Tarnia will be missed

“It was one of the most difficult messages that I had to convey to my colleagues”

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The Bulletin Newspaper

“We are all South Africans first then Zulus, Xhosas, Coloured’s, White or Indian”. These words will forever ring in the ears of those who knew Tarnia Baker, MP Member of the Democratic Alliance and resident of Secunda.
Tarnia sadly passed away on Friday, 6 October, when she was hit by a truck while crossing a road in Park Rynie on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The news was met with utter shock and disbelief. Tarnia was loved and well-respected by her colleagues.
“She always had great advice on how to tackle things and was a great motivator,” says DA Cllr Ena van Rooyen. Ena believes that her compassion came from her faith and that she believed life can be great for everyone.
In the words of Mmusi Maimane, DA Leader “I have worked with Tarnia, she was one of our finest MP’s. A truly talented South African, and someone who, even at this time, went to KZN on an oversight to look at what was happening with water management. Tarnia was dedicated to the party and this country. It is indeed a great tragedy and a great loss. May her soul rest in peace.”
“It was one of the most difficult messages that I had to convey to my colleagues” says DA Cllr Encee van Huyssteen. “Tarnia and I were elected at the same time and grew to be friends. I only had the greatest respect for her. I cannot express the sense of loss that I feel.”
John Steenhuisen, MP and DA Chief whip, said “I have no words of my own, for once…” and quoted a poem by A.E. Housman called “To an Athlete Dying Young”.
All who knew Tarnia Baker, knew her as a loving person that loved her family tremendously and were extremely proud of them all. She also loved the work that she was doing in parliament.
On the People’s assembly webpage, she wrote the following:
“I love my country, I think we live in a very beautiful part of the world, but I am most saddened by the extent of the environmental degradation I see everywhere I go. Together we are stronger. As the saying goes, there’s so much more which unites us than divides us. We should not allow all the negative influences to tear us apart as a nation, and sow seeds of division within our people, just to serve the means of a particular group of selfish people. South Africa is definitely worth fighting for, worth saving from the stranglehold of greed and corruption.”
“The void she leaves with her passing can never truly be understood by any one person, because the impact that she made on the lives of so many South Africans stretched further than maybe she might even have known. She was the kind of person who lit up a room instantly with her awe-inspiring personality and her smile reaching from ear to ear” Says DA Cllr Ciska Botha.
“Tarnia Baker might be gone but she will continue to live in the hearts of her family, friends and colleagues. Long live Tarnia Baker, Long live!”

To an Athlete Dying Young

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears.
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.

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