v Vale Glenn Waller - An Episode

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Vale Glenn Waller - An Episode

To: Rakesh Ahuja  Wednesday, 16 December 2020 7.43 PM

That we all should find our way to that acceptance some time. A fitting setting to contemplate such things.

Peter Tesch

To: Peter Tesch,17 Dec 2020, at 00:54

Up here, in here, in the Himalayas – the Everest visible to eyes for millennia  - an enveloping and humbling acceptance of mortality.

Peace, Rakesh

To: Rakesh Ahuja  Wednesday, 16 December 2020 6:52 PM

Comrade - Agnes just messaged that Glenn died about 2100, 16/12.

Peter Tesch

To: Rakesh Ahuja 16 Dec 2020, at 18:13


Now I know the source of “miserable agglomeration of atoms”!  I have hitherto used it without attribution. I’m glad I told you; I had forgotten your Hawke encounters.  It will be a mournful trip tomorrow. Come home when you can and we will plot the future. And Glenn’s imminent fate reminds us all that Life is to be lived.  Fully.  


Peter Tesch

To: Peter Tesch Wednesday 16 Dec 2020, at 12:48

Very early morning here, Comrades. (In the times of C19 internment, one’s schedule is in tatters.)

Glenn. Your news comes coated with sadness. Glenn and I did have some serious and very ‘comfortable’ interaction in the USSR/East Europe Section.

One episode: We wrote “The Red Sunset”. Gareth presented it to Hawke. We were invited to the Lodge (one of only three times I have been there). Glenn was far more articulate than me. I regret to observe though that while the PM had obviously read the paper, he was not in a listening mode. We came out with a sense of despondency.

I recall Glenn with affection. He was an eminent mixture of authority and engagement on matters Soviet Union. He assisted me significantly when I headed the Section.

I want to offer Agnes one excerpt from George Eliot’s Letters 1848. It has sustained me through life’s vagaries, particularly when autumnal lives drift to the ground in the shadow of mortal winds. It is @ this site under "Ageing":


I melancholy reflect with you and Kyle on Glenn Waller we know and knew.

Peace, Rakesh

To: Rakesh Ahuja Wednesday, 16 December 2020 4:55 AM


I write with the mournful news that Glenn Waller is dying in Sydney.  He has battled an exotic liver cancer for a few years - he told me he thought it might be linked to his having contracted hepatitis on his first posting, to Mexico City - and the treatment seemed to be effective for a while.  But that success ended, and the last year has been a denouement.

He and Agnes came to Australia late last year for Christmas with the children - Catherine having graduated from university in Sydney, and Julian about to finish - and also to try a different treatment.  They had intended to stay only a couple of months, but COVID intervened.  Glenn had thought about, and then abandoned, a last-minute idea to return to Moscow in March, and is now glad of that decision.

He came home to their apartment in Clovelly last week and is settled there, with palliative care and a stream of visitors, physical and virtual.  He told me doctors had given him a month.  His brother, Craig, who is a surgeon, thinks it could even be days.

.....We will take our leave of a good friend and someone who has lived a life about which books ought to be written.  Sadly for us all, Glenn was too wise to ever hint that he might record his observations and experiences; no doubt part of the key to his success!

I am not sure how much you had to do with him but Kyle and ai thought you would want to know. 

All good wishes

 Peter Tesch