But do reflect closely what was conveyed by some of the speakers as locally televised and also contains some other statements released over the last few days . Some quotes will be attributed to each speaker , some are just general comments which have been reported . Starts with some background :
Greg’s father ( Ric ) his stepmother , girlfriend and his best friend from high school . Were all at the race and were present at the hospital were he was pronounced . Greg had flown Allan, his best friend to the race as a birthday present .
Greg’s last transmission to his dad in the pits on Sunday , was reported to be shortly after he had made his way from the back of the field having passed a number of cars . 8 or 10 cars Greg radioed in " that was ....Fun " . In some prior interviews that had been replayed he had also stated that some of his "best days of his life" , was in the cockpit . On the track alone in testing or practice going for record lap times or finding what the limits of the car were .
Apparently Greg’s father was caught unaware of just how highly respected or what a wide effect his son had on race fans world wide . Also in a written statement from the family :
" .... However we are equally overwhelmed by the genuine kindness and compassion of all those who are sharing this very personal loss with us .. Greg touched many lives here at home and throughout the racing world and I want everyone to know just how much their thoughts & prayers mean to us during this very difficult time . To know that your son was respected and admired by so many means a great deal to us . "
On Wednesday the private funeral services were held in Vancouver , on a gray & stormy day . Where it was noted that even the skies seem to cry . 1,200 people attended , obviously the entire CART family was there , close friends & family . Floral arrangements were sent be Jackie Stewart & Dave Letterman & others . The congregation were accompanied on there way out of the church by a lone piper , playing Amazing Grace .
Yesterday ( thurs ) afternoon the public memorial was held in Maple Ridge , a further 3,000 people packed the overflowing church to over capacity including extra rooms & a temporary tents in the parking lot & grounds . Thought the services were not scheduled to start till 4:00 P.M. , people started lining up at noon.
Greg’s life long dream was to win the checkered flag at the Vancouver Indy . This flag was sent over to the church by the Administration of the Vancouver Indy and it was presented to Greg’s family , near the beginning of the services .
Niles Mickelwright VP Forsythe Racing :
" ... as I have children of my own
, I could only hope to have a relationship like Ric Donna & Donna had
with Greg ..... Greg touched me deeply , including sometimes my pocketbook
"... It is often said that not only one person or the parents raises a
child alone .. . that the whole village or town raises them . This is my
1st visit to Maple Ridge and obviously , this is a very tight knit &
caring town "
Allan , Best friend from high school :
" I had planned on sharing some stories of the best times & experiences I had with Greg , But seeing how we are in a church . I won’t be doing that !" ... "although Greg could have moved or lived somewhere warmer and dryer , he loved to come home and just hanging out either at the Zoo ( a Local Haunt ) or go play pool or a go for a shepherds pie at a local cafe or play bingo " ... "Greg would always take the time to sign an autograph , whether if he was in line at Mcdonalds , he’d wipe the sweet & sour sauce from his face & sign a little whatever , even when confronted by a drunk at Tommy’s ( the local night club ) who would say that he could drive a car better than Greg , I don’t know where he go his patience from "
" We would always go play a game of pool at the pool hall , we had to stop inviting Rich , as he would always kick our ass . We used to play the last game of the night , for the championship of the universe , well Greg you are that now .. championship of the universe . "
Even though Greg’s father was not scheduled to speak, near the end of the service made it to the podium , with 2 close family friends , one on either side .For support and assistance in getting through this most difficult task , just as he had done the day before .
The overflow crowd could not help themselves, rising to their feet in near unison in a spontaneous standing ovation .
Ric Moore : " Greg’s racing idol was Ayrton Senna , a Brazilian racing driver . Who was also killed in a racing car , Greg never met Senna. But hopefullly they’ll hook up in Greg’s next life and their racing the heavens together " ... When Greg was 8 years old & had to start working at the dealership ( Ric runs a local car dealership ) when washing the cars , he could only reach the bottom of the cars , halfway up the doors . So we had to hire someone a little taller to wash the top half " ... "As car dealer , we sometimes have to take some strange trade ins, someone had brought in an old gokart . Even thought it was a Ford we still took it , and of course Greg claimed it as his "
" In those days we didn’t have to work on Sundays ( by law there was no Sunday shopping , till about 10 years ago ) so we’d block off the entrance . Greg would drive round & round & never got tired , we’d just keep putting gas in it . He smashed into almost every drain pipe on the old building of ours & I still have one of them ."
" so Greg started in go karts . 3 days after his 16th birthday he got his drivers license , 5 days after his birthday he got his racing license and 3 days after that he won his 1st race in Toronto ." he goes on to document the different classes etc.
"Greg loved his friends , would often say that friends were forever & acquaintances were for now. I saw his phone bills and Greg always kept in touch with them . Greg was often the designated driver , his never drank during the race season , never knew about the Bingo thing " ... If Greg were here I’d know what he be saying .. Hey guys lighten up , Have some fun , remember me I as was, a regular guy who had a great job .I was lucky to have the best job in the world , great friends and family and really lived my 24 years to the fullest "
.... end of Quotes
Of course each speaker gave testament on what fine person , inspiration and role model Greg was . Including the Mayor of Maple Ridge , The Master of ceremonies or pastors . etc. There were songs sung by the son of a local performer ( a friend of Greg’s )
The only disappointment was the Cart representative Rena Shanaman who once again seemed to repeat word for word the same written statement , that Cart has been saying since Sunday\Monday .
So in closing Greg was killed doing what he loved best , was having fun and felt no pain . When he passed was surrounded by the people who he loved most ,