace for as long as any of us can remember. Many now know him as one of the Greenpeace New Zealand board members where he served for a number of years including as chair, a position he gave up only two years ago.
But I remember first meeting him in 1985 when the Warrior first came to NZ. After she was bombed we relied heavily on the Wooden Boat Workshop which was a collective of wooden boat builders who worked out of a warehouse near the old Railway Station. They were building and fixing all manner of beautiful sailing vessels. They became the backstop and practical doers for Greenpeace in NZ.
Not only did they have the best Friday night after work parties but they built, fixed, drove, supported and did just about anything that we needed them to do for years, including putting together a good part of the Antarctic base camp. Daren was an integral part of that workshop collective and pretty much became a permanent part in one shape or another of what Greenpeace NZ did for the next 25 years.
Daren was huge lover of life, could talk the hind legs of a donkey, was a skilled sailor and wood worker, built an exceptionally successful vineyard at the backend of Waiheke with his wife Bridget, from scratch and out of pure, dogged, determination - all the while holding down a fulltime job at Auckland City. He could put in the hours like nobody else I have known and was always particular about how a job had to be done.
He had a wide circle of friends and interests, was often the last person at the party in the kitchen, laughing and talking more bullshit about the latest fishing excursion, the next wine harvest or local council election.
We have lost another one from our big extended Greenpeace whanau and as much as I used to get cross at him for being too talkative in Board meetings I will miss him as a friend and am glad to have had the opportunity to thank him for everything he did for Greenpeace over many years.
Fair winds Darren, may you rest in peace.