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Deepest condolences to all the family.
I had the privilege of meeting and working with Michael on Black Watch April 1998 to March 1999. It was a wonderful experience and Mike just had the most scintillating personality and was always very amusing. He goes down in my life experience as one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever encountered.
Devastating news to hear of Mike’s departure from this world so soon.
Much love and eternal fondness for Mike.
Mike was one of my best friends ever. We enjoyed many years together as DJ’s in local pubs and clubs. Mike always brought a smile to peoples faces and was quick witted and really fun to be around. I have many special and funny memories of Mike from years gone by. He was one in a million, a special guy and one of the best guys I ever knew and very professional DJ and host, he will be sorely missed by all his lovely family and fantastic friends. Mike Hadley – the legend on the mic . RIP bud, will miss you forever. Nothing but love. Xxx
Michael was such a funny person to be around, he always made you smile. Since the early years as A DJ to the times at sea on board the ship’s he was the life of the party and brightened up the day. So sorry to loose him so early. Condolences to his great brothers Kevin, Paul and Steven and the rest of his family and friends. We will miss you Michael. Thoughts from Simon & Tuk in Thailand.
Michael Burke was a one in a million. His happy personality was contagious. Memories of our time together on board the Black Prince have stayed and will stay with me forever. Sending condolences to his family and friends. Love from Jo Smith in Melbourne, Australia.
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Mike will always be remembered as a Kind, warm, loving and a funny man. He lived his life to the fullest and he was loved by everyone who knew him. He loved his life at sea and he was regarded as one if not the best Cruise Director on the Fred Olsen fleet. I shared a very loving relationship with him. I will always cherish the happy memories we have shared. It is very sad to lose him so soon. He’s up there now with his Creator. Sail on Papa Mikey. May you have eternal rest and peace.
I remember Mike being my cruise director on the Bremar. We had an overnight in St Petersburg. The crew could leave the ship but the passengers couldn’t (unless it was an organized excursion).
I was the DJ so Mike pointed out that I had to stay on board to entertain the guests that evening as they could not go ashore unattended.
I felt gutted that I couldn’t go ashore and party with my shipmates but I asked Mike if I could go ashore in the daytime instead, which he agreed just provided I was back in time to DJ in the club in the evening.
So myself and a friend went into the city. We browsed a few shops and bought numerous copied DVDS. Inevitably we ended up in a bar in the middle of the afternoon.
A few beers were consumed and laughs to be had.
After a few hours the beers were accompanied by Vodka. 22.214.171.124.5 Vodkas came and went in fast succession.
I made an attempt to keep an eye on the time in order to return for my shift but inevitably it didn’t work out. I drank and drank and drank and have genuinely no idea what happened after my 9th vodka and 6th beer.
I woke up 4 hours later underneath a pool table in a completely different bar surrounded by locals playing pool around me.
I missed my shift and hadn’t a clue where my ship was. Eventually I found a cab and made it back…stumbled to my cabin and slept off my considerable intake.
The next day I heard my workmates saying that Mike was looking for me and needed to talk, I obviously knew why so made every effort to avoid him. This proved difficult as our ship wasn’t the biggest but I managed to succeed in my task all day.
But I had to DJ in the evening and I knew it would be inevitable that Mike would find me and bollock me for my previous nights exploits.
It turned midnight, only an hour away from my finish time and still no sign of Mike. I thought I’d avoided my punishment for at least another 24 hours. But at 12.45, only 15 minutes from freedom, in walked Michael. .he found me.
He called me out from my DJ booth where I was trying to look invisible. I walked over slowly and sheepishly. When I got to him I immediately apologized for my previous nights discretion. I stood there, head slightly bowed and awaited for my punishment. The next words I heard astonished me “what you drinking?”. He actually asked to buy me a beer. I stuttered “lager please ” and he bought me a pint (we were only aloud to drink halfs).
I asked him why and his answer will stick with me for the rest of my life, he said “how can I bollock you for doing something I’ve done many times myself?. You know you did wrong and you’ve learnt a lesson, don’t do it again. ”
At that moment I realised that Michael Burke was one of the best people managers I’ve ever met. He made me want to be great at my job not for fear of reprisal but for the pride of putting a smile on the passengers faces. If he had have bollocked me that day I may have let it go in one ear and out the other but he related to me and explained that he did exactly the same.
I’ve never forgotten this experience and with the exception of my owe Father who was similar in many ways, he is one of the few people that taught me life lessons and people management that I still use today.
Rest in peace and fly high my friend. ..the green soldiers are waiting.
Hope you’re having a Bailey’s chaser up there.
RIP Uncle Mike, you’ll be missed.