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Tribute to Steve and Gillian Knight
It is with great sadness that I write this. On Wednesday July 18th 2012 while on the Arctic Circle Safari with us, Steve and Gillian’s plane crashed killing them both. We are totally shattered by the loss of our best friends.
Our hearts go out to their son Troy and his family; it was a phone call that I wish we never had to make.
We do not know as yet what caused the crash, which is currently under investigation. We are not speculating as to the cause. That will come out in the findings.
What we have to remember is the fun and joy that they brought to our lives. They were the most fun loving couple that I have ever known. We always knew that if Steve and Gillian were on a trip with us it would be a lot of fun.
This was their 4th USA adventure with Mike. In 2005, they went on their 1st US Safari on BJ’s Alaskan Safari; they flew with Mike in a Mooney Ovation. This wetted their appetite for Alaska. In 2006, they flew across to US to the Bahamas with Mike. In 2009, they hired a C172 and flew to Winnipeg to meet us and the rest of the Australian contingent for the Governor General’s Rally around Canada. After the rally they took their time and flew back to Los Angeles. Steve told me that they flew 106 hours in the C172 and that was enough for anyone. He loved his Saratoga.
Everyone who has ever been on a safari with Steve and Gillian knows how much fun they were to have around. Steve was always up to some mischief, he would get that cheeky grin on his face and you knew that he was up to something. Gillian was always the steady force, except when she got that twinkle in her eye. I will never be able to look at Tim Tams and Bailey’s without thinking of her.
All I can really say is that they were having a lot of fun on the Safari. We diverted the safari to Redmond, OR, so that Steve could check out the Lancair Evolution that he was thinking of buying. We went to the 100th Calgary Stampede, and drove out to Banff and Lake Louise. One hobby that both Gillian and I enjoyed was photography, if I took a photo 9 times out of 10 Gillian did too. Audrey said to Mum when we were at Lake Louise “Haven’t those 2 taken enough photos of mountains?” the answer was NO.
Steve had given Gillian a new camera for her birthday and I had brought the latest version of the same camera. We spent a lot of time learning how to use them. Mum took a wonderful photo of the two of us sitting on the edge of Lake Louise where I was showing Gillian how to use the panorama feature.
One of their goals on the Safari was to reach the Arctic Circle, which they achieved. Along the way we met up with the Canadian Air Force aerobatic team the “Snowbirds”. They seemed to be following us; we first met them in Fort Simpson, NWT and then again inside the Arctic Circle at Inuvik, NWT. The Snowbirds put on a fantastic air show for the locals. We were all having a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, we now only have our memories left of this fun loving couple. They are very cherished ones.
I am going to put together a book for their family to show them a side of Steve and Gillian’s life that they didn’t participate in. I want their family to understand why they loved to fly and to show how loved and respected they were in the flying community. If you have ever been flying with Steve and Gillian, I would love to hear from you. I want to gather photos and stories of their flying life.
This won’t bring them back but it will give their grandchildren something to remember them by. Please help me with this task.
All I can say is they were having fun, they were together and they will be together forever now.
I will miss my Bundy Mate and Gillian telling us we’ve had enough.
They may be gone, but they certainly are not forgotten.
This picture is from our last Safari in Canada.
It sure is Fun to wake up in the morning to see what's for breakfast, only to find someone looking in the window, looking for his breakfast! (and hope it was not US!!