A French Farewell

At SeriouslyBoard, we don’t like bad news, but we discovered something today that we wanted to share.

On the night of August 5th, when the Tongan ferry Princess Ashika sunk beneath the waves, 74 lives were tragically lost. Two of those were Sami and Pauline, a French couple who had not long before travelled around New Zealand, playing board games with anyone who was interested.

Sami and Pauline were present at the Wellycon Warmup in May, and their loss is being felt by other attendees. They are being remembered for their good humoured take on Kiwi/French relations, (never afraid to refer to themselves as French spies), and for their friendly and enthusiastic personalities.

Sami, (left), playing Through The Desert at the Wellycon Warmup.

We never met them personally, but had been watching from afar as they made their Aotearoa travel plans, and we were hopeful of seeing them face to face at Wellycon.

As Wellycon sponsors, and as Kiwi gamers, SeriouslyBoard would like to extend its thoughts and prayers to all affected by this tragic loss, particularly the families back in France who will no doubt be struggling to comprehend such events.

Au revoir, Sami and Pauline.
Au revoir, Sami and Pauline.

Posted in

David and Angela


  1. Minty Hunter on October 14, 2009 at 8:57 am

    That’s me in the picture on the right and my son Samuel in green playing Through The Desert with Sami. Pauline had just popped out for a moment, but if memory serves me right, she returned in time to win the game!

    They were absolutely delightful to play a game with and chat to, and they were fabulous with my young son. They had that knack of living large in one’s memory after even a short encounter, due to their joy and enthusiasm and good grace.

    There’s little to offer for such a shocking loss, but if we honour people by how we remember them, then be assured that Sam and I remember them very fondly.

    Minty Hunter
    New Zealand

  2. Greg White on October 14, 2009 at 9:43 am

    i’m horrified. sami and pauline spent a couple of evenings at our home playing games and sharing life experiences from travelling the world. their competitive streaks even went so far as the both of them baking different flavoured muffins and trying to get my wife and i to judge which were the better. this is so aweful.


  3. Andrew Rae on October 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Let me add my voice to those who give tribute to Sami and Paulines person, grace and their huge spirit. I can say nothing but good things about them and as Minty said they loom large in my memory. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

  4. David on October 16, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you for your kind and thoughtful responses – I’m sure they are appreciated by those who were particularly close to Sami and Pauline.