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Mary Rosetta Harvey's Online Memorial Photo

Memorial Curator

Memorial Biography

I want to acknowledge My wonderful Mum. She passed away on 9th November 2008, having struggled for 15 months to recover after a heart operation. Everyone in my family, My Father, Brothers, Mum's grandchildren, Relatives & Friends feel a great loss just as I do. While we feel the loss, we also celebrate a great life and on this page are some things that will give you insight into what Mum was like I read this Eulogy at Mum's funeral 13th November 2008 Our family thanks you for being here today to celebrate the wonderful life of Mary, wife, Mum and Grandma. Mary Rosetta Harvey was born February 13th 1927 with twin Helen at Blenheim. She had an older sister Aline & brother Henry, who is here today. They grew up on a farm by Lake Grassmere in Marlborough. Mum’s parents were Henry Gluyas of Cornish descent and Flora McEwan of Scottish descent. Henry had been both in the Boer War and the first world war and Mum often told interesting tales about being on the farm. Her mother had been a teacher before moving onto the farm and both parents encouraged an appreciation of education & music. Mum’s father was the first to own a tractor in the region and a 1923 dodge. Her dad had always said that Lucerne helped to pay off the farm. During the depression her parents would give food to people passing by in search of work. She learnt generosity by example. As a youngster she watched her father fly over Grassmere between Blenheim and Christchurch. It was his first flight and she thought it was just amazing. Mum’s first flight was to the 1940 exhibition in Wellington. She also spent many enjoyable holidays with her family at the Tahunanui camping ground In 1941 Mum & Helen were off to Nelson College for Girls where older sister Aline already was. She boarded there until 1944. She enjoyed school and maintained an interest in the school attending a school celebration earlier this year. During this period her father died while working on the farm. In 1945 Mum began two years training as a dental nurse in Wellington. The training school is now the Prime Minister’s residence and Mum has wondered who now sleeps in the extraction room! Her friendships developed there in training were to last a lifetime with many reunions, some organised by Mum. Upon graduation she took a posting at Stratford working in surrounding places such as Manaia and Whangamomana. She enjoyed this work and once again made new friends. It was in Stratford that she met our father George. He had returned from the war and moved to Stratford where he took over a shoe repair business. Romance developed and they were married at the Church of Nativity in Blenheim on 31st December 1949. Little did they realise at the time that they would be celebrating their 50th on the eve of a new millennium. They honeymooned at Pelorus sound. Many friends developed in Stratford and have been maintained over the years. Little Squirrels by Royal Dalton were purchased over the following two years and the nicknames Sadie & Sammy esq. were born. Children followed. Russell was born in 1955 and Malcolm 1959. 1960 was a very wet winter and one day they decided to move somewhere with more sunshine. Where shall we move dad asked, to which Mum declared Nelson. Their move had occurred within weeks and by the end of the following year they had moved into their new home in Lemari Ave where they have been since. I followed in 1962. Edna McLaughlin who has done such a beautiful job with the flowers today recalls meeting mum for the first time outside this church when mum was pregnant with me. In the next few years like many mothers Mum became involved in Kindergarten, Plunket, and school activities. She was always proud of her children’s achievements. In 1970 Mum went back to paid work at Stoke School working in the special new unit for children who were deaf. She worked as a teacher’s aide there and at Waimea Intermediate then Broadgreen Intermediate. Through this work she made some great friendships particularly one with Isobel Weakley. During this time mum was also involved in scouting becoming a cub leader in 1968. She took over her own pack as an Akela for 6 years, then became district cub leader training leaders. She really enjoyed those years. During this period there were lots of holidays where relations stayed together. Mum’s sister Aline and her husband Stan and children Richard & Rosalind would often stay with us and there were great outings to Tahuna beach, Rabbit Island & other places. Rosalind was very special to Mum in latter years. A bit like a daughter Mum had never had. And since Aline has passed away Mum had a great love & care for Richard & Rosalind. Mum enjoyed some great trips overseas. In 1980 she went to Fiji with her sister Helen and best friends Joan & Ian Bagley. Another trip to Vanuatu & Fiji followed in 1981 when Mum & Dad stayed with Malcolm who was working with VSA in Vanuatu. In 1985 after retiring Mum & Dad travelled through Europe for three months. Mum absolutely loved Europe seeing all the wonderful cities, buildings and artworks. They backpacked and also stayed with other members of servas. Over the years they hosted many people in their home and lots of them are still in contact. Lots of people came and stayed and Mum was just as good a cook as she was at welcoming people. She