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Simon didn't take anything for granted.

Thirty-six year-old Simon was a sculptor. He said, 'If you were to ask me where my passion comes from, I would tell you that it comes from my need to create art. There is so much that I find inspirational that I often cannot work fast enough to get it all out. I often have no idea where it comes from - I just make the most of it. Carving stone is incredibly healing, satisfying, challenging and necessary for me.'

Simon wasn't just my eldest son, he was my best friend. His spiritual nature and warmth meant he cared about the earth and the people on it, was willing to help those in need and generous with his time and resources.

He'd always been artistic - playing with a toy guitar at 18 months and later playing guitar, piano, didgeridoo, writing songs and singing. He studied art and design then teaching. He found his true voice when he took a stone carving lesson from a Maori artist.

'Most of what I have wanted to say in recent years has probably been better expressed through my sculpture. Words alone couldn't have said enough and I needed to learn a new language. This language comes from within and like any native tongue it feels natural', he said.

For the last 11 years of his life, Simon worked full time as an artist - gradually building up a portfolio of work and exhibiting in Australia and New Zealand.

Large commissions started coming in and his work now graces establishments including Hilton on the Park, the Crown Casino and the Women's and Children's Hospital along with many businesses and homes.

Simon didn't take anything for granted. He was a huge giver in life - of his heart and his time so it stands to reason he'd be a giver of life in death.


Nicky Burton