Heartbroken village mourns the loss of a true legend
*This article first appeared in the Langeberg Bulletin print edition of October 7.
On October 6 Barrydale woke to the devastating news that Shane Petzer, who was the heart and soul of our community, had passed away.
Shane died of a heart attack the previous night and what turned out to be a bitter sweet ending to his incredible story is that he visited so many of his friends just hours before he breathed his last breath.
On the day of his sudden departure Shane was out and about, promoting next week’s Barrydale in Bloom. He went from garden to garden, posting live videos on Intagram and engaging with people from all walks of life.
Doing what he loves, right to the end
He handed out posters throughout the village and even made a final stop at the rural Gwarrie camp in Smithville. There he provided vegetable seeds and words of encouragement to people who have come to learn the real value of growing their own food.
They love him for it, we all do.
All and all, it was a very standard day for Shane yet we know now that his presence and involvement in Barrydale over the years may have become something the village as a collective may have started to take for granted.
When he was not showcasing the magnificent work of the world famous Magpie Art Collective he served on every community board from the Barrydale Clinic to Barrydale Hospice, Net vir Pret, Barrydale Business and Tourism Forum as well as the Barrydale Art Meander.
Shane gave selflessly. His mission in life was to be of service to others (often to his own detriment) and what was perhaps one of his best qualities was that he treated everyone with the same respect, regardless of race, religion or social status.
We lost a mench.
A community unites in sharing their grief
In a matter of minutes after this tragedy entered the public domain, the love people have for Shane was reaffirmed on social media. Words of utter despair, shock and total disbelief flooded his timeline.
Again, from the lowly garender the the most esteemed tannies of the high tea club – everyone was devastated.
Memories shared by his friends and family served as a reminder of just how big an impact he had made during his time on this planet and just how much he will be missed.
People from all walks of life expressed their utter dismay at the fact that they would never again experience the joy derived from spending just a few minutes with him.
And as the reality of this gut wrenching loss sets in, there should be some comfort in the knowledge that all of Barrydale will unite in celebration of a life that was lived for the good of others.
For as long as there is art, for as long as people care about one another, Shane Petzer’s memory will be alive in all of us.
Our deepest condolences go out to Shane’s husband Scott, his daughters Jaime and Rebecca and the rest of his loved ones.
Also Read: Sweat mourns the death of co founder
*With special thanks to Jonathon Rees for the photos of Shane.