During my brothers short life he touched almost everyone he met in some way. I have gathered a few comments from people whom he passed on his way to provide a flavor of the person he was and why I am now paying tribute to him with Reality Rally. He was born with a smile on his face and a mischievous glint in his eye that would remain there his whole life. He was always up for new adventures, new challenges and new friends. He was generous to a fault and as a result he once found himself with only an odd pair of shoes and a dog to his name. Everyone loved Chris and his charisma and energy packed a lifetime of experiences into his 56 years. He is sadly missed by all of us but his spirit will live on.
From John, our brother
When a moment is properly used, its potential is fully realized
It is adorned and crowned with glorious splendor
And the person who has made the moment who has justified its creation will bask in its wondrous light.
(Avaram Tzvi Schwartz)
This is how I remember you my dear brother, what ever opportunity came your way you grabbed with both hands.
I will miss you, but will remember the good times we had together.
With all my love. John
From Ron, my husband
I remember how open and friendly you were and over the years, that was and is who you were, friendly, welcoming and a solid and dependable friend.
I also laugh when I think of your antics embracing life and the pleasure you took in living life your way. You lived by your standards and that to me is the measure of your time on earth.
I am so grateful that you spent the Holidays with the entire family since we all know the strength and support family brings us. Please know that having you here was a gift that we all will treasure-forever.
Thank you for the memories and experiences-you are one of a kind.
You have been a unique and special Brother in Law and Friend.
From his nieces
Uncle Chris -
I know you are more comfortable now. I am happy to have had so much time with you and especially for your last visit at Christmas. I am sad and sorry you won't be able to share Botswana with us and my kids. But, we will take them and we will visit Gaborone and if the cricketers are still going strong, we will take them to a game/match/century - sorry guess wasn't paying enough attention when you explained it to me. Like I said to you in December, speaking sports to me is like speaking Russian. I will think of you every time I wear the beautiful necklace you gave me. I will think of you every time Noah gives me shit and follows it with a big smile and a kiss (that will be often!). I am trying to live my life more fully and worry less about what people think - I thank you for that. I am trying to embrace the exuberance of my kids as I know that is a gift that will serve them as it did you when they are grown. I thank you for that also. Mostly, I thank you for being a fun and loving uncle to my sisters and I, a good brother to Mom & John and good brother in law to my Dad and a good friend to everyone you encountered. I do wish you had not left out the screwdriver mix when I was in third grade. It does make a good story though!!!While I am sad for all of us that we no longer have the chance to visit and be with you, I know you will be with all of us. I love you - Tonya
Uncle Chris was a wild man, when he was around, you never knew what to expect! He lived his life on his terms and I am not sure many people can say that. He was a generous man with a great love for his friends, the game of cricket & his sister, Gillian. (Even though I think she drove him crazy!!! =-) Kendra
My Uncle Chris was the life of the party. He was fun, outgoing and happy. He lived life to its fullest and had more adventures in his too short life than most of us will ever have. His spirit lives on in my heart and reminds to always have fun!!!!!! From Andrea
From Aiden, in Gaborone
To adequately appreciate the man that was Chris Dalton – you had of course to know him. He was humourous, generous, loyal, a (nice) rogue at times and, what is quite important for we Southern Africans, invariably thirsty. In late September 2008, we had our annual pilgrimage to Johannesburg to engage in combat with our old and dear adversaries, the Remains Of Africa a.k.a. Pirates Cricket Club. Dalton was, as ever, the life of the party and the orchestrator and butt of many jokes. It never struck me as remotely significant that when it was time for us to return to our lives in Botswana (and because ACD with the help of a few of us had clobbered all the beer) that Chris stated he was staying on to see our old mate Doc Pridgeon. In his words he had been "feeling off colour for a while now". Chris got back to Gaborone about four days hence and called and asked if he could come and have a chat with me. I of course agreed. When Chris came into my office, I got the immediate sense that something was amiss. He did not mince his words (he never did) and stated "Boet, the results of the tests Pridg sent me to have are not too good!" I said "OK, does this mean you are cutting down on the dops for a wee while?""Nope!" was his reply "they have picked up cancer in my liver and I am effed – they reckon I will be game over by July 2009!" I was naturally stunned and said all the things, I believed I should say like, "we'll get second opinions, we'll fight this etc". He nodded and agreed. The reality though, was that he knew his fate. He requested that I keep mum on the news for business reasons etc. and I agreed to respect his wish. Over the next couple of months, there wasn't a great and discernable change to Chris outwardly. He chose in his way to deal with the enormous reality of his situation and had to be respected for that. He went to the USA via Britain over the holiday period and it was only upon his return that I personally saw a marked change in the man. The once well–built fellow with an ample beer–boep was wasting away before our eyes. The cricket boys arranged gatherings at Chateau Dalton and we did our best to act normally. Chris did not drink and nor did he have the desire to. He relied only on nemo beans and milk–shake energy drinks to sustain himself. His Cancer was a vigorous and insatiable beast and it devoured Chris' body with alarming alacrity. Chris remained, well, Chris. He cussed about the ineptitude of the cricketers on the TV, the slowness of his ever attentive domestic help lady and the world in general. He NEVER though bemoaned his fate and asked things like "why me?" If he had such thoughts, they were never made audible. The Cancer had a grim effect on the mates too. I was always more than a little bewildered and was left with a great feeling of helplessness and inadequacy at not being able to do anything to help. My greatest solace came from Chris himself. Virulent and unforgiving as his disease was, it could not destroy his indomitable spirit and the life that beamed from those piercing blue eyes remained until his last breath on March 06 2009. My opinion is worth very little. I though applaud the efforts of courageous persons like Gill Dalton Larson. Her crusade to take on the scourge of a mass–killer like Cancer needs all our support – financially, emotionally, whatever?. Our mate died a painful and hideous death and whilst the way he dealt with it leaves me in awe as to his heroism, he did not deserve to depart so soon and in such a cruel manner.
