samedi 27 septembre 2014

Herve Gourdel, climber and ordinary citizen

One of the most moving things Elaine and I have ever seen was the silent march in Nice today, to pay respect to our friend Herve Gourdel. There were several thousand people walking the route from the port to la Theatre Verdure. Most of us were carrying large colour portraits of Herve and white roses, provided specially by the city of Nice for this special occasion. The culmination was a very moving speech by one of the mountain guides he worked with.

The barbaric murder of Herve has led to widespread condemnation throughout France and it is not just the climbing community that is in shock and in mourning. It seems everybody has been stunned by the wicked act of the terrorists in Algeria. Francois Hollande has declared 3 days of mourning and there are marches being held throughout France to show how the nation feels.

I was lucky enough to have worked with Herve a few times over the years, on outdoor activity trips with students here on the Cote d'Azur. I shall always remember his calm approach to his work, his amazing attitude towards life and the environment and of course his wonderful smile. Also, it was always a pleasure to bump into him at the crag and trade tales (like climbers do). 

Herve will be missed by so many and my thoughts are with his family. Goodbye dear friend. RIP.

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