A dear friend of mine, Mark Anthony Da Mata, passed away in the early hours of Sunday 18th January 2009. The irrevocable loss I feel is indescribable. This is the first time I have lost a friend in death. Mark was a very close friend of mine whom I had known for over five years and whom I will miss dearly.
My sincerest condolences, love and support go out to Mr & Mrs Da Mata, his beloved parents, and Michelle, his cherished sister.
The funeral will take place at Saint Luke’s Methodist Church (43 Kosmos Road, Wilropark, Roodepoort) on Thursday 22nd January 2009 from 14:00 (2pm).
As a good friend of Mark’s, I have been asked to say a eulogy and to be a pall bearer. The following is the eulogy I have written for one of my best friends:
Mark Anthony Da Mata
8th May 1985 – 18th January 2009
I can still remember the very first day I met Mark, over five years ago. It was our first day at Monash University. As I walked through the primary quad, I heard a distinct voice accompanied by a cacophony of laughing. That unique voice belonged to Mark and the laughing to a group of friends who, over time, would become very close – almost all of which are here today.
From Mark’s Colgate smile and warm demeanour to his caring eyes and infectious laugh, everyone knew that when Mark was around there truly was never a dull moment to be had. I cannot recall how many times we would all burst out laughing, often mid lecture, to something Mark had just uttered about the Lecture, Lecturer or something completely off topic, but somehow, ridiculously relevant. Without a doubt some of my fondest memories of Mark are from our days at University.
I have always admired Mark’s character and his ability to always say what was on his mind, regardless of the often hilarious repercussions, which always allowed him to walk into almost any situation fearlessly and without hesitation. I do not think I ever told Mark this, but it was through our friendship that he had the greatest impact on my character and the person I have become today. He taught me to never be afraid to speak my mind and to always accept myself for who I am because, as he would always say, “you’re fabulous”.
Mark was a beautiful, kind and gentle soul who touched many lives with his love. It has been my absolute privilege to have been his close friend and to have had him in my life. The times we shared will forever be cherished, never forgotten and will always have a special place in my heart. To one of the greatest friends I will ever know, this is not the end but merely a new beginning with our Heavenly Father. I know that if Mark was here now, he would most likely turn toward me and say “Garra, enough now, pull yourself together, everything will be all right”.