Peter Banham, 6 August 1956 - 25 December 2008

In his 1920 work Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud famously commented that “the goal of all life is death” and, on 25 December, 2008, my friend Peter Banham fulfilled all our destinies.

Peter was known to many people in affiliate marketing since his days at Summit Media where he worked from 2001 to 2007 and had managed the affiliate marketing operations. After a great deal of success there, he had moved onto the role of Affiliate Director at Steak Digital.

I had known Peter since his Summit days and he was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most amiable and selfless people I had come across. He had achieved many remarkable things in his life, but was always humble and soft spoken.

One day last summer he called me into the Steak Digital office and informed me he was suffering cancer: as always he was thinking about others, and asked whether I could help out with running the Affiliate Management division at Steak Digital UK while he was away in hospital for treatment.

I didn’t have a hundredth of the capabilities of somebody as gifted as Peter, but tried my best. I refused to sign a contract with Steak Digital despite about a dozen requests because I prayed my role would only be a temporary one. To know his departure from the office was not just a short-term one has been difficult for me and everyone at the agency to come to terms with.

One thing I must mention is I would never have imagined a company would treat an employee as well as Steak Digital did Peter when they discovered he was ill. The consideration and care they showed him is beyond parallel; Julian Walker, the UK CEO, supported him during his treatment and was with him in hospital just a few days before his death on Christmas Day.

Peter’s loss struck me to such an extent I was unable to talk about it to a single person for weeks, but attending his memorial in a tranquil village in Northamptonshire on the 20th of January with my magnificent colleagues and friends from Steak Digital helped me to come to terms with the tragedy.

Standing next to me at the church happened to be the affiliate Paul Horwitz who Peter had introduced me to at the A4U Expo two years earlier. Paul was a good friend of Peter’s and, even when we met last week, recounted many tales of the kindness Peter had shown him. “Peter was always thinking of others,” Paul reiterated to me. “He was a truly great man and I will never forget him.”

At the memorial I got to speak to Peter’s son and he told me that in his final weeks, in hospital, Peter talked about me and had tears running down his cheeks when he did so. All I know, Peter, is that many people in online marketing knew you to be a one-in-a-million fellow and many a tear will have been shed by your departure.

See you in the next life Banham.

Do not stand at my grave and weep;

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.

From Peter Banham’s memorial. Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004)

Peter Banham, 6 August 1956 - 25 December 2008

Please make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support, who helped Peter Banham in his dying days.