Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you and Good afternoon.
My name is Ed Lunnon and I am a patient cared for by the St Francis Hospice of Port Elizabeth.
Today, we witness the best of the human condition, through song and music and dance.
Let’s give Richard and all the artistes a very warm round of applause.
But, ladies and gentlemen, just as we witness the best of the human condition, we are all only too aware of the worst of the human condition – the elephant in this room:
death through cancer, TB, HIV/AIDS, and Motor Neurone and other degenerative brain diseases.
Just a few months ago, we witnessed the very public suffering, death and funeral of rugby Springbok Joost van der Westhuizen who had motor neurone disease.
Let’s see by show of hands … How many of you have been touched personally, or have had a family member or close friend touched by one of these illnesses in the twelve months that have elapsed since we attended the last Last night of the proms?
Yes, sometimes it takes the worst of the human condition to draw out the best of the human condition in us … That of generosity, compassion, love and charity towards our fellow human beings.
So, in these few minutes, I would appeal to you to help the Port Elizabeth St Francis Hospice to help us, who battle the ravages of these illnesses, which for you may be just a name, but for us, is our reality each and every day of our limited lives.
I challenge you and you and you to empty your purses and pockets as you leave this hall tonight and to fill the coffers of the Hospice placed at the various exits.
This past year it was your parent, your spouse, your sibling, your child or your friend.
This coming year, it may be your very self!
Remember, these diseases spare no-one .
May I thank you in advance for your kind generosity?
Baie dankie, muchas gracias, merci, enkosi kakhulu , thank you very much.