Stan Klimczyk. A Good Man. 18.9.1953 – 18.1.2014
This week’s blog is an obituary to a “good man” called Stan Klimczyk.
Stan’s life was celebrated at an Open Air Celebration at Trig Hill, Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, 12 Military Road, Matraville on Tuesday January 28th 2014. Stan tragically left us on the 18th of January. May he rest in peace: 18.9.1953 – 18.1.2014. Sydney Morning Herald Obituary.
It was my privilege to know Stan, and meet some of the people whose lives that he had touched.
I must confess that I never knew Stan very well. Stan was someone who I knew through the board of the Master Painters Association, and I knew that he was a good man. Stan had an aura of generosity and always had time to say hello and smile.
I recall meeting Stan once on a quote for a building in the city – we were both requested at the same time to visit and quote for a painting job – and being impressed at his efficiency. He walked through the floor of the building making small marks on paper every time he paused in a room. Once he had walked through once, he announced he was finished. I guessed that each mark was a number of hours. Later on I would meet him sometimes at the Dulux Trade centre at Bondi Junction. I knew he ran a big company – SA Butler – and had purchased Althouse and Geiger; yet here he was; buying paint for a job and wearing paint splattered overalls. Stan kindly chided me for looking so clean, and wondered what I might be up to?
Marek Kazmierczak; a good friend and successful owner of “3 Colours Painting’, once told me how he had sought advice from Stan, and in fact, went to visit Stan’s warehouse in search of ‘stencils’. I remember that Marek said to me afterwards; that Stan was a very knowledgeable man with huge experience, and that compared to Stan the rest of us were just ‘kids’.
Of course, for many people, Stan was the one who cooked the BBQs at the Master Painters Australia NSW dinners at the MPA offices at 6 Gould St, South Strathfield. Stan would leave the MPA board meeting a bit early to start the BBQ and spend the next few hours cheerfully cooking delicious meet and vegetables
The open-air celebration of Stan’s life was a revelation as I heard speakers talk about Stan’s many different talents, including music, generosity and love of his family and friends. The talk by Stan’s life partner – Kate – was tender and profound and it made me cry.
The open-air celebration had a huge crowd; the “who’s who” of the Sydney Painting World, and then many more musicians, friends and family. It was a wonderful bunch of people that had all known Stan and had gathered to commemorate his life and indeed his tragic passing.
The take home message for me, is to commemorate Stan’s life by making sure I connect with the people around me, and build strong relationships.
It is a simple and profound message. I have a photo of Stan on my office wall to remind me in case I forget.