Today, my family, our extended family and many friends bid a very beautiful and fond farewell to my Dad.
Held in a small 154-year-old church in my parent’s adopted home for the last 12 years, the funeral service was overflowing with my Dad and Mum’s extended families and their circles of friends from the various activities that they were involved in within their community.
Participants in the service included my Dad’s brother; Dad’s best man and boarding school mate; my three sisters and I; Dad’s cousin; my son (who spoke on behalf of my eldest daughter, who is now abroad in Germany) and my sister’s son who represented Dad’s nine grandchildren; and my Dad’s sister who sung a special personal unaccompanied solo piece.
We spoke about Dad’s love for my Mum and his family; our special and sometimes quirky memories; his sporting prowess; and his passions including his beloved Austin Cambridge car and all things mechanical, particularly steam trains.
This time of remembering was concluded by some previously unknown personal anecdotes from the Minister about my Dad whom our family had especially asked to take part in the service today, (and flew in especially to attend the funeral for the day), in addition to his personal message.
The service was concluded by the carrying of Dad’s casket from the church by six representatives of the extended family, including my son and I.
In a final tribute, members of Dad’s historical car club provided a guard of honour with their vehicles (which including the beloved Austin Cambridge) and accompanied the funeral hearse to the cemetery.
Much planning took place in less than a week since Dad’s passing to get to this day. This included some amazing logistical organisation by my three sisters who, as well as supporting my Mum, undertook much of the planning leading up to this day.
Others provided much support in the background, particularly my wife and her parents. These are special people with amazing talents and I can’t express enough the absolute awe I have for them.
I think Dad would have been proud of his send off. And It’s times such as these that family and friends can draw near to remember and reflect on a life well led.
Today I farewell my Dad, but I sealed up a lifetime of memories.
Thank you, Dad, for your love and care; I’ll miss you.