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Karl and I grew up together, however we didn't live in the same suburb, didn't go to the same primary school, our parents weren't friends and we only ever shared 1 class at school. I met him when I was 12 and we turned into teenagers together, hung out together, got illegally drunk together, tried to pick up girls together and have been great mates ever since.

Everyone knows that Karl knew how to have a good time, but he also had passionate views and a common sense of decency which he'd expect from others. 15 Years ago we did a big road trip to QLD, my girl friend at the time's father had a house that we stayed in. He wasn't there, just the baby sitter / house cleaner that was there just to look after the dog. However, she was doing a very poor job and the dog was actually malnourished because she spent all the dog food money at the local night club. Karl really took exception to this and could not stand her behavior. His response was to not only let her have an earful, but he wrote a letter to my girl friends dad explaining the situation, complete with a couple of incriminating photos - needless to say, she was fired. He'd stand up for what he believed in and he'd stick up for his mates. He was extremely loyal and there were many times that I would find him getting more upset about someone having a go at me than I would. He's belted guys on the rugby field when they taunted his team mates, he's taken on bouncers when they've abused his friends, he's sat in protest and demanded refunds from shop keepers. He was also adventurous, once he was so hungry whilst hiking in Tibet that he and some locals killed a goat and made some stew. He was intelligent, he was a self taught IT guru and could talk at length about anything for hours. He was self assured and would not hesitate to let you know he's feelings about you. He was passionate and most of all he loved life.

For Karl, Life is for living, even in his last year after he had been diagnosed and was in remission he didn't stop living life he wanted to. I remember asking him last year if he had considered giving up the smokes. He just looked at me in that indignant manner that he always did, didn't even mutter a response, he just gave me a look that said, "Jason you know better than to waste your energy trying to tell me what to do". I think that he must have known that his time was coming, because what he did say to me in December last year was that if the final tests came back positive then at least he knew he had lived his last year to the fullest. And no one can deny that. I mean Karl and Jules were the last people to go to bed at their wedding.

Karl's last year on the planet was also Marlow's first and it was fantastic that they got to spend it together as intensely as they did. Marlo was a source of joy for Karlos and indeed was a major inspiration in helping him get through his first bout of cancer. Visiting him in the hospital 12 months ago, he claimed that he had just decided that he was going to win the fight with cancer and that Marlow and Jules were the reason that he wanted to keep living. Well he did win, and he bought himself a whole year where he'd stay at home and watch his son grow and develop through the very first stages of his life. He got to witness his character and passion in Marlow and I know that he was an extremely proud father. Even before Marlow was born he was proud, ringing me one night from St. Anton (where he was skiing) to tell me the news that Jules was pregnant, I hadn't heard him so happy in ages, he was going to be a father and get married as well! And Marlow you wont be short on love from Jules and both families, but if you ever want to talk about your dad then feel free to call up one of his old mates and we'll be happy to tell you all about him......I'll even show you how to play rugby - cause it's in your blood.

I'll finish with a story that is great example of how Karl embraced life. New years day 2001, we'd just had a huge new years party at a friend's house they were renting at Fairhaven. We'd been at the beach that morning and Karl was a bit hung over and decided to give the beach a miss. I was a bit seedy myself and we were both so tired that we forgot to pack the tent that we slept in. After turning around to pick it up we started heading to Melbourne, but the traffic was horrendous, it was backed up all the way to Fairhaven and it was going to take hours, it was hot and we both had splitting head aches. Just when I was getting ready to settle in, Karl turned to me and asked "what are you doing tomorrow?", "nothing" I replied. "Do you want to go to Wye River for lunch?". This was about 35kms in the opposite direction I didn't really have any reason to object, so I said "Sure". We turned around and went and had lunch, in fact we didn't just stop there, we kept going all the way to Port Campbell, stopping at the 12 Apostles on the way. We stayed the night in Port Campbell, didn't do much really as we were both pretty tired, just had a parma and a few beers at the pub. But it was a hell of a lot better than being stuck in summertime traffic. The next day we drove to Melbourne, taking the back roads, not a car in sight - it was beautiful. And that was Karl to me, if he didn't like the way things were heading, he'd be prepared to just turn around and head the other way. Most people would just sit there and put up with it, not Karl. Thing is though, he wouldn't make a big fuss about it and in the end he'd end up have a real cool time.

So, today I say good bye to a mate, one of my best friends and as sad as my heart is and my feelings go out to Jules, Marlow and Karl's family. I'll also be celebrating his life and life in general really, cause that's what he would do, "what have you got on tomorrow?" he would ask, stop carrying on and have a beer.

People my age shouldn't be doing mates eulogies, we're too young so much life left to live. Yet if there was one message that Karl has left us, it's that life is meant to be lived the way you want to live it, he wouldn't want you to grieve at length, he'd certainly want you to be celebrating life and he'd be very happy if you put away your inhibitions and fears as he did and live the life you want to live.

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