Tony (envelope enclosed) If I kick the bucket before you could you get someone to read this speech.
After I was told that I had terminal cancer someone said to me are you going to write a farewell speech?
I said I haven’t thought of it but why not. No one can answer me back
I’ve been to hundreds of funerals. When I was at Aldersgate and at the Central Mission and the brotherhood of St Laurence attending funerals was part of the job. I always appreciated funerals however sad they were. I used to say that they take you out of yourself for a while. They were in a different dimension from the daily round of the responsibility and personal concerns.
The after effect can be somewhat like a relaxation session but sort of on a spiritual basis.
In spite of all the funerals I have attended this one is different. I could have missed the others. With them I had a choice.
You had a choice today and you have come and some of you have come a long way.
I was best man at more weddings that I can count. In a way I’m best man today. I used to confuse weddings with funerals. I often shed a tear at a wedding. Its not my intention to give a long oration in fact its hard to orate from a box.
But I want to say thank you. I could name 100′s of wonderful people who have touched my life, and I theirs I hope. Moving house and or jobs every 4 or 5 years nearly all of my 73 years and being in prominent situations there had to be relationships galore. And what a joy they were.
I was brain washed when I was young to love everybody and that’s what happened rightly or wrongly. I love you all.
But there are just a few I want to mention. Ruth for her dedicated input to our 3 wonderful sons Jack, Tony and Paul. And to Callan and Asher my grandsons who are destined to have exciting and satisfying lives. What a joy they have been. The reward to me was much greater than the price I have paid.
My sisters Joy and Edna who have never failed to express their love for me. Fay and I have been so close in thought and feeling or lack of feeling that we could have been twins.
And for the last 6 years Frances has been a very close and dear friend.
Finally let me say for the first time I know something that you don’t. And I’m not telling. You can find out for yourselves. Not too soon I hope.