Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bree Farrell 1972 - 2017

Bree came to the ad agency where I worked in the mid 90s, to work on reception. She was so sparky and intelligent and full of ideas that she didn't stay on the front desk very long. She got on well with everyone, she was easy to talk to and muck around with, and we became good friends.

She moved to Sydney after a few years and was doing great things there in the advertising/public relations world. Then she had her first cancer diagnosis, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She moved back to Hobart to stay with her step-mother Connie, and underwent radiation treatment.

Bree's mother had died of cancer when she was still quite young, and she always knew that it was something that might be waiting for her and her siblings too. Treatment seemed endless, and was painful, tiring and boring. I visited her once or twice to just talk and read to her - she thought my choice of reading material (I had just discovered Saki) was terrible.

The awful treatment worked. She got better. She had new wavy slightly crinkly hair. She moved back to Sydney and we kept in touch. She mentioned she was going to travel in India for a couple of months with her friend PJ who was coming from London. I thought about that for a few days then asked her if could come along, and she very generously said yes.

And it was an amazing experience. PJ and Bree were great friends who had missed each other a lot so I sort of paddled along in their wake and did my own thing quite often.

After the trip Bree stayed in Sydney and again we kept loosely in touch. About 10 years ago she was back living in Hobart with a new husband Geoff, and a baby on the way, Hayley. I met Hayley, and couple of years later bumped into them with another new baby, Jessie.

Our neighbour Sharyn sometimes gave us news via her sister Jenny, one of Bree's best friends. I was really shocked to hear from Sharyn that Bree's cancer had returned, and she had died on Tuesday night. Jenny had helped look after her.

She was a terrific person who brought joy and fun to a lot of people and I am very glad to have known her well for that time in our lives. Peace to you Bree.

Bree’s workmates in Sydney made her take some plush kittens under glass; some kind of office tradition. She had to take photos of it everywhere. I took my Tigers sponge bag for the same reason; it was much less cumbersome.

This is at the Taj Mahal. These ladies surrounded Bree and asked her
to be in their photographs. Note, Bree is not particularly tall.
Some lads who were roped in to hold the trophies, with Bree and PJ.
We had a rickshaw race back to the hotel from the Taj.

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