Like the gentlest,
the strongest of rocks
(not a boulder,
but a well-worn rock)
he stood amidst the rapids and the ripples,
the swift and ever-changing current
swirling around him.
Yet for all the years we knew him,
Woodstock knew him,
Surrinder Sherring remained unchanged --
always gentle, always strong.
The laughter, the tears,
the problems, the joys --
the tugs and pulls of the Accounts Office,
the comings and goings --
were met with the same quiet smile,
the same deep dignity.
From his comer --
tucked away, and yet so vital --
Sherring-sahib not only observed the
wonder of Woodstock,
but kept that wonder going, as well.
This he was,
and much more,
(The times he reassured me when finances, and
spirit, were low, I cannot even begin to tell.)
For his friends, for his church,
he was brother, uncle,
supporter, and guide.
For his family,
he was everything.
I met him the evening before he left us.
He sat in his cabin, discussing some minor school
business with a visiting salesman.
When he saw me at the door,
he smiled, asked about work and family,
and then we all had a nice laugh
over some good, Woodstock joke.
For a brief moment, the Accounts Office
filled with love and laughter.
That was the greatness of Surrinder Sherring.
Tom Alter '68