Andrew Forester 1944-2011

It is with deep regret that I have to inform everyone that Andrew Forester died on the 2nd of July 2011 in hospital at Haliburton, Canada.  Andy had been suffering from a serious illness for some time and his immune system was weakened; he caught an infection and died within three days.

Those of us who were in regular contact with Andy will miss his blustering, boisterous sense of humour and his direct way of giving his point of view.  Andy never was Politically Correct and we liked him that way!  He enjoyed good food, travelling, shooting and Aztec history.

Andy had no children and is survived by Liz - his wife of 45 years.

- Robin Bather, Mexico

 

A Tribute to Andy

- a Very Special Chap

Surprisingly, I never really knew Andy at Downer but made contact with him after many years through the DG website, he being so very interested in everything connected with Mexico.  We interchanged regular emails where we discussed current events etc., and Andy would never hold back if he disagreed with my views, using strong language to chastise me!  We disagreed a lot but enjoyed the give and take.

About four years ago I invited Andy & Liz to stay with us here in Mexico when they were on their way back from (I think) Guatemala.  He gave me the details of their hotel and early one Saturday morning I set off to pick them up in Mexico City.  Andy & Liz were waiting for me on the pavement; I stopped, got out, walked around the car beaming and said to him "as I was saying 50 years ago".  We all burst out laughing.

We all stayed at my summer villa in Ixtapan de la Sal and had some great times.  Each day we would go out to visit an Aztec pyramid, a picturesque Mexican village or to enter some gem of a colonial Baroque church, so much so, that Andy finally exclaimed in his non PC manner "Not another bloody church!”

We would return in the afternoons, shower and change, then enjoy a bottle of wine in the garden, recounting tales of yore, amongst the bougainvilleas, palm trees and bright tropical flowers where hummingbirds hover.  Then, as evening descended, we'd sit around a candlelit table on the grass enjoying the warm evening air and have a nice dinner...  with more red wine.

When at home in Canada Andy & Liz enjoyed cooking Mexican food and while they were here they were delighted when I would give them authentic Mexican recipes with all the little practical details which my Mexican wife had explained to me.

Andy was always fascinated with pre Columbian history and even decided that his nickname was Huitzilopochli (you'll need to look that up in Wiki!), so one day I took them to visit the spectacular monolithic pyramid at Malinalco which is located on top of a steepish hill, accessed by hundreds of concrete steps.  Andy was...  well you've seen his picture {under 'Choice Comments'} ...  as my parents would have said "A fine figure of a man".  He huffed and puffed and sweated whilst climbing the steps - due to excess pounds and the rarified air at this altitude.  When we got to the top we three sat with our legs dangling over the cliff and just admired the view --- the majestic chasm, the bright blue sky, the odd tree clinging to the cliff side for dear life, the distant misty blue mountains, the little village way down below, the occasional buzzard floating on the cool updrafts...  the utter silence and beauty of the moment.  We sat there in silence for quite a long time - I'll never forget that moment.

Later on we made our way down, found a nice little open air restaurant and enjoyed a typical Mexican lunch with a few ice cold beers.

Whilst they were with us, Liz celebrated a birthday so my wife and I invited them out to lunch at a local seafood restaurant where we all enjoyed a fine meal.  Unseen by Liz, I got up (ostensibly to go to the bog) but instead I spoke to the Captain.  When seated again, all the waiters sidled up to Liz and started singing the Mexican happy birthday song accompanied by shouts, claps and laughter! Poor Liz blushed but was really happy, and Andy chortled with pleasure.

Last year (2010) Andy mailed me an old paperback copy of "Aztec" by Gary Jennings and I started reading it about two months ago (probably just about when Andy died).  It's a sprawling novel about an indigenous Aztec man who lived at the time of the Spanish Conquest of what is now Mexico.  He gives detailed descriptions of his many adventures throughout his long lifetime and on the last page there is a phrase in ancient Aztec language which seems very appropriate for Andy:

IN  OTIN  IHUAN  IN  TONALTIN  NICAN  TZONQUICA

"Here end the roads and the days"

Andy would have liked that.

 

Robin Bather