For half a century Everald Compton has been an active and passionate advocate for Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD), campaigning for the right to make a choice as to whether or not people may end their lives this way.
Now Everald has written a fascinating novel that tells the story of four very different people facing death, and within each he finds the humane and very human story of coming to terms with the end of one's life.
Three practice Christianity, although quite differently. The fourth is an Atheist. They share a doctor, a Muslim woman.
People who have a role in their lives are Jewish, Buddhist and Confucian.
The local Anglican Bishop is an African Matabele and their lawyer an eminent citizen on the fringes of religion.
Powerful is the word to describe the ending.
Read this book and you will gain a clearer understanding of Voluntary Assisted Dying than if you attend a dozen learned lectures on it. You may also be moved to happily plan your own ideal final curtain call.
Everald is aged 89, proudly Australian, and ready, if circumstances dictate it, to end his life by VAD.
Everald Compton is an Australian who is approaching the tenth decade of his life.
Born and bred in rural Queensland, he studied accountancy and marketing while working in a bank and in an accountant's practice.
He then became an international fund raising consultant working on community projects in 26 nations.
In his 'retirement' years, he became a company director, most notably as a Founding Director of National Seniors Australia and as the Founder of Australia's Inland Railway.
He also launched a successful career as an author, writing The Man on the Twenty Dollar Notes based on the life of Flynn of the Inland who founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Dinner with the Founding Fathers which tells the story of the creation of the Australian nation in 1901.
However, he believes that A Beautiful Sunset is his finest literary achievement.
He has been a committed Christian since his Sunday School days out in the bush and has served as an Elder of the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches for more than six decades.
Interfaith dialogue and cooperation is now an important part of his life as is his active role as Chair of ACTS, a Uniting Church charity that provides financial aid to people in need.
Importantly, he leads Christians for Dying with Dignity.
In 1993, he became a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the community and received the Centenary Medal in 2001 for service to the Transport Industry.
He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland serving as Chair of the Advisory Panel of CRC Longevity, and an Honorary Senior Fellow of the University of the Sunshine Coast serving in the Thompson Institute for Mind and Neuroscience.
He lives his Brisbane with his wife, Helen. Their four children and eight grandchildren live in Brisbane, Melbourne, New York and Wiltshire.