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Erle, My Dad, by Kathleen Montaigu

Erle Montaigue 1949-2011

Local legend and international hero.
The 26th of January 2011 was a good day, a loving father and husband spent the morning playing music with his daughter, and training with son in taiji. After lunch it was time to walk the dogs, Erle sent his wife son and daughter on ahead as he still had one last thing to put down on the latest song he was recording. We were half way back down the hill when we saw him running up to us, we sent the dogs running down to greet him tails wagging. He joined us and we chatted about nonsense, he was happy and smiling. He had come to a place in his life he could find peace. his music may not be selling 1000s of copies but in the last year he saw a change in his children, a flame too great to be extinguished, a flame that his music had put in their hearts, and brought to them the same love and enjoyment he found in his music.

In his son he saw a great leader had been born, and the 24 years of training they did together made him confident the world taiji boxing association would not only survive but flourish under his reign.
in his family he saw the love and the bond between us, he knew he loved us well enough that we wouldn’t regret not having heard him say “I love you” or not having held him for longer, because we did hold him for longer, and we heard the words I love you in every smile, and every kiss, and every note he played.
So when god came knocking on that Wednesday afternoon and asked “is there anything more you wish from life?” I can only imagine the smile on his face and the shake of his head as he answered “nothing at all”

There were mere seconds between the time we realised something was wrong and him being unconscious on the road side. I took my brothers phone and called down to Ben, our other brother who was only just down the road, all he would have heard is me scream “run” down the phone, he knew where we were and could hear the dogs barking, he was there in minutes.
Dad died there on the road, I felt our hearts double in size in those last moments with him. As I held my brother it was plain to see even to the sheep and horses in the nearby fields, the power of our love is greater than time or distance, it is eternal, and it is holding us up now and forever.

Erle Montaigue was cremated on the 3rd of February 2011, in Llanelli. His three youngest children, wife and Girlfriend to son Ben didn’t say much, nothing needed to be said, as he sang his way to heaven.

Even the priest wasn’t shocked to hear that there would be no church funeral with sermons and black attire for this man. So on the 19th of February a gig in celebration of his life was filled with his family and friends.  Playing songs we had played with him since we were children, Eli stepped in as lead male vocalist, and the question was asked “did Erle jump into his body for the night?” his voice uncannily similar to his Dad, if we closed our eyes it didn’t take much to know he was there in the room.
For those who could not be there the finale song is enough to understand the energy of the night, by the Doobie brothers Listen to the Music.

A special thank ‘you to everyone who has come forward and offered any help they can, to the friends who are holding us up.
To Adrian Jones who stepped in as Drummer for the songs Eli sang, great job we couldn’t have done it without you.
To everyone present on the road side thank ‘you.
A very big thank ‘you to the Woman who helped with CPR, we don’t know who she was or her name, to us she was just an angel sent to help.

And also sending our love across the ocean to Dads first wife Cheryl, our brothers Erland and Kristian, Erlands children Shantel and Braydan, and Shantels daughter Kimberley (yes, Erle was a Great Grandfather!) they were always in Dads thoughts, his love never weakened with distance.