An open and honest telling of Taranaki Cathedral’s past will help more people understand the church’s role in the region’s turbulent... read more
Enid Gwynneth Morton
17 August 1931 - 28 April 2016
On May 3 the St Mary's parish family gathered at St Joseph’s Church to say farewell to a much-loved member of our family and a wonderful friend, Enid Morton.
Enid had not been well for a long time and had been struggling to be part of her beloved St Mary’s, but she never complained apart from her frustration at not being able to do things. She had an inspiring and wonderful faith. As the illness progressed she suffered a lot of pain and said to me one day, “Jesus suffered pain - my pain brings me closer to him.” And then as her condition worsened she often said, “When is God going to call me.?” What an incredible faith.
She loved this church and everything about it. She so enjoyed being part of the consecration, as we became a cathedral. For many years she helped her husband Don as a verger at weddings and funerals, and also sang in the St Mary’s choir. Our Wednesday service in the chapel will not be the same without her sitting in the back pew.
Not many would have known that Enid, prior to moving with Don to New Plymouth, was the backbone of the St Andrew’s choir in Inglewood. She was a very active member of that parish, taking part in the women’s groups as well as helping in day-to-day events at the church.
Life for Enid was more than her body failing her, although she did get impatient at times. Life for her was a spirit of courage and a wonderful belief that, as we read in Paul's letter to the people of Corinth “now we see in a dim image then we will see face to face.” Enid now sees our Lord face to face. Her deep faith and clear straightforward approach to life marked her out and she was such an inspiration to many.
Enid, well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord. May you rest in peace and rise in glory.
Don, may the knowledge that you and Enid were, and are such respected and loved members’ of St Mary’s be of strength and satisfaction to you.
The Revd Canon Bill Marsh
Ivor Charles Wesley
3 March 1926_- 24 May 2016
The mildest of rebukes can have a more profound effect than affronted outrage. I learned this after I had made a critical comment in the presence of Ivor Wesley about someone I hardly knew. Ivor gently made me aware of the virtuous qualities of the object of my criticism and I was ashamed of myself.
I knew Ivor from the time he first joined the Pro-Cathedral choir and I learned much later that he had first taken singing lessons from Gabrielle Barr for that very purpose. Ivor had lost his wife a little earlier and no doubt had wanted to occupy the empty space not just with the choir but also helping immigrants with English as a second language. He earned a citizen's award for such endeavors. During his tenure in the cathedral choir he donated a brass rail to allow safer access for those who needed to step up to the lectern to read to the congregation during services.
Born in the UK, Ivor served in the British Merchant Navy as a signals officer during the war in which capacity he was present at the deployment of the artificial harbour codenamed Mulberry (for those of you who remember that strategy).
Just why he came to NZ after the war I didn't discover but he first worked here in the forestry industry before joining the fire service at the lowest rank. It was several months before I, and probably the other choir members, learned that Ivor had retired from the position of National Commander of the NZ Fire Service, from which position he had been awarded an OBE.
At his eightieth birthday party there was a profusion of fire officers of all ranks and we found that his small stature had earned the sobriquet “Are you upstanding Ivor?” Around the room there were photos of a uniformed Ivor hobnobbing with the Queen during one of her visits.
A large contingent of fire officers formed a guard of honour at his funeral.
Of all his admirable and endearing qualities Ivor will be remembered for his permanent good humour, his constant gentlemanly demeanor and particularly his self-effacing modesty in the presence of high achievement.
Ivor Wesley is survived by four children.
Joan Rewa Harrison
9 November 1919 – 16 July 2016
Joan was born in Wellington on 9 November 1919 and grew up and completed her education there.
For a time she worked in a bank. Joan and David were married in 1949, and she worked for a time in a nursery in Otaki and became a commercial florist. They had three children David, Ann and Michael.
After David’s ordination she worked alongside him, caring not only for David and the family but for people in the parish as well. In Hawera, Te Atatu, Pongaroa and New Plymouth she shared herself and her many talents.
Joan and David came to New Plymouth when he retired in 1981. Her artistic skills were put to good use in the designing of a banner for the little church of St Aidan, Frankleigh Park. She also helped with the embroidery of the St Mary’s pulpit falls and made the red Pentecost fall as her own project.
Not only a regular communicant all her days, Joan was a member of the Mothers’ Union in its outreach to women and girls and was treasurer of the St Mary’s branch for over eight years.
Many homes are adorned with Joan’s watercolours. With David they made a formidable team of artists and craft-workers. And this is to say nothing of their joint love of gardening and the natural world.
Joan died on 16 July 2016 and her funeral took place in the Interim Cathedral on 19 July 2016.
The Very Rev’d Michael Bent
Robert John Pitcairn
20 August 1940 – 4 August 2016
At Robert's packed funeral at St Joseph's church in August there was no shortage of celebration of who he was/is and the incredible achievements of his life. Not least his involvement in so many aspects of our community; sacrificial in terms of time and commitment. They included trust boards, surf-lifesaving and charities which form and protect our community (such as the Tainui Home Trust Board and the Emergency Shelter Trust). So many depended on Bob's skill and patient, dedicated care.
Fay, Robert's widow, recalls what a wonderful provider Robert was for his children, Gordon and Fiona as well as his grandchildren. Granddaughter Kaelyn recalled times of board games - especially Monopoly (he always liked to be the banker). She also remembered his courage when it came to the hard core medical challenges he endured over recent years.
Robert faced so many difficulties with his health that people had become accustomed to him surviving another round. His years of dialysis were just one factor that we knew he tackled with a quiet philosophy. In the end, his journey back to God was uncluttered, dignified and as simple as we could have hoped. But much more profound and affecting was the peace he had in going to meet his maker.
I used to have the privilege of serving alongside Bob at the altar. I don't think I have ever encountered anyone who handled themselves with such quiet dignity. There was something about the reverence and mana with which he served, and knelt in prayer, which enhanced your sense of the presence of God and reassured you that God is real. I think of those times as “God Moments”. Robert told of that experience himself, significantly, when at Waikato Hospital for heart surgery. A moment when God clearly spoke to him. Therefore, be encouraged. Be full of faith.
Rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.