R.I.P. Gerd Muntner
A very good friend passed away the other day. After a brief but intense struggle with cancer, Gerd Muntner slipped away in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, aged 75.
Gerd had led a rich and varied life working as a reporter throughout the world. He worked for the South African Press Association in Cape Town during the turbulent years of Apartheid and then for Reuters in Canada.
After leaving Reuters, he took up teaching and taught English in a school in Wolfenbüttel. One of his pupils was a young slip of a girl who would later on in life go on to be Mrs. Jones; so I have Gerd to thank that she could speaka da lingo so well when we first met.
The Muntners owned a house in Cork for a couple of years and would regularly fly over for their holidays. They loved Ireland. He actually spoke with a soft brogue and when I first met him, (as a young soldier contemplating making a life for myself in Germany) I actually thought he was an Irishman.
One of my fave stories he used to tell, and he had a lot of them, was his famous fishing trip. Gerry, (as all his English speaking friends knew him as) went deep sea fishing with his mate. They caught an ugly looking fish, but because it was so big they took it home to cook it. It was bloody awful apparently.
Anyway, a few weeks later his mate rings up and tells him what the fish was that they had caught, gutted and eaten.
It was a Coelacanth.
Look it up on Wikipedia if you don’t know what that is.
Another time he brought chicken wings to his local and dished them out, telling everyone they were frog’s legs. The thing is that Gerd was renowned for being a man of the world and everyone simply took him for his word. He had a very quirky sense of humour to say the least and he giggled like a schoolboy when people complemented him on the French grub.
Gerd could cook with the best of them, craft a Gin and Tonic that even my mother cocked an eyebrow at (an unfeasibly clever achievement) and possessed skills as a host that could outshine Hugh Hefner’s party organiser.
He and Doris, (Mariechen to her friends, it means, “Little Marie”) moved to Malta about three years ago to spend their autumn years in the sun.
However Gerd has now moved on to a better place.
Basically I liked him and I’m sad that he’s gone.