cooked wonderful roasts, pies, cakes and biscuits. After Europe many trips followed to Australia, Malcolm moving there in 1982, Myself in 1985 and Russell in 2001. Once Malcolm & Annie became parents, trips to Australia gave an opportunity to not just visit the children but the grandchildren. Mum was always keeping track of who had a birthday and making sure that it was acknowledged with gifts and cards. When Malcolm and Annie needed her she came over and stayed for 6 weeks. Mum & dad travelled around NZ after they retired, visiting relations and often staying for periods of time if there was something they could help with. Mum’s twin sister Helen was unwell for many years and Mum made sure that she kept regular contact with her visiting her on many occasions or having her to stay. Over the years Mum took up Embroidery and produced some wonderful projects and like everywhere else where she went friendships developed. Later she enjoyed spinning too. Beautiful things were produced. Mum always had a deep love of the arts and enjoyed various performances, listening to classical radio & cds. She loved movies too, Fried Green tomatoes, and the whale rider to name just two. There was a tight network of friends that Mum had including Joan Bagley, Edna McLaughlin, Sadie Sharpin, Daphne Simes & Melva Robinson. There would be get togethers for birthdays and various outings to musical events and movies. But of this network Mum and Joan were best friends and liked so many of the same things. While Joan & Mum were busy Ian & Dad would be playing scrabble. They were very tuned into each others sense of humour too. As well as each others sense of taste & style. On one occasion one Christmas they were meeting to exchange gifts on Christmas day. Out came the same shaped present with the same wrapping paper. They looked at each other and laughed. They had both bought the exact same vinagarette bottle from Tudor House. The Church was very important to Mum. She never pushed religion onto others but led by example. Love strength and forgiveness were three of her most obvious qualities. Life brings challenges to everyone but Mum possessed a great skill to remain loving while also pushing for the best when that was needed. At Church she often assisted doing sides duty with dad. She was also involved with the guild. Mum loved nature. She had pet lambs as a girl then lambs again stayed with us on occasion at Lemari Ave on loan from the McLaughlins farm up Marsden valley. Mum and dad did many tramps after they retired including Abel Tasman, the St James walkway and they loved their outings with the Forest & Bird society. Mum planted native trees behind Fairfield house, became a keen environmentalist and in recent years she & dad visited the white heron colony at Okarito. Charity was something that was always present with Mum. Through the Church and charities such as save the children fund, she would be out collecting and doing what she could. She worked at trade aid with dad and became very committed to peace and justice. Mum was always making friends. In 2007 on a journey by Mum, Dad, grandson Francis & myself to explore our family origins in the South Island, we were staying one night at Kingston by Lake Wakatipu. After all walking back from the lake at dusk, we discovered no Mum! Where could she be? She had met a local who knew her brother in law at Gore and she had been invited in for a talk! She so often would be the first to say hello. Mum learned to use the internet and although she found many aspects of computer use very difficult she stuck at it. She always loved the option to keep in touch with family and friends and an email from Mum would always be completed with care and attention as was her other correspondence. In recent years Mum’s eyesight deteriorated and this was one of the biggest challenges for her. Eventually she had to stop driving and then embroidery became too difficult and this was such a disappointment for her. As it got worse in the last two years, reading was too hard so she moved to talking books provided by the blind foundation. She really enjoyed them and it opened up a new way to continue reading. In August 2007 Mum had a heart valve operation and since then she never really recovered. She found it hard to put on weight which left her vulnerable to various ailments. There were some very scary and exhausting moments for her but her will power was quite incredible. Even though she was very thin & frail she recovered from each event. Until last week when her health deteriorated very rapidly. I will forever feel lucky that I spoke to her on Saturday afternoon. Later that day she was taken to hospital and Mum died early on Sunday morning with dad by her side. For the last year it was a major challenge for Mum to maintain hope and the positive view that she was so known for. But she perfomed really well. It was also a challenge for her to be needing help when she had so often been the one helping others. For dad caring for Mum was a big job and a tiring and worrying one too. But as her loving husband he was true to his word and looked after her, not just out of duty, but out of love. Everyone will miss Mum. But Mum was tired and now she can rest. Her spirit is in all of us who knew her and it will now live on through our work and deeds. Be the first to say hello. Be willing to forgive. Be loving to others. http://members.tripod.com/graham_a_harvey/id35.html