My family and I first met the Reeves family in 1966, little did we known then, how much Christopher would achieve.
All who knew Christopher, or C. Reeves as we called him - he made up names for all of us - know what a fiercely independent person he was. Confronted with any new set of circumstances, he gathered the facts assessed the situation, planned a course of action and executed it in his inimitable own way. He was unphased by new situations and looked for the opportunities they presented. His approach was always novel, enthusiastic and energetic - all attributes needed by an explorer.
In addition to taking initiatives in unusual situations, explorers need to be athletic and fit. Christopher was both. Visits to the Reeves would often find Christopher out for a run or riding his bike on the downs, swimming or playing tennis. He and I share one educational experience. With a 30 year gap, we both went to Yardly Court School in Tonbridge. Some years ago, I attended his sports day. Christopher won every event he entered. He was an athlete from an early age. From there he went on to St. David's School, a school with an outlook more in keeping with his interests and one which allowed him to develop them.
Infectious good humour and love of life were all part of Christopher's character and accompanied his desire to become an explorer. What we must remember is that, in this quest, he received the recognition of his peers. After his Yukon adventure, he delivered a public lecture to the Royal Geographic Society for which he received a standing ovation. (The lecture is available on this site under "Alaska").
Christopher was a very special person, whose life and our feelings are captured in the verse of a poem by Stephen Spender dedicated to the great of heart:
Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,
See how these names are feted by the waving grass,
And by the streamers of white cloud,
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire's centre.
Born of the sun, they flew for a short time towards the sun,
And left the vivid sky signed with their honour.