British journalist Simon Dring. – Photo collected
Famous British journalist Simon Dring, a true friend of Bangladesh, was eager to participate in “one last project” focused on Bangladesh’s Golden Jubilee of Independence, before passing away unexpectedly in Romania on July 16.
This was shared by her partner for the last 26 years of her life, Fiona McPherson, in a Facebook post paying tribute to her beloved. The nature or details of the project have not been specified. Dring was 76 years old at the time of his death.
Also in the post, Fiona recounts how she was informed by the hospital that “Simon died in his ETV polo shirt, which our daughters now regard as a cherished memory from their father”.
The couple have twin daughters, India and Ava, from their marriage on earth.
Dring’s disproportionate attachment to Bangladesh is visible in the post, sprinkled with names and organizations and explicitly indicating the depth of the bond he shared with the country.
Below, we reproduce the text of the statute in its entirety:
SIMON JEAN DRING. 11.01.1945 – 16. 07.2021
It is with overwhelming sadness that I confirm the sudden and unexpected passing of my beloved partner of 26 years and the father of our beloved twins, Simon Dring.
Simon died in recovery after an emergency but routine operation in a hospital in Romania on Friday July 16, 2021 at 2:30 am; where we have been living since early 2020.
We were delighted to be moving to France soon for permanent retirement, intensive family time and for Simon to write his autobiography.
Simon’s success and achievements in his life as a renowned international journalist are widely known. His ingenuity and willingness to capture the true story, no matter the cost; to go where it is needed, and to do what it takes for it, that is the stuff of legend.
Indeed, our twins spent many hours in bed and in the bath to share his extraordinary adventures! It gave our daughters and myself unlimited inspiration and tremendous courage to take the road less traveled with him. To find answers and meaning in broad horizons.
Simon had started writing a series of short articles about his years as a foreign correspondent and planned to publish them in South Asia in the near future.
Simon had hoped to participate in a final project later that year, for his beloved Bangladesh, as the country celebrates its important milestone of 50 years of independence. A period of history to which Simon is forever linked, both in fact and in soul. For Simon, missing this step would have simply broken his heart.
I would like to mention here that I was informed by the hospital that Simon passed away in his ETV polo shirt, which our daughters now hold as a precious memory of their father.
There is too much to remember and too much to say for my saddened mind today.
A life lived like Simon’s has never met any expectation of normalcy: routine, responsibilities, coherent, secure, dominant. He just couldn’t do it. His life was iconically unique.
To the close friends and family with whom I have yet to share this sad news with you, please accept my apologies. Events have passed me.
To his friends and colleagues around the world; many of which were part of its unique history, I say you have been and still are so much a part of shaping its long history. You have often been a part of our thoughts and conversations for so many years. Tim Page. Farhad Mahmoud. Bernard. Abu Alam. Emma, Jarhna, Deben. And so many others.
To the friends, family and colleagues who continue to send greetings, please know that this gives me heartfelt comfort. Myself and our 2 little girls are deeply grateful. We will try to respond to as many people as possible in the coming times.
To his family in England, France and Spain who have spent so many years loving and caring for him; I miss him; waiting for him to return home from another war zone – and wondering if he really would, I know he was truly grateful and I know his regrets.
To his beloved daughter Tanya from her first marriage; to his first wife Helen who first supported his ascent to great heights; to his sister Sue who has always been there when Simon appeared from a plane from a far country in search of a meal and the warmth of a family, I say a heartfelt thank you. Simon loved you all with all his heart.
Tom, Dan, Michelle, Sophie, Chris, Jeremy and to all the nieces, nephews, cousins and new generation versions of these too; he was deeply connected and so proud of all of you; even though his manner and frequency of expression were so Simon Dring-esque. To his only grandsons Nicholas and James, I have seen him shine with pride at how you have grown into confident and future handsome young men.
A life is full of many parts and many chapters. Simon’s life reflected this more than most. All this: his family, his friends, his parents, Fakenham, England, Vietnam, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Romania, Haiti, the Silk Road, Eritrea, On The Road Again, BBC, Reuters, The Daily Telegraph, SportAid, India , Laos, Iran, ETV, Jumna TV, all the TVS, the Romanian orphanage and the street children who loved him as their father, and his breathtaking 10-year-old twins: all moved forward with him and made a life unique, well lived, with its very revealed music.
His contributions, his legacy will also continue, in their own right and because we will not let them fade away.
Your 3 roses are broken, Dringo.
Like India and Ava hugged your cool body today; whispered their promises in your ear and kissed your face with exquisite calm – I wondered how it would be possible to move forward.
My own promise on the morning of your death, as I held you in shocking disbelief, is that I will raise our beautiful daughters India and Ava to be strong, capable, competent, courageous and articulate young women; creative, kind, traveled the world – with unlimited inspiration and very wide horizons. I know how much you loved them.
You were my best friend. My traveling soul. I am so grateful for your love and for the time we have spent together.
Oh Dringo, we always thought you would live forever.
We will never forget you.
Rest now in eternal peace.