There have been some losses to our community recently, writes Alan Sharp who shares some words and photographs.
“During our Covid 19 lockdown, few public funerals were held. Maximum gatherings were first restricted to 100, then 50, and then 10, but I don’t recall funeral notices that I would have liked to have attended.
However since then I’ve attended over one per month.
Straight after we were allowed to move again out of lockdown, Val Kelly, a cousin of mine, born at Gordonton, died in Tauranga. 11/7/2020.
Since then there has been the following. While in our community, all have been faithful and active, office bearing members of the Gordonton Presbyterian/Oaks fellowship.
Melville Bain 26/7/2020
Christine Shewan 30/8/2020
Linda Barlow 7/10/2020
Morris Barlow 17/11/2020
And within the Parish, at Discovery Church, Fairfield
Jean Green 8/11/2020
Jean was 105 years old. When Bob Green retired, he subdivided his Hukanui Rd farm, part of which became St Pauls Collegiate. The Greens being one of the Fairfield families who went guarantor for the establishment of the Fairfield Parish (1955), which would then take over responsibility, for the Horsham Downs and Gordonton country churches, previously under the pastoral care of Knox Parish, Hamilton East.
Eventually building the Discovery Church in the former Insoll Avenue, Knox Minister’s horse paddock.
It was Morris’s turn to be farewelled on November 27 2020. As with Melville Bain, they endured years of treatment at Waikato Hospital, enabling them to extend their presence on this earth, sharing their heritage, with their grandchildren.
The month before Linda’s funeral was held in a very full Gordonton Hall, as light rain came and went during the day. A full hall is 200 seated, but with additional seating brought in for the stage, and supper room, I believe well over 250 were seated for the service. Some also stood.
Morris attended in a wheelchair. The last that I saw Morris at a public gathering, was two years ago at our Oaks reunion.
Morris’s son Graham stated that his Dad’s wish was for a simple send-off from his cherished garden, and that a flash hearse was not required, when his faithful old Ute was quite capable of getting a coffin to the end of the road (the property neighbouring the cemetery).
The long-range weather forecast was consulted, and the family successfully choose an afternoon where the rain, of recent days, held off, the breeze was not too strong, and the sun found its way down through passing clouds.
The gathering was every bit as large as that for Linda, and Morris got his wish, that his guests have the opportunity to come, enjoy nature’s gift of life, and contemplate in the garden.”