A Full and Colourful Life

Murray (Steven) Hallen Clapham passed away in Jakarta on Monday the 4th of April 2011. at 12:45 pm. Steven is a Subud name that Murray took not long before his death.

Murray was a greatly loved and highly respected Subud member who served Subud in many capacities in the organisation, in enterprises and in social welfare. He also pursued successful careers as a diplomat and businessman.  His generosity was legendary. Our sympathy goes out to his wife, Youry, and daughters Vera, Grace and Kartini, and to all others who knew and loved him.

May our prayers help him in his journey and may Almighty God give him a good and rightful place in the hereafter.

In the May issue of Subud Voice we will publish a tribute from his daughter, Kartini. Many more tributes have come in than we can publish in the magazine, so we present them here.

Elias Dumit (Brazil)

Murray, may you find your true path back home blessed in the Light of the Creator. It´s been a pleasure and honor to meet you here.

Isaac Goff (USA)

Sad. He was and is a good guy. A guy’s guy. A Steve McQueen kind of guy.
He will be missed by those left behind.

Abdurrachman Mitchell (Australia)

He truly was an inspiration to us all in kindness, generosity and humour with a heart that was touched by heaven but who knew all about the attractions of the nether regions.

We will all miss him so much. May he be blessed for his many good deeds.

At around 12.45 PM yesterday I was in the car with Rohana and said, “I wonder how Murray is?”

Utami Geiger (Indonesia)

He died in Jakarta at 12.45 (Monday) surrounded by his daughters Vera Malaika, Grace and Kartini, while his wife Youry was on her way to see him at the house of Dr Gretha. He will be cremated on Wed – his wish is his ashes to be put in Kalimantan and some in his home country. He was indeed a courageous man. When he died he was surrounded with so much love from his family, his sister, the kind and dedicated nurses of Dr Gretha and Dr Damayanti. He is now laid to rest at his home in Jakarta until Wed so that his family from Australia and Holland will have time to pay their respect.

Latif Vogel (Australia)

Hi Mansur,

I don’t have any way to reach Youry. If you get a chance, would you be so kind as to pass on our deepest condolences and our love. Especially from my mom, who said she misses Murray dearly.

He was a true brother and uncle to our family. With his help through his extensive network of friends,he helped us Vogels with the impossible and got us permanent residency in Australia.  And when Hassan was too ill to work, he helped us financially without ever being asked to do so.

He was even going to buy us a house to live in (in Brisbane). The thing with Murray was he would do these really generous things, but never sought to be praised or thanked or rewarded in any way. He would occasionally check in only to see that we were all OK.
And once he saw that we were fine, that would seem to make him glad.

A strange and wonderful man with a wicked sense of humour. (They seem be getting all the good guys over at the other side.) We’ll miss him dearly. all our love to Murray and his family,

Matthew C. Mayberry (USA)

It is a real shock to receive this news. Murray was so much younger than we are, we never even had a thought about the possibility of Murray’s leaving so soon.

My memories of Murray are many but all associated with the Kalimantan Gold Program. I remember him as a friend and a brother who always seemed to be in good spirits, always evenly balanced and capable of handling any worldly crisis and never seemed to lose his “Cool”.
Murray was in the middle of so many major Subud projects and always seemed to have a good solution to the numerous problems encountered in the evolution of them. Not only that, Murray was able to give material aid to many different enterprises and certainly helped keep the KG program numerous times.
Murray’s ability to move in the various cultures reminded me of a wind blowing through a wheat field, always changing like the moving wheat that never lost its balance. A  good friend and brother who I feel will be especially blessed in God’s world of the spirit

Mansur Geiger (Indonesia)
Farewell Words at Murray’s Funeral on  6th April 2011

Murray lived a very full and colourful life.  This morning we have heard from Ibu Agnus a priest, who never met him and yet has been so deeply touch by Murray and his love for other people. We have here today Jeremy, a man who went to school with Murray at the age of 9 and just happened to be in Jakarta. He confirms Murray was a very naughty but admirable kid. Murray has touched so very many people during his 72 years.

I believe Murray created what we call today “social networking”, and he did it without the use of electronic aids, which he never mastered the use of in his life.

I never knew anyone who knew so many people, from prime ministers and head of state to tukang becaks and who was able to maintain a close relationship with them all without the use of electronic aids.

Murray crossed cultural and social statuses like no one I have ever known.  Murray was a man of Amal. He was a most kind and generous man, always with time to help and accommodate others.  Youry his wife and family knew this well and had to manage the endless Clapham open house. Murray gave and helped others with no sense of measure. His generosity was fearless.

Most of us will remember Murray for his extraordinary quick and often wicked sense of humour.  While he could say things that often were verging on the outrageous, he never seemed to offend anyone.  Murray’s other side was that of a very private and deeply spiritual person who was dedicated to this family and making it a better world.

