So, here I am writing about another friend who has met an unfortunate end by his own hand. Whilst my friend Brian from Aberconwy MIND was probably self inflected (no one has told me exactly what happened but he did tell me that things were not ok with him just before his death), Dave Smith's death appears to be sucide according to friends' comments on Facebook. To us his friends who were in school with him, this is hard to come to terms with. My last e-mail contact with him in July of this year talked very positively about the up and coming school reunion and coming to Rhos-on-sea. What happened in the short time since to have changed so much in his life I haven't the foggiest. I remember Dave being one of the most laid back of individuals, appearing to have not a care in the world but also intelligent enough to secure a 'golden ticket' apprenticeship with the Post Office, now British Telecom of course, when he left school, which is more than I did! A lot od us went for the apptitude tests during the last few weeks of our schooldays at Ysgol-y-Moelwyn (I went to a church in Colwyn Bay I recall, maybe Dave did as well) and he was one of the minority who managed to get in. He moved to Chester and as far as I know that was where he had been living.
I knew Dave from way back. We were together at Maenofferen primary school and I remember an incident with him near the end of the final year there. He threatened to beat me up over something (no idea what the reason was) and it wasn't a pleasant experience for me. Going into the new school at the end of that summer of 1974 I thought he would cause me more trouble. He didn't. Dave did not mention it or used it to make life uncomfortable for me, proving to me it was just one of those thngs which happen in a million schoolyards all over the world but has no real meaning nor nasty intent. I had no trouble from Dave in all the years whilst at Ysgol-y-Moelwyn, in fact he became a good person to know and a very funny guy. I was friends with Gwyn Williams Jones in the early years of Moelwyn and Dave was good friends with him so I would see him about, playing cricket and football behind the old forum. I also remember receiving from Dave a souvenir from the 1974 World Cup, which Dave's Dad had gone to, which he gave to a lot of his friends. Do any other friends remember these souvenirs?
After my family moved to Llandudno in 1982 I lost touch with most of my friends from Blaenau, including Dave, though I remember bumbing into him in ASDA Llandudno just after we moved. I believe Dave's family also moved to this area around this time. In recent years he would e-mail me through Friends Reunited, interested in any news of a possible reunion of his old schoolmates, an event that had been talked about for some years and ironically has been echeduled for April 2010. In fact, according to one of his friends I ws talking to recently from Blaenau Ffestiniog, he was so looking forward to going to it next year. He had been asking me since 2007 about this reunion, so proving that he couldn't wait to see his friends again. I for one was not only looking forward to seeing him at the reunion, but also here at Rhos where his dad lives.
Going through his page on Friends Reunited reveals a man who thought a lot of his days back in Blaenau. His photos are a reminder for all of us who knew him of the halcyon times that were our schooldays. Despite the angst of adolescence they really were halcyon days weren't they.
Let's hope that this coming reunion will kick start a continuance of contact between the friends we once knew and to remember those who we have lost, and to support those that need us in times of despair.