You go your hardest Gill – we are all behind you. If only one person is spared the pain of what your brother so bravely endured, it will be a huge victory. I think so – Chris, knows so!
From Spencer in Gaborone
I knew Chris from the middle '90's when I moved to Gaborone, initially from contact at the cricket club but subsequently also from a business perspective. During the eleven odd years that I was privileged to have him as a friend he was constant in his ways and the way he lived his life. Always cheerful and humorous, he was also extremely generous and loyal. I know that he went through many difficult periods in his business life but through all these he retained his sense of humour and his indomitable spirit. In hindsight I suspect that some of the stresses that he endured and kept to himself were instrumental in the development of his cancer. Despite the many financial hardships he encountered, he also enjoyed a measure of financial success at various times. Throughout the good and bad times he retained his generous spirit. I only came to hear of some of his acts of generosity after his passing when some of the recipients of this came forward with their stories of how Chris had unconditionally assisted them either in their times of need or had "sponsored" various things far beyond what one would normally expect from an individual. Conversely, in lean times he never asked for financial help from his friends. After he returned from his trip to Britain and the US early in 2009, he was never again able to live his normal life and he holed up in Chateau Dalton. There he would be visited by friends and colleagues as his health deteriorated and he put on a brave front, never bemoaning his fate nor seeking sympathy for his pain – at times putting up with his visitors even though he was clearly not well and really quite "out of it". I recall on one occasion a couple of weeks before he passed away, after Gill had frantically put together a video production akin to "this is your life" and shipped it to us in Gaborone to share with Chris, I was tasked with getting him to view it. On arrival at Chateau Dalton I managed to get Chris' laptop out and tried to get it up and running. By this time Chris was drifting in and out of being fully aware of what was going on around him and he could not remember the password to boot up his laptop. As he did not seem to be completely "with it" I, without being fully aware of this, raised my voice to ask him something. He immediately responded with "Spence, it's my f@*king guts that's buggered, not my ears!" Typical Chris. From then on his periods of lucidity declined fairly rapidly. Throughout though, Chris maintained his dignity and independence and he quietly departed from us far too soon.
Any efforts to alleviate the suffering of those afflicted by this terrible disease deserve our full support and Gill, you like your brother Chris, are a special person and we wish you all the success you deserve in your project.
A few words from his wake in Gaborone Botswana. The place he called home.
Chris was something of an ace athlete, with a reputation of being a runner of note!. So good was he that was a contender for the SA Olympic squad, were SA allowed to compete in that era. I feel sure that many of you here today, would readily agree that if the noble art of 'Boat – Racing or Down Downs" ever got Olympic recognition, our Chris would surely have been a medal prospect!.
Our Mr. Dalton was in his own words " No Saint" and like the rest of us had his faults. He was though a supremely generous man and many know that various cricket tours and trips to World Cup finals etc simply would not have happened were it not for the big heart and wallet of ACD. Chris was also a great organizer and those of us who ever traveled in his party to fixtures outside Gabs would know that no detail was left to chance in ensuring a smooth and happy trip.
Chris had the knack of not taking himself too seriously and he could and would laugh at himself. He was the life and soul of any gathering and was happiest when he was involved. His rendition of Louis Armstrong's " What a Wonderful World" was really very good – so good in fact, there were one or two questions on Mr. D's ethnicity!. It is not understating things to record that Chris' passing has impacted on us all. It is not understating things to record that Chris' passing has impacted on us all.
I will close therefore by saying that Chris Dalton was an excellent fellow and a wonderful and loyal mate. He loved the game of cricket madly and you can be sure that if cricket is played in the Great Beyond, Dalton will be involved and pressurizing the Skipper to let him bowl – from both ends!.
If though by some improbable chance cricket isn't played in the Great Beyond, be under no illusion that Chris Dalton has already begun work on having a turf wicket laid poste haste, in the exact same vein as he did at Gaborone Cricket Club – a feature that will always stand as his great legacy to us Cricketers of Gaborone.
Chris was an overall "Good Oke"
Rest well Chris! – your innings was sadly too short – but for sure it was hugely entertaining. You will be missed.