He was more than a brother to me, his moral and financial support to me personally and to our company’s efforts in Kalimantan over 30 years are without measure. In times of hardship, and there have been many, Murray would pick up the bill and never asked for compensation. Murray was a deeply committed Subud Member who did so much for Subud and its organizations, SDI, YUM, YTS, BCU, SCB etc. and as an international helper. Again he simply gave without measure; he was an example of a real human being who crossed cultures, religions and social status.

I know we are all deeply saddened by our loss, and our wonderful memories we have of this MAN.

I pray Murray’s enormous Amal in his life will make his journey back to Almighty God an easy one.  I have no doubt he is looking down at us at this moment with a big smile and making some wicked joke about us all.

God Bless you Murray my bro.

Harris Smart (Australia)

He was a regular guy. He was a very natural man. There were no airs or graces, no superiority, no pretence at spirituality or false piety. He was very down to earth and completely natural.

Isaac Goff in another tribute included here says, “he was a Steve McQueen kind of guy”. I know what Isaac means. He did have a bit of a film star quality about him, and also he had that naturalness.

And he was very likeable. You could not help liking Murray. He was always so friendly and so good-humoured. He always made you feel good to be around him. He probably had more friends than anyone else I’ve ever known. He knew everyone, and often people in very high places. He could often “pull strings”.

He had two distinct careers. One was as a diplomat, attached to the Australian embassy in Jakarta, and he always remained a “Jakarta insider”. The other career was as a businessman with an array of businesses in Asia. I do not know what all these businesses were. But I know that one of them had to do with air transport and I think I may have also heard about oil exploration.

He lived life to the full. It is no secret to say that he “may have had more than one girlfriend” when he was a young man. But then he met Youry, who comes from the island of Manado, from where it is said, come the most beautiful women in Indonesia, and he settled down with Youry and together they produced three beautiful, striking and talented daughters – Vera Malaika, Grace and Kartini.

We have a tendency when someone has passed away, not only to say nice things about them but also to say only “respectable” things about them. That is a pity because it can turn them into a plaster saint which they were not in real life. Murray liked to tell risqué stories, some of which have stuck in my mind forever.

At the same time he was completely sincere about Subud. He was sincere not in words but in actions. He was involved in so many things, he knew so many people. He played many roles in Subud. He was an international helper and he supported many enterprises and social welfare projects.

He is well-known for the many years of service he gave to Subud mining activities in Kalimantan and he was also a great supporter of projects like YUM, the Indonesian foundation which supports a whole range of humanitarian projects. But there were many others as well. In Australia he is well-known for his support of the project known as Sine Cera.

There is a good story associated with that, a real Murray story. At one time he was part of a syndicate which owned a racehorse which was extremely successful, winning some important races. Murray gave his considerable share of the winnings to support Sine Cera.

Murray came from an “establishment family” associated with the land, perhaps the closest thing we have in Australia to an “aristocracy”. His father had been responsible for improving the quality of bloodlines in the wool industry. Murray went to the best schools in Melbourne and then to Melbourne University.

Another Murray story I always remember concerns a novel that appeared in the 1990s about political events in Jakarta during the Sukarno era. There is a character in the book, a “Jakarta insider”, who is easily identified with Murray. Murray loathed it. One time, passing through Singapore airport, he noticed a lot of copies in the bookshop, and bought all of them just to get rid of them. The proprietor of the bookshop must’ve thought, “Wow! We’ve got a best-seller on our hands here”, because next time Murray passed through the airport there were twice as many copies on sale.

Murray had a long battle with prostate cancer, I think it was 10 or 12 years. During that time he must have tried every cure known to medical science and alternative healing, some of them very far out. Finally, he believed he had been helped by the Balur health regime developed in Indonesia. He was convinced it had prolonged his life and he became the most enthusiastic advocate of this form of healing.

It is an attitude in Balur (as it is in Subud) that sometimes it is not the healing of the illness that is the most important thing, but the unfolding of the process behind the illness. Murray had always been the friendliest of people, but there was also a sense of reserve, distance. Murray never revealed much about his own feelings or what might lie behind the ever-affable exterior.

I was fortunate to spend some time with him in Melbourne not long before his passing, and I found that he was truly undergoing a very profound inner process of opening up. The masks of discretion which were part of his establishment background, as well as his training as a diplomat, had been discarded and he was extremely open about some things which happened in his past, going right back to his childhood, certain sorrows and traumas and things he regretted. It was as if all the masks were falling away and the complete human being had become manifest. Which I guess is how it should be before we die.

How weak it seems to say that one will “miss” Murray. He is irreplaceable. One can only wish him well now on this new journey. I would love to meet him on the other side. He would be one person I would like to be there to greet me. That would make me feel very comfortable and at home.

Our deepest condolences to his family and all others who knew and loved him.

Obituary from the Jakarta Post