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Long-time partner recalls man who ‘added 10 years to my life’



Gaitors holding memorial for Stevenson and Benoit

They will be mourning on three continents for Daryl Stevenson this weekend.

And long-time partner Anita Denvir is sure Stevenson, 31, will be toasting his life right along with his friends.

"There will be 30 to 40 people in Melbourne on Saturday night for a service and they have all written something," said Denvir, who has spent the last three years travelling with Stevenson, a teacher from Perth, Australia.

"Some have written poems and they are meeting at our local pub just to give him a toast. The same thing is happening in London on Friday so he will be a busy ghost going to all the parties."

Stevenson was killed along with best friend Mike Benoit in the early hours of Saturday morning when Benoit’s Volvo plunged into the raging waters of Rutherford Creek after torrential rain and high water caused the bridge to collapse.

On Saturday there will be a gathering at Gaitors Bar and Grill for friends of Benoit and Stevenson.

One thing Denvir said she could say for sure is that Stevenson died with no regrets.

"It is terrible that he is gone, but he fit more into his life than most people do in 10 lifetimes," said Denvir, who admits to falling in love with Stevenson "on second-sight."

"He was always active. He loved life and he had such a great time.

"I know he wouldn’t have a single regret about anything that he did.

"He was four years older than me but it was pretty hard trying to keep up. I think he added 10 years to my life."

In the last trip the two will take together Denvir will deliver Stevenson’s remains to his Australian home in the next few days where a service will be held for him.

In the three years since Denvir and Stevenson met they had accumulated a lifetime of memories.

There were the festivals in England where they met and lived for a year, the three-month Odyssey through the Middle East, and the celebration of Denvir’s birthday in Paris.

And there was the trip to Denvir’s Melbourne home to meet family and friends, and all the great diving trips together.

There was even a conversation about death.

"We talked about it and we both thought graves were depressing," said 27-year-old Denvir, who works in human resources.

"So he wanted to be cremated. He didn’t want his name written anywhere. He wanted it so that someone at any time could sit there and think nice thoughts and not feel that they had to go somewhere and talk to him.