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Please respect the lives of my parents if you should stumble upon it and keep it private.  Thank you.

Mum (Betty) 5 Aug 1922 – 17 Aug 2012
Dad (Harry) 24 Oct 1924 – 22 Oct 2015

Harry and Betty both believed that the time to offer respects to a person is when they are alive. So their passing was marked with minimal ritual.

We are all formed by our community even as we inform it. So on the IMG_014529th of October many people of Harry and Betty’s community gathered to have an afternoon tea together and be reminded in their shared lives. The scene was Jack and Jill, a cafe in Greytown that had been a second home for Harry in his last years.

As the eldest and only son I was aware some might expect me to say a few words to the gathering and I knew Dad would have construed even the briefest of utterances as a speech. I have tried to get away with giving brief “non-speeches” at gatherings to celebrate his birthday in the past but his grimaces revealed that he saw through my clumsy charades. I did spot a momentary twitch of humour at the corner of his mouth at my ingenious attempts to give the speech you give when you are not giving a speech.

I was also aware that Harry and Betty’s community exteIMG_0148nded over 90 years and thus some present might know few others. This might not matter in a more formal setting such as a church service but it could be a lonelier experience in an informal afternoon tea. So in the prior three mornings I created a series of rough sketches that might remind people present that we are all bound by links we may not be aware of. Harry and Betty’s lives speak to us all.
My hope is Dad’s face might have twitched with suppressed mirth at my ingenious endeavours to avoid giving a speech if he had spotted the cartoons.

May it inform our lives so we become finer human beings.20150221_160418           1 2 3 4 5 67