It was Ronald ‘Watchie’ Maragh who brought Mr Miller into our lives…and for that we are so very grateful. Very soon we could not remember when he was not a part of our lives. He took over the leadership of the farm team when Watchie retired.
He was always ‘MR’ Miller, never Miller, or his given name. He said he didn’t like that much and in fact, his brother Duggie is the only one I ever heard use it. The ‘MR’ is a suitable honorific because he was such a gentleman. He treated everyone with deep courtesy and kindness; be it someone on the bus ride up to or down from the farm with him, the ‘mad’ boy at Papine who he regularly gave money or food, people up at Section or Bridge and the community around the farm. He made so many friends in those communities and they all miss him.
I learned a great deal from him. I shared my knowledge of organic, he shared what he had learned working with the Japanese coffee company and in the orchards in the US. He even got our peach tree to produce fruit that looked like peaches, I never got to taste though, Ali got there 1st !! But, he tried to pass on all his knowledge to Ali, so maybe nice peaches will be a lasting legacy.
It is so important on an organic farm that the people working on it respect the earth, care for it and treat people they work with, and people who buy from the farm with that same respect. MR Miller ALWAYS did.
A visitor asked him if he talked to the plants. No he said, I sing to them…and he did.
Under his loving care the farm blossomed.
I miss him. I miss having someone I trust completely to make the right decisions in the right way. I miss our long chats. I miss his pride in his daughters and the news of how they are progressing in life. I miss his appreciation of my Christmas pudding and Easter Buns. Once he left his pudding in Papine and was so distressed, I had to make him
But, you know, what I will miss most is that belly-laugh, that twinkle in the eyes and our trips up and down from the farm laughing at his recounting of happenings on the bus, tales of his days in the US, tales of Duggie and his ‘naughty’ but much loved great nieces and nephews, for whom he always filled his pockets with little presents.
Mr Miller you brought me great joy, great knowledge, great friendship. My family is now incomplete. I tell myself you are in a better place but I wish we could have had you with us longer, much longer.
I know though that you are resting in peace. Goodbye Mr Miller.