Thursday, November 5, 2009

Elizabeth Goes Home

Members of the choir may like to know that the ashes of our late colleague Elizabeth Evans (soprano section) were scattered in the bay where she grew up on D’Urville Island, together with her brother Max’s, on Sunday 25th October.

Her daugher Lisa wrote from London that her Mother’s cousin was to read the following dedication:

‘We thought we'd bring you home Mum, (Auntie Betts and Kupy cousin) to the island you loved so much, to have a final swim. You loved the sea and it's Labour weekend, the first time you were allowed to go swimming in the bay as a child after the winter. Although generations come and go and the land is weathered and altered by years of changing occupation, the water here has always been here, standing sentinel - an ever-present yet always changing constant, ebbing and flowing as the ages come and go. We commit you to that constant. Thank you for everything.’

Lisa says after her mother’s family left the island in the 1950s, Elizabeth only returned to D’Urville once, with Lisa in 1981 when they attended a family reunion. The place was greatly changed. Her family’s house was only occupied during the shearing season and the wharf had gone.

According to Lisa, Elizabeth said she never wanted to visit again. However, she was very much hoping to do a boat trip around the island and area, which was arranged for a few years back and then cancelled due to the weather. Unfortunately by the time the trip could be organised again, Elizabeth wasn’t well enough to go. Although Elizabeth had no specific wishes for what to do with her ashes, the family felt that it was fitting to return her earthly remains to the water she loved so much.

Lisa says she would love to have been there. However, ‘As the boat chugs up from Nelson, I’ll be singing Carmina Burana about ever-changing fate and the circle of life in the Royal Albert Hall.’

[Submitted by Jane Edwards]

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