Christopher James Drake
Christopher James Drake was born on the 3.10.89 at Manly Hospital, Sydney Australia.
Chris was 23 years old, he was a final year Law and Counselling/Behavioural Science student at Notre Dame University in Sydney and unbeknown to him, won first Prize in Counselling 6 weeks after his passing and was awarded a posthumous Bachelor of Laws Degree by the University of Notre Dame in December 2013, upon which his family Nicolle, Trevor and Tiffany attended and accepted Chris’s posthumous Law Degree, to honour their most adoring, darling son, brother and scholar.
Chris was a humanist, he embraced mother-nature and lived life to the full, never hesitating to try or learn something new. His true love of life and his nurturing humility towards others was something that Chris gave of himself each and every day, right up to the moment when he was killed; while selflessly aiding people at North Curl Curl rock pool that fateful day on March 16th, 2013.
Chris was a strict vegan. He never dabbled in drugs and did not smoke or drink; he worshipped his body and loved and excelled in all sports. Chris was a champion ex-professional surfer and a superb ocean swimmer who felt comfortable, competent and safe in the ocean. He had been home just 10 days when he was killed, after spending 2 months with his sister Tiffany who lives in London while completing an Internship with Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) in the UK involving his interest in International Business Law and Sports Psychology.
Upon completion of his internship, the Manager at MCFC asked Chris what his observations were regarding MCFC. Chris’s response was: “I believe you are setting precedence in the sporting industry with your training programs and education by creating exceptional athletes; to create exceptional athletes, you need to create exceptional people first….”
Chris was immediately offered another MCFC internship in New York while studying at Boston University in 2014. He was asked to write about where he saw himself within MCFC and to express where he envisaged himself within the organisation. He was liked, loved and respected by all who he met and left everlasting impressions in his wake through his humble demeanour and philanthropic outlook on life.
Chris wrote his own daily uplifting quotes on his Facebook page and had a huge public following. Positive and optimistic, always smiling, he was adored by all who knew him.
During the 5 days that Chris was missing at sea; a group of close friends began writing his quotes all over their surfboards, with a huge smiley face and the words “SMILE LIKE DRAKE” a grieving tribute to help deal with their own sense of loss. Thereafter, a community began using the phrase, posting photos, hash tags and messages he had sent them with love. Friends began getting the words “Smile Like Drake” tattooed on their bodies and tributes started pouring in from all over the world. His dear friend Aaron immediately set-up the community Facebook page SMILE LIKE DRAKE that became a place for everyone to grieve and pay homage to their extraordinary friend and carry forward his positivity.
Chris didn’t care who you were or what you did; he always had time to listen, write or give a helping hand. The words most often quoted by his friends “Chris was always present, when you spoke to him it was as if no-one else existed, he could focus and listen like no other and always made you feel important and special.” His friendships spanned all ethnicities, religious beliefs, age groups and gender roles. There are hundreds of stories and letters he had sent to people, which have been personally posted as tributes on the Smile Like Drake Facebook page and there are hundreds more that continue to be sent privately by his friends to comfort the Drake family.
Chris was exceptional, individual, extraordinary and unique, he had already changed so many people’s lives by the way that he so honestly and authentically lived his own life, that since his passing there has been a massive shift in many communities across the globe because of the purest loving intentions that he continually and consistently gave, each and every day, to everyone he met.
Chris’s ashes and his beloved soul were set free within the waves of Manly beach, meters from where he was born and found. He is now an integral part of Mother Nature and the circle of life where he continues his journey embracing us all with his outstretched arms, from within the waves of his beautiful ocean home.