#GordonPattersonHero
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AUGUST 2016
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#GordonPattersonHero

I can't believe it's been a week since the passing of our good friend Gordon Patterson. It feels unreal to me that he is no longer with us and my heart is broken for the love of his life - his wife, Sonja.

 
Our Gordon would never "go gentle into that good night". He was a brave warrior who stood for what was right. He was my person and we just got each other from get-go. He knew what made me tick and we were the very best of friends.
 
Gordon would simply do anything for us and I always knew he had my back. Over the years together we swapped roles - he was my client and then we were his and when we started Twisted Toast he took us under his wing for our formative first three years. He was our mentor, confidante and I could tell him anything and often did. He loved being first and in a long list of firsts he was the first person to visit us in our new offices. Gordon was fiercely loyal to us and made it clear that failure was simply never an option. 
 
We shared a love for adventure and along with Sonja, he gifted "The Brownes" as he called our family with his love for scuba. I was so sure we would grow old together and our action man would outlive us all. I so wish it were so.
 
Gordon's unique skill as a teacher is illustrated in how he effortlessly changed a young boy's fear of sharks into a much-anticipated challenge. The boy was my 11-year old son, who had voiced his fear of seeing a shark on our first ocean dive trip as a family. Gordon promised him R100 if he did manage to see a shark, and made good on his promise when we returned. He also presented him with a beautiful framed original photograph of a great white on our return. It has pride of place above his desk in his room. After that, whenever we were lucky enough to see a shark on a dive, Dylan would insist that we call Gordon and tell him.
 
Gordon, we aim to continue making you proud and hope you know we have your Sonja's back until we meet again.

Kim Browne

Always there for us

In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet floods every newborn seed
There’s a dying voice within me reaching out somewhere
Toiling in the danger and the morals of despair

Don’t have the inclination to look back on any mistake
Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break
In the fury of the moment I can see the master’s hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand

 - from Every Grain of Sand, Bob Dylan

In the aftermath of Gordon’s untimely passing, I realised he was always there. He was just, simply, there. I could pick up the phone at any time and he’d answer in his particularly memorable accent. Gordon, please can you help me with this or that, assist us getting this thing done, can I please quote you saying what you really think, can I stop by your office to chat? “Yes,” he would inevitably say, “no problem at all.”

And now he’s gone and I can’t believe it.

Bob Harrison gave Gordon, Kim Browne and I our first jobs in media. We shared a special bond from the time we first met. We grew up together in this crazy industry we learnt to love. Gordon became our mentor in business and our friend in life. When we started our company, the first person in the media world to know was Gordon. We had lunch, told him and he offered his assistance without thinking twice. So we landed up in the Starcom building where we spent three wonderful years under his wing. And when Gordon left the Starcom building, so did we.

He was a wise, wonderful man who delighted in helping others, especially sharing his immense knowledge about so many things. He was happy, kind and nurturing. We shared many highs and lows, amazing adventures and great challenges; we loved the hustle and bustle of our unique world.

I thought he would always be there. A steady rock in a stormy sea. Rationality in irrational times.

And now he’s gone and I can’t believe it.

Louis Eksteen

A man of truth and integrity

“If you tell the truth long enough and hard enough and often enough, people will come to you for the truth.”


Gordon was truth personified.

Which is why, no matter how difficult it was sometimes, people went to Gordon for the truth.

Telling his truth once cost him his position – albeit for a short while.

Gordon was our point-man at FHM and heat.

We weren’t his biggest client. In fact, we might have been his smallest. And he certainly didn’t make a lot of money from us. But come hell or high water, he personally, the CEO of Starcom at the time, came to all our brainstorms and weekends away, and freely gave of his advice, his expertise and his opinion.
Gordon was authentic, a rare quality in this day and age. When you dealt with him, you knew what you were getting. You could trust him with your secrets, and your life.
How many people do you know you can honestly say that about?

He was a highly proficient scuba instructor who spent much of his time teaching and taking aspiring divers on trips to the coast and even overseas. He was also an underwater photographer, whose pictures have graced the pages of National Geographic.

He kept snakes, really big snakes, and a timber wolf, amongst other assorted animals and reptiles.

But despite his lofty position, literally and metaphorically, he led a quiet life and wanted nothing more than to share his leisure hours with Sonja, the love of his life.
True to both their characters, a few months ago they secretly got married, and I have it on good authority that there were no two happier people alive.

Sonja, our hearts go out to you. You and Gordon were like two halves of a whole and it is so unfair that this happened.

We leave Robbie Burns to have the last word.

An honest man here lies at rest,
As e’er God with image blest,
The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his with virtue warmed,
Few heads with knowledge so informed:
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss,
If there is not, he made the best of this.

 
Kevin Kleynhans

Gordon's legacy

As Gordon was an incredible mentor with a constant drive to train, uplift and inspire people, a bursary trust fund is being established to continue his legacy.

The family have requested that in lieu of flowers, donations are made to the trust.
            
The interim details for the fund are:

Bank            
Standard Bank

Account Name        
Omnicom Media Group SA (Pty) Ltd

Account Number        
02 2667016

Type of Account        
Business Current Account

Branch            
Sandton

Branch Code        
019205

Beneficiary reference        
GP Legacy Trust
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