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Vale Ann Parish
02/05/1950 – 22/01/2012
I attended the Remembrance Ceremony for Ann Griffith (nee Parish) today. The ceremony was led by Michael Griffith, Ann's brother-in-law. He started by saying that Terry, Ann's husband, disliked the recent trend to hold a 'Celebrate the Life of ...' ceremony after the death of someone as he was in no mood to celebrate and felt mightily pissed-off that Ann was taken from him just at the point when a couple should be enjoying a retired life and the fruits of their past labours. That comment eased the atmosphere and got a laugh.
The next speaker was Phil Hayes, a family friend and workmate, from the Australian Bureau of Census and Statistics (now Australian Bureau of Statistics), back in the 1960's. He talked about how Ann and Terry had met at work and he outlined their life together.
Following Phil was a recording from David Griffith, Ann and Terry's only child. If this didn't open the tear ducts nothing would. A wonderful dialogue from a wonderful young man who thought the world of his mother, and vice versa. (I found out after the service that my son-in-law's sister is a flatmate of David's - who needs 6 degrees of separation!)
The next speaker, according to the Order of Service, was to be Terry. What an incredibly hard role to play, so Terry's writings were read by Michael. By now tissues were necessary.
The next part of the service was a visual presentation of Ann's life - from small girl to the latest photos of her wearing a head-scarf as a result of hair loss during treatment. Included were photos from Telopea. The Telopea reunion, organised by Brett Yeats mentioned by name, was mentioned in what Terry wrote. The web-site was also mentioned as a way of connecting to that part of Ann's life and her contribution to the site.
The service ended with 'Forever Autumn' by The Moody Blues.
Phil McAppion and his wife were also there, as well as Chris and Jim Knox (Colin's brother) who had come from Narooma.
Sara York (nee Brown)
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