At least 20 Swannies caught up in Melbourne last Sunday to remember Nick Shiells.

Former National President, Phil Johns, reflects on the how the Club has managed the passing of Nick Shiells.

It’s been a crazy and surreal three weeks for everyone since the terrible news about Nick’s passing became known on 30 April.

While the Swannies did not have the power to change what had happened, we did have the power to offer support and help with logistics for Nick’s family, friends and each other in Saigon.

The Swannies’ effort was led magnificently by our new President, Josh Lee, who assumed the position just three months earlier back in January.

In Melbourne, the Swannies were also well represented in club colours at Nick’s Memorial Service held last Friday.

Again, the Swannies came out in force last Sunday in Melbourne to remember Nick; to share stories and to better process the pain and learnings associated with Nick’s passing.

At a time like this, in dreadful circumstances, I have felt so lucky and proud to be associated with this Club. When things matter most, the Club is there with such a strong presence.

At a time like this, it is inevitable that the momentous significance of the occasion dwarfs and trivialises what we do best: play footy.

But the irony is that playing footy continues to be the most important thing that our Club does. It’s the glue that cements our friendships and sense of community that provides us with unlimited good times, helps us in difficult times and gives us the drive to support multiple good causes.

On Saturday 31 May 2014, the Vietnam Swans will climb back in the saddle to take on seven other teams in the Manila Cup.

As Swannie, Timmay Clements has just said, “We are a week and half out from taking out our first international tournament and it’s time to switch on!”

Go you Swannies!