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Mon, 17 September 2018

About 220 people paddled out at Muizenberg yesterday to honour restaurant owner and surfer Dave Jones, who passed away after a battle with pneumonia, writes Spike. Video Jeff Ayliff

Dave Jones was the owner of the Empire Cafe, a popular restaurant within view of his beloved Muizenberg Corner. A foodie to the core, Dave was renowned for his generosity, laced with a dash of gruff exterior, infused with a witty riposte, pan-seared with a sardonic slice of sarcasm, and served with a weird facial expression.

His parents Tev and Fran, brother Jef and other members of his family including his daughter Talulah visiting from Australia, walked down the beach armed with flowers and surfboards. They walked the line between friends and surfers in a corridor of remembrance that led towards the beach.

Above in the blue sky that forms the vast backdrop to the craggy Muizenberg mountain over which he loved to hike and reflect, a flock of 25 pelicans - the largest I have ever seen in one place at one time - banked and swirled as a feathered form of aerial salute.

matthew kleynhans-drone-shot

CIRCLE OF LIFE: More than 200 paddled out to remember Dave. Photo Mathew Kleynhans

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.

"At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me." - CS Lewis in A Grief Observed.

Muizenberg - the quirky, eccentric home to an eclectic mix of earthy souls - was his home. His heart lay in his community. He was a committed member, whether doting on little kids, and feeding them sweet concoctions from his kitchen, or organising hikes and gatherings and coming up with initiatives to improve security and the wellbeing of the people of Muizies.

On the day that everyone paddled out to the backline at the Corner on a sweet smooth blue day - a classic calm spring day with another cold front stirring; and beautiful clean waves; and a spring sun that yearned like heat to warm your heart - I laid my mother to rest at a wake in Newlands.

It was a far-removed remembrance for an ailing 86-year-old away from this tragedy, but by no means less poignant or painful for those close to these two souls; one too early departed and the other who gently slid from her pain into the same swirling ether you and I will go.

The memorial service for Dave was held on Saturday at the Muizenberg Bowling club with his friend Jake taking charge and a few people speaking. Most people bought a plate of eats and some drinks and then it was on to the Striped Horse bar where some proper grieving got down to the nitty grits.

RIP Dave Jones. RIP Mom.



GOODBYE BIG GUY: The traditional hitting of the water to make the spirit soar. Photos Jeff Ayliff

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