We know that familial separations raise many emotions worries and tensions, and in many cases there is a breaking point. For a west Auckland man arriving home from work in those early days of separation a letter in the mail box was the straw that would break the camels back. More so the content than the letter itself for it signified to him the replacement of his duty to his family with an obligation to the state.
What may have happened within the mind of this man between the time he received his indictment to the time he undertook to end his life may be an experience that he fears to recall and share with others, as is the case with many wounded soldiers who take their untold stories to the grave.
Around eleven pm that night a few short hours later he walked from the remnants of his family home, down to the local railway line, his choice of self imposed execution. Unable to give consideration to the desperate thoughts of an engine driver locked into the unavoidable his only want was for the train to do its job. What came down the line that night was not the screech of breaks and a death wish, but the shuffle of feet and a youthful expression.
“Hey mister, you should come back in the morning, cause the next trains not till 6 o‘clock.”
It is an unusual but true story and perhaps the narrow gateway through which some return by default. Such stories however will remain untold without men of courage and writers of integrity and determination.
Bevan Berg (Union of Fathers)