Monday, August 12, 2013

It's hard to be Errol

Heaven has new country singer, says brother

Monday, August 12, 2013 - 10:47


JOURNALIST Gerard Errol de Cruz was prtty much the Picasso of warmth in the newsroom. He was pretty much the template of delightful companionship.
To his family, friends and colleagues he was a ball of energy — sparkly; one of those who engulfs you in their orbit.
Humble Errol was the classic inspirational newsman who approached his discipline with an engineer’s precision.
Journo, music man, family man, fellow pub crawler and buddy Errol is no longer. He breathed his last on Saturday, aged 59.
Prolific is the word that springs to mind when one thinks about the opus and personality of Errol, who whilst with us embraced many with his down to earth writings, music and delightful wit.
We say the human spirit is resolute and Errol was an example of newspapering resolve that inspired us.
He snapped into challenges with forceful ferocity and was in a class of his own in human interest and entertainment stories.
‘Cowboy’ Errol, who was the singer and guitarist of the band, Two Hats Gang, had the knack of identifying and nurturing young, talented musicians through his writings that touched on dreams and self-discovery.
As a musician, his brother William, a former The Malay Mail journalist, describes him: “Heaven has a new country singer with a songbook that has no last page.
“I know you rest in peace dear brother. Here on the lonely planet, harmony will never be the same.”
Saturday night ‘cheers’ at one of his favourite pubs, Rennie’s House of Oxtail on Jalan Gasing, was endless. We raised our glasses with the fervent hope that the Errol feel good factor lasts. That the gaiety of his colourful life should never fade.
Sunday in The Malay Mail newsroom was sober and restrained.
Everyone was missing the trademark Cheshire smiles of Errol and another dear colleague Tan Pek Wan who is in the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital fighting organ complications.
While we pray for Pek Wan, the ‘oracle’ of the editorial department’s IT unit, Errol’s role as copy editor of the People section has left a void in the paper.
Says crime reporter Thasha Jayamanogaran: “We've all lost a wonderful colleague. He was a unique and talented person who made a lot of people happy. He enriched our lives in so many ways.”
Having known him since he joined The Star in the 1980s and in the years that followed in groundbreaking Noize Records and back in The Malay Mail three years ago, Errol is one person I had wanted to be alongside during trying times because he was dependable, reliable and fearless.
His wife Alice Andrew and children Christopher, 26, Brendan, 24, Kathleen, 22, and Kimberley, 17, must know it will be hard to erase those footprints he left on us. It would be great if the next generation would just walk on them.
He is gone from our midst but someone up there would have welcomed him with open arms. Arms that always open for men with big hearts.
Thank you, Mr de Cruz for blessing us all.
Note: Errol's wake will be held
at 28, PJS 7/7B, Bandar Sunway,
Petaling Jaya. The funeral
mass is at 11am tomorrow at
the Assumption Church in Jalan
Templer, Petaling Jaya.

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