It was a sad day yesterday for the 700-800 people who made their way to the Hamilton Road Baptist Church, Bangor at 1pm, for the funeral service for Cois Beukes.
The church has rarely seen that number of people for a funeral service. They had to open up all the rooms available and the service itself was televised to all those not in the main hall.
Coversation was halted, the talk of who was in and out of favour at this and that team, and strategy discussions and rivalries where all put into perspective by some things that everyone shares. Friendship, love, sport, family and loyalty.
The grief that is felt for this young man and which applies to every person cut down by the terrible disease of cancer was apparent and felt by everyone who attended.
Business concerns and dare we say it rugby concerns halted as we all listened to the words of Cois’s brother Jacques, his close friend Ajay and his spiritual advisor and friend Jonny speak so well.
We will not forget any of this.
Cois embodied all that is good in a man. From his time at Donaghadee, Harlequins and finally Ards rugby clubs he developed life long friendships and while his life has been cut short the impact of his life lives on.
Our condolences are with his family and friends at this time and to all those affected by this terrible disease.