In Memory Of
Paul Matthew Stephen Freeman
Canada / Seat 46B
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Paul Matthew Stephen Freeman
April 02, 1963 - December 21, 1988 (Age: 25)

Paul Stephen Mathew Freeman was born in London where his father, Phillip, a successful journalist, was employed by Reuters. His mother, Donna, was a teacher and an artist. A joy to his parents, Paul was blessed with intelligence, creativity, strength of character, a generous and loving nature, and a tremendous enthusiasm for living life to the fullest. Paul had the ability to dream seemingly impossible dreams, but he also had the courage and determination to work as hard as he could to make them come true. Many incredible aspirations had already been realized, and even more were unfolding, when Pan Am 103 was blown from the skies over Lockerbie.

In 1966, the Freeman family came home to Canada. A few months later Kerry, Paul's little sister, was born. The following year, on October 2, 1967, tragedy struck when Phillip died of cancer. Two months later to the day, Donna delivered twin boys, John and Michael. At age four, Paul's life had dramatically changed. No longer an only child with a mother and a father, he was now the big brother in a one-parent home. As his mother struggled to provide for her little family, Paul learned much from her courage, fortitude, and strong, unshakable faith in God.

When he was eight, Paul was captivated by a magic show he attended. Even at that tender age, Paul made a life-shaping decision: he would become a magician. With determination and plenty of hard work, he became professional by age 11, accepting bookings for children's shows. Paul loved being on stage, and he continued to expand his repertoire until, at age 17, he began a two-summer tour of Ontario libraries with his own show, entitled, "It's Magic!" He traveled in an old apple truck he renovated, toting along his illusions, costumes, two trained white doves, and a couch. Wherever Paul performed, accolades followed, and he soon became well known for his skill and professionalism as a magician, his charismatic onstage presence, and his magnetic personality. "It's Magic!" was also taped live and broadcast on Canadian television. Paul's enthusiasm and determination continued to move him toward bigger and brighter things.

At 19, Paul joined the popular Landis & Co. Magical Theater, apprenticing for a year before joining the group as a full member. His roles with Landis required a certain amount of acting, and he loved it. Always striving for excellence (Paul graduated high school in advanced studies with above average marks), he attended the De Leon Summer Drama School while visiting relatives in England. Then he studied Shakespearean Scene Study at the Maggie Bassett Studio in Toronto, dance at the Ontario School of Ballet, and, at 21, after having appeared in numerous theater productions, Paul was accepted into the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Paul's dual citizenship allowed him free reign to work and study in both Canada and Britain. In addition to his studies, Paul supported himself by his acting. He had to change his stage name to Mathew Freeman, however, because there was another Paul Freeman listed in British Equity. In 1985, Paul wrote, produced, directed, and starred in The Sword and the Potion, a children's fairytale. The play had a short but successful run on the fringe at the Edinburgh Festival. Paul was to have performed again at the Edinburgh Festival, in two different plays in the summer of 1989.

In addition to numerous stage appearances, Paul played bit parts in various movies, including Superman N. He was starting to be recognized around London as he made more and more television appearances. As 1988 drew to a close, Paul's career was flourishing. He had been scheduled to direct his fiancée, Sarah Aicher's play, Heaven, in February 1989. In addition, Paul had been cast as a lead in a television series to be made in 1989. It was going to be a busy and exciting year. Life was good.

Throughout the four years Paul lived in Britain, he had always managed to make it home to Dundas, Ontario, to spend Christmas with his family. In December 1988, he had just finished filming Flight 007, based on a real life highjacking event, in which he played Aaron. Ironically, it was money from this movie that paid for his ticket on Flight 103. He had originally been scheduled to fly out of London the day before, but Paul had received a call to read for a movie role. He went to the audition, delaying his flight by one day.

When Paul was deeply moved by experiences or happenings, he wrote poems. His poems freed his mind and heart to reach out from the past, so he might embrace each new day more fully. A host of hearts were left torn and empty on December 21, 1988. May Paul's poem be a comfort.

New Beginning
Paul Freeman
This is a new beginning
I will not look behind
I choose to turn towards You
To see it through Your eyes.

You were in the beginning
You'll be there 'till the end
Alpha and Omega
Savior and Friend.

I don't deserve Your love
I don't understand
Why You cared enough to come down here for me
Why You suffered hell to break these chains for me.

This is a new beginning
The one only You can give
I want the world to know, Lord,
It's for You I live.

Your love has gone before me
My voice will resound
No greater love is there
Than the Love that has come down.

Your strength will fill the earth
Everyone will know
As we gather here to seek our Father's face,
As we sing to You, You'll fill this Holy Place,
As we sing to You, You'll fill this empty space.

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