Good afternoon everyone. Kia ora to our New Zealand friends and good day to our
Australian friends. It is wonderful to see so many friends and relatives here. As a
tribute to you mum I would love to talk about three areas of your life to give us a
flavour of how much joy and happiness you brought us all
These 3 areas are prayer, resilience and love
Prayer was the bedrock of your life mum. In the last few years you seemed almost
to pray non-stop. During my recent 3 months at Westwood I remember seeing you
grateful for every single thing. You thanked God for your breakfast or lunch from the
staff, a visit from Sarah and Noah, a call from Paul and myself. I remember you
asked me to call my friend Frances who read our first reading to take down her
words so you could put them on your wall next to your bed. These words were
Jesus mercy Mary help sacred heart of Jesus I place all my trust in thee. This was
certainly your mantra mum for the last 9 months of your life mum.
Mum you sure were resilient when you applied to and were accepted into the Royal
navy's nursing arm the Queen Alexandra’s Royal naval nursing service. At the social
after this mass we have some glorious photos of you in your Royal navy nurses
uniform. You soon found yourself working in the Bighi royal naval hospital in Kalkara
Malta. This royal naval hospital looked after 250 patients serving the whole of the
Mediterranean and through it Malta became known as ‘The Nurse of the
Again you showed your resilience when you combined your nursing duties with the
best social life possible. You were always being invited out to parties and the ships
dances when you were not on duty. Indeed it was at this time that you met your
Royal naval husband-to-be Petty officer Evan
The last topic I'd love to cover is love. You fell in love with a wonderful gentleman
called Evan, my dad. You met your husband to be whilst working at night at Bighi,
the royal naval hospital. You were both on the same ward and your courtship
flourished from there.
You told me mum that you used to meet your husband-to-be after your shifts and
you loved to meet in the coffee houses dotted around Bighi hospital. Within a
couple of years you married your royal marine husband in a perfect setting at the
chapel at the hospital. You had a honeymoon to remember for 2 weeks in Sicily
which you greatly enjoyed. Later today at the social we will be toasting you mum
with one of your favourite drinks the finest Sicilian lemonade. You loved newly
married life in your royal naval apartments that came complete with a servant.
These were glorious days. You both continued with your outstanding naval careers
until you returned home to Britain.
Back in England your love of things naval continued as you moved to the naval base
at Salisbury when you became a proud mum to a much loved daughter Sarah in
December 1966. Your husband then left the royal navy in 1967 so you could move
back to civilian life in Chorley. Your other daughter – me - came along in 1968 and
your family was complete.
After your great career in the navy, you were keen to retain your skills and for over
20 odd years you worked at Fernbank Care Home where you looked after many
retired ladies and gentlemen. You loved working nights and loved both your
colleagues who are here today and your patients.
Last night in the middle of writing this eulogy I got a call from my closest female
friend Janette in Switzerland. Janette said “Sue tell them about how your mum
loved every aspect of her life whilst living at Westwood and tell them she had a love
of life to the end.” Janette reminded me mum that she and you said a prayer that
you loved - the guardian Angel prayer. She sat with you whilst I nipped out to get
cream cakes and lemonade. Whilst I was out and you and Janette were alone mum
you laughed and said “has she really gone to get cream cakes?” Yes I certainly had
I’m nearly at the end but I'd just love to share what you told me recently. I asked
you what you were most grateful for after your husband had passed away and you
said you were most grateful for your daughters Sarah and myself, your sons in law
Andy and Paul and then your wonderful grandchildren. Next you said you were
grateful for prayer, your friends at Westwood and elsewhere, good company, good
coffee and being clean and tidy so Mum this pretty much sums up your life.
Finally I quote from you, days before you passed to heaven you said “Sue when the
time comes be calm. When the time comes celebrate the good times and be strong.
Drink some lemonade in memory of me”. So mum I promise to be good, be calm, be
loving and be happy. I will always remember your words and promise to live this
Sarah and I would love to invite you to St Marys to celebrate with us and to share
St Mary’s social is just off Devonshire rd. There is plenty of parking.
many thanks for letting me share