I was honoured on Friday to be exposed for the first time to a unique tribute in which surfers participate when they lose one of their own.
It is called a “surf circle”. And this one was held in honour of the father of a very dear friend. A man I knew all too briefly but a guy to whom I took an instant liking. As did many others. A great guy, a wonderful father… and a magnificent human being.
Many Hatpeople will have been horrified by the reports of the terrible accident in which local surfing legend Heather “Fergie” Clark was seriously injured after a car driven by an allegedly drunk 20-year-old man collided with her vehicle.
The young man then apparently tried to get away from the scene of the accident before he was apprehended and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving before appearing in court and being released on bail pending an investigation. Disgusting.
The good news is that Heather is making encouraging progress at the Hibiscus Private Hospital in Port Shepstone on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast after being treated for her injuries.
But our seriously popular surfer found the strength to be propped up in bed and thank her family, friends and supporters for the help she has received over the past few harrowing days. A grateful tip of the old red hat to surfing publicist Olivia “OJ” Symcox for sending fredhatman.co.za this wonderfully reassuring pic…
Heather relays a thank-you message from her hospital bed to all of the people, both friends and strangers, who have rallied to help her
Doesn’t Fergie look amazingly well for somebody who has been through a dreadful accident such as the one she fortunately survived? Yes, she does. And what a lovely thank-you from our girl in this pic! I’m sure I speak on behalf of everybody who has admired Fergie’s accomplishments on the surfing circuit over the years when I thank her for giving South Africans, and especially us living here on the edge of the Indian Ocean, so much of pride. Thank you, Fergie!
OK. Cool. Now we need to look at the practicalities of the situation. This is what Heather’s sister Brenda Human has said: “Heather is still in a lot of pain but is doing OK and is hoping to be home soon. She won’t be allowed to surf until January next year and has to have four to six weeks complete bed rest.”