Sadly, last month a good friend to many Nelson Newcomers attending the coffee group passed away. Claude, another Nelson Newcomer, shared some words at the funeral which we would like to share with you.
Hello, my name is Claude, and I am expressing the thanks, heartfelt thanks, for the good memories the members of the Nelson Newcomers Network have, of times spent with Hugh.
The seating arrangements for our weekly Wednesday coffee session are quite random, with the early birds getting the choice of seats around the long table. Those lucky enough to be seated next to Hugh were assured of an interesting and informative “conversatione”, as he might have called it.
Hugh and Gwyneth, with their contagious smiles, and cheeky disposition, quickly became friends to so many of us. Hugh's loyal and steadfast nature was so clearly reflected in his close-to-50-year love affair with his sweetheart, Gwyneth.
Most of us are familiar with the expression “a gentleman and a scholar”.This is a most fitting description of our Hugh. I have a tremendous respect for someone who, finding time after retirement to expand his horizons by further studies, was rewarded by achieving a university degree. His passion for learning languages was to continue to the very last.
Like everyone here today, we will miss Hugh's cheerful bonhomie, and his determination not to let health issues dominate his enjoyment of life. In a very short time Hugh found a place in our hearts, which is now a void. His sudden death has many of our members, particularly the ladies, trying to walk a while in your shoes, Gwyneth.
Even though you have now moved away from your many long-standing friends, be assured that there is a great deal of support here in Nelson, when you have the need. Don't hesitate to ask.
To you, to Wendy and your family, we extend our thanks for sharing Hugh with us, and acknowledge and share your grief.
R.I.P. Hugh, kia kaha Gwyneth, kia ora.