30-06-2019 by Freddie del Curatolo
I don't like to talk about me when I have to remember people passing away for a better life, but in the case of Sandro Eordegh it would be impossible.
I knew him since I was a child in Italy, even before Kenya. As a child he was one of my myths and among us there has always been a mutual sympathy, but above all and if I live here I also owe it to him.
He was one of the pioneers of the Malindi holiday, the one of those who learned to love this land, the coast of Kenya, for what it was.
With its thousand contradictions, the wonderful and preponderant nature, the extreme poverty that contrasts with the extreme sense of freedom, the mood of its people and the possibility that has always allowed us to spend most of our time, if not all, in a foreign country and so far from our roots and habits, but in the end so welcoming.
At the beginning of the eighties Sandro was one of the first to bet on Malindi, buying a villa in the Palm Tree area, spraying his family (his inseparable wife Lella and his four children Lizzi, Alberto, Romana and Luigi, who I embrace with heart) with his good enthusiasm and always inviting tides of friends with whom to organize safaris, dinners, boat trips or simply rest from the hardships of the civilized world.
Among these friends there was my father and, invitation by invitation, vacation after vacation, even for him the "sickness of Africa" was inevitable.
Africa and Italy, professional satisfaction, family, travel and many meetings: Sandro had a wonderful life, he left peacefully at 92 years old and to mourn him here, in addition to the many acquaintances and companions of "green", will also be his employees and friends Kenyans.
I remember how he helped his first caddy at the Golf Club of Malindi, Samson, by having him study at the University and seeing him also become mayor of Malindi.
It is not difficult to remember Sandro Eordegh as in the photo that portrays him in the recent booklet of memories written for him by Bruno Angelico: impeccable in his squared and polo shorts, hat and glasses, concentrated in the act of hitting the ball with a golf club.
His elegance has always been one with the sweet ways and the very English humour that only certain "old" Genoese people have. Sandro was one of the true gentlemen of Malindi and those who have met him in his forty years of Kenya can not say the opposite.
"I lost a dear friend - says Bruno Angelico - and it seems impossible not to see him again in August among the baobabs of the Malindi Golf and Country Club, where he played until the last time he was here and of which he was one of the supporters, helping him to grow and make him what he is today. Together we decided to write a booklet of memories and we should have presented it soon, but we will do it with our children and I hope we can dedicate a "memorial" to it. There are many in Malindi who remember him as a true gentleman, a wonderful person".
Well, the best way to remember him is to take up his own words, those that close the booklet of memories.
"Now golf has changed a lot...maybe for the better. We have perfect greens, well-kept fairways, an irrigation system that improves from year to year and a driving range as it should. And we also have capable caddies, an elegant club house, a well-stocked bar, a kitchen capable of serving dozens of seats ... our golf remains delicious and fascinating but, perhaps, that pioneering atmosphere that enveloped us, that desire to have fun, to play together is a bit 'lost. Or maybe it's just me who's getting a little older. But when I'm in Malindi, I'm worth my number one card and every day I'm on the greens coaching my grandchildren. It may be true, as Winston Churchill used to say, that golf is a useless attempt to direct an uncontrollable sphere towards an inaccessible hole with inappropriate instruments, but I want to think of it as what he said that golf is like love: one day you think you're too old, the next day you want to do it again".
Farewell Sandro, we'll try to keep Malindi "green", as you always liked.
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