Today Ben Beytell’s family, friends and colleagues came together to share their memories of the conservation legend and to bid their final farewell – to a husband, father, mentor, teacher and friend.
Attended by his wife, son and daughter and other close family members, plus a large congregation of colleagues he shared his life path with during the past three decades, the memorial gave everyone a chance to express their thanks to this inspiring man.
A pamphlet was handed out to the attendees, in which Ben’s own thoughts on life, penned this year before his death, were revealed:
I’ve always been able to handle whatever the world threw at me, both the ups and the downs, as long as it was at least interesting. I’ve had the blessing of a full and varied life, and the only thing I really dread, is boredom.
Another piece of writing shared at the memorial service was Ben’s thoughts on legacy.
We’re not here to leave a mark. Monuments, legacies, marks – that’s where we always go wrong. We’re here to revel in the world, to soak in the awesomeness of it, to enjoy the ride.
From the words spoken by his former boss, Minister of Environment and Tourism Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, to his closest friends and family, it was clear that Ben left his mark nevertheless – inspiring and guiding the careers of the future conservation leaders amongst other things.
And it is also safe to say, the Ben certainly enjoyed the ride of his thriving, thrilling career.