November 12th, 2023Just sayin’…
By Donna Kelly
It was a real shock to hear of the sudden death just last week of Serge Kislinsky. I hope you are not just reading it now in this column.
For who didn’t know Serge, and you are the poorer for it, he was a taxi driver for Daylesford Taxis, for many years. Most of us have been on a trip with Serge. Mostly a pretty fast trip. But always with great banter and humour.
The news has many in the community reeling. Everyone felt like they knew Serge. And he was just “Serge”. The guy who answered the taxi phone, who picked you up, sometimes coming into the bar or restaurant to find you, and delivered you safely to your front door.
Sometimes you would get a cheery “Hello lovers!” when you got in the cab, or “Hello beautiful people”as he passed you in the street. And there was the banter and the jokes, some good, some bad, and just the genuine smile.
My most memorable ride home was one late night where Serge was the only cabby on. He never wanted to keep people waiting so was going pretty fast. Well, really fast. (Let’s face it, he sometimes drove that cab like he was in the Grand Prix.) And as we headed into Glenlyon we were up around the 100km mark (maybe a titch more) with no signs of slowing down.
Kyle and I both pretty much screamed “Serge” and he hit the brakes, made the sharp right-hand bend and missed ending up in a huge gum. That became “our tree” every ride home after that. The three of us. Sort of funny. Hmmm.
But I will very much miss this gentleman of Daylesford. I think he has left a bigger hole than he would have ever realised. And so, here are just a few comments, of about 200, from a farewell posted on Facebook.
Daylesford just got a bit darker. I didn’t realise how much it meant to me being able to see Serge and him always take such an interest in my life and how I was doing and give me such sage advice and encouragement always with that shifty grin. We loved you mate!
Dear Serge, You were the best. All the jokes we shared, the way you flattered us all with so much sincerity, the two of us cracking jokes in mangled poor Australian/Russian hybrids….and most of all the times that you morphed into the Soup Nazi when anyone kept you waiting…God forbid it was during ChillOut. I am so sad – such a wonderful eccentric and generous personality.
This is just so so sad. Serge was the heart of Daylesford. The common thread that bound us all. He had the amazing ability to make you feel like the little snippets of life were just as important as the big chapter moments. I’ll always cherish my rides with Serge. Booking a taxi won’t be the same again, knowing it won’t be his cheeky face picking me up. A truly beautiful man.
We just adored our “Latvian Lothario” and enjoyed so much piss taking and much laughter together over the years. A huge loss for all. May you Shine On You Crazy Diamond.
You were such a friendly, funny, intelligent and empathetic man. You will be greatly missed. Thank you for always bringing our kids home safely.
Vale Serge, and as always, safe travels. You are missed already. Donna and Kyle x