FOR ROB STEWART: TAKE HOLD MY MISSION

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP,
I AM NOT THERE; I DO NOT SLEEP.

I AM A THOUSAND WAVES THAT ROLL,
I AM THE DIAMOND GLINTS ON SNOW.
I AM THE SUN ON GLISTENING TREES,
I AM THE GENTLE HUMMING BEES.

WHEN YOU AWAKEN IN THE MORNING’S HUSH,
I AM THE SWIFT UPLIFTING RUSH
OF QUIET ANGELS IN CIRCLED FLIGHT.
I AM THE STARS THAT SHINE AT NIGHT.

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND CRY,
I AM NOT THERE; I DID NOT DIE.

I AM THE SHARKS AND WHALES AND REEFS;
THE RAYS AND CREATURES OF THE DEEP.
I NEED YOUR VOICE TO MAKE MINE HEARD:
TAKE UP THE TORCH, TO SAVE OUR WORLD.

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND CRY,
TAKE HOLD MY MISSION, I WILL NOT DIE.

The above is a re-versioning by Rob’s parents of Mary Elizabeth Frye’s poem, Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep – for those who knew Rob and all who love our oceans and this place we call earth!

Find out more about Rob Stewart and his work:

www.sharkwater.com

www.oceanarkalliance.org.au/sharkwater

Rob Stewart 1979 – 2017

Rob was an incredibly important conservation ally and strategically important member and Development Partner of the Ocean Ark Alliance. He was also a highly skilled production colleague and very close friend of mine. I was his mentor and he was mine.

We explored and filmed together on the Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea and in Papua New Guinea and in the Bahamas (where I filmed those unforgettable sequences of him caressing and cuddling sharks). We produced Sharkwater and Revolution together with our teams.

Sharkwater propelled sharks to the forefront of marine conservation and Rob’s work, and campaigning against shark finning went on to save millions of individual sharks from a horrific cruel death being finned alive. Through Sharkwater and Revolution and our shared media, Rob and I also inspired a new generation of activists who live on and will continue to fight for global change, ocean preservation, and the welfare of sharks and their rights to co-exist with us in this world.

Despite Rob’s and everyone else’s amazing work, we are definitely still losing the war against shark fishing and extinction, and we may not even be able to save the marine world from apocalyptic collapse sometime in the future. But I think it’s important we continue to battle on together and now use Rob’s legacy to empower us. If we do, we can still help save millions of innocent souls in the ocean each year from otherwise horrible deaths, and allow them to experience the joys and wonders of an oceanic existence. We may not be able to save the world but our individual and collective actions can still help make it a much better place for countless generations of sharks and human beings alike.

Anyway Rob, from all of us connected to you through Ocean Ark Alliance, thank you for sharing so much time with us in your cut-short but truly amazing life, and for the better world you have left us by way of your actions and teachings.

Rest in peace Rob and be assured I will never forget you and I promise to use your legacy and spirit to guide me, motivate me and empower me.

There are thousands of people all around the world wanting to know about you and your legacy and millions more that will soon.

David Hannan
Ocean Ark Alliance