FAREWELL OLD FRIEND - 'TILL WE MEET AGAIN
"Ahhhh!.... I see the colours and shapes of Bali all around me and Bali loudly calls..... but I can't answer".
Filo - 25.8.02
It is with deep and profound sadness that we note the passing of William (Bill) George Fitch (“Filo” to his Bali friends). Aged 70, Bill passed away peacefully while taking an afternoon nap on Sunday 22nd March 2009, we can only hope while dreaming of his beloved Bali.
To Bill's life partner Claire and their families we extend our sincere and deepest condolences on behalf of all My Bali Guide & Bali Travel Forum members.
Bill’s Funeral Notice – CLICK HERE
Family & Friends Tributes - CLICK HERE
Here are just a sample of some of the Bali Travel Forum tributes to "Papa Bill" aka "Mr Bill" aka "Filo":
Posted by (Helen)
"Mr Bill - From the Balinese Team in Singaraja. We, the staff of Peduli Sesama Helen Flavel Singaraja Bali, Sukma Helen Flavel Learning Centre Singaraja, Sukma Helen Flavel Kindergarten Singaraja and also The boarders of Sukma Helen Flavel Learning Centre and all sponsored students and their families. We would like to send our deep condolences to Claire. We are very sad that such a good man "Mr. Bill" who passed away. We really feel that he gave great attention and love for the people in need in Bali. We have lost a kind man and we will always keep his spirit in our minds and in our prayers"
Posted by (dennisc)
“Farewell big Bill my old mate - I will miss our dinner chats & phone calls. Keep the chin up Claire. The world is a poorer place for Filo's passing but much richer for him having been.
Look down upon us mate as we look up to you".
Posted by (Smudge UK)
“Rest in Peace Bill - May you Rest in Peace as you have done so much good for so many, thank you for all your help My very Best Wishes to all your family who have very good reason to be proud of you a very genuine unassuming person”.
Posted by (Richard Rambutan)
“Rest in Peace - All of us at Rambutan pass on our sympathies to Clair. He was a great man and made a big difference to many people here in Bali, especially the poor and needy children who he and Claire have helped so much”.
Posted by (Cracker)
“We’ll Miss You Bill - Our sympathy to Claire and all of Bills family. A wonderful man filled with a great spirit and desire to make things better for one and all. You found a way to say what so many wanted to say, and followed it up with positive actions. Tonight I raise a glass, dips me lid and shed a tear. Vale Filo and three cheers for a life lived so well.
For the final time Bill CBE
Posted by (Baldie)
“A huge shock - for the family, and for those on forums who benefitted from the vast knowledge that Filo shared. None of us know what is around the corner for any of us, so make every day count, whether at home, in Bali or wherever.
Life really is too short”.
Posted by (Putu_Les)
“The World – and Bali’s Loss - To dear Claire and family, I am shattered by this sad news! To you - and to your families, I send my deepest sympathy and loving thoughts from Jakarta. I always looked forward to Bill and yourself walking through the doors of Golden Bali & Global Travel in Adelaide and knew that there would be great tales and laughs in store. Bill's wise words will surely be missed here on BTF, as will his impromptu emails to me when he found something which would be of interest to me. Although I am here in Jakarta, my feelings, thoughts and love are with you in Adelaide. LES WILLIAMS"
Posted by (KAZ)
"Sad - In shock - This is such sad news... will Bali and the BTF ever be the same again? My husband and I feel very blessed that we got to meet you, Bill/Filo. It is hard to believe that there will be no more posts from you. You touched so many lives - in person, this forum, the many orphanages that you visited in Bali - In general all Bali was enriched by your kindness and generosity. The pillow cases, the teddy bears, the wheelchairs and walking frames, the glasses, the garage sales with proceeds going to Bali.... The "CHUPA CHOPS" Bali travelers will always have your wealth of information from your website. Thank you for all your information, wisdom, and humour and all you did for the Balinese people over the years. Someone who will never be forgotten. On our next trip to your beloved place we will go down to the holiday inn and float out to sea some frangipani's in your memory... Our deepest condolences to Clare and their family."
Posted by (anthony)
"Filo's last voyage - We like to think that Filo stopped by Bali to say farewell. His spirit will ive on the Island of the Gods forever!"
Posted by (Perthdodgy)
"A gentleman leaves us - Today was one of the rare times I get to peruse the forum. To come across this news sent shivers thru my spine. I have been one of the privileged to have met Filo on more then one occasion. A quiet softspoken gentle man whose demeanor belied a wonderful sense of humour. A thoughtful insightful man who saw the beauty in everything that he laid his eyes on. This was a man that many Balinese in all different parts of the island, knew as Papa. He is a man that will be mourned by many many people on both islands. Filo, I thank you for the wise and sage advice you have given me and I thank you for putting up with me and my endless rounds of seemingly silly questions and my bad bad sense of humour. You were a man who could tell hilarious story and not till hours later did the true meaning of the story finally sink in. The whole world is a much poorer place with your passing. May the gods take good care of you because you really do deserve it. Sincerest condolences from me and Cazwa to Claire and the family. Travel safely Filo, your journey has just begun. With deepest regret, Perthdodgy and Cazwa.
P.S. Will have a beer for you."
Posted by (DonRon)
“ Claire – Our Hearts Are With You - I can't say anymore than what has already been said by hundreds of others here on the BTF already. The sheer number of posts a tribute in itself to a man who has for many years so unselfishly helped the poor and needy and touched the lives of the many of us who like Bill and you love Bali. Rhonda and I are thinking of you at this time, we too will be in Bali in October (17th - 31st), I hope we can catch up. Meanwhile, stay strong and know that there will be hundreds more with you in spirit at 10:30am Tuesday".
Don & Rhonda
Posted by (Claire – Bill’s life partner via Helen)
Thank you for posting my email on BTF.
I am so overwhelmed by the kind thoughts and wishes from the forumites and sincerely thank them all. I know Bill would also be overwhelmed and I am working on getting the message to him. Although I did not personally use the Forum, Bill would keep me 'posted' so to speak on interesting events. Our mutual love of Bali will continue as I intend to return to Bali in October which was our next planned trip. I am hoping Emma & Marion will be coming to so that we can celebrate 'Papa Bill' one more time.
I will continue the relationships we had with the people we loved and maintain our work as best I can. I already have a heap of stuff from generous people for a garage sale in the shed. I have spoken with and received messages from many of our friends and will ensure that I see them all next trip to pass on a memory of Bill for them to have. His Bali hat will be going with him along with a few Chuppa Chups in case he meets some Balinese on the way.
I will endeavour to maintain the website for as long as I can.
I would dearly love the postings if you can send them to me and I know that Emma and Marion would love to see them and keep them for our 3 grandchildren. I am so glad that we took them all to Bali last year and that he and I went in January and had a wonderful time. As always we met new lovely people and had new 'adventures'.
At this time I think his funeral will be next Tuesday with notices in the paper possibly on Saturday.
You may use this on the forum if you wish.
My very best wishes
BILL'S WORK GOES ON
Claire has permitted us to host Bill's "Filo Pages" here on My Bali Guide so his words of wisdom might continue to help others.