James Edgar ( Ed ) Frazer 1924 – 2015
Choir Member 1985 – 2012
The men of the RSA Choir were saddened to hear of the passing of Ed Frazer of April 4th 2015. Ed was born in Dunedin in 1924, growing up in Wakari and attending Kaikorai Primary School and Otago Boys' High School ( 1938-1941 ). It was while Ed was at OBHS that his musical skills and aptitude became apparent. Ed and a group of school friends would copy the tunes and arrangements of the great dance band leaders of the time – Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman – by picking them out by ear from the recordings. Ed was soon involved in providing music for dances and parties. His bands were very popular and they often had 3 appointments a week as well as regular radio broadcasts. In the 1940's, Ed started an accountancy degree at the University of Otago – the degree was never completed as, according to Ed, he made more money from music than he did as an accountant.
Following his time at university, Ed worked for a while for Smeaton & Co. He then teamed up with his friend Jim Laurenson at Laurensons Bakery which grew to be one of the largest in the South Island - Ed began as the secretary and later became a director.
Ed joined the 1st tenor section of the RSA Choir in 1985 where he pursued his musical interests. Ed served as assistant pianist and used his talents to arrange the music for 3 songs written by fellow Choir member Brian Hogue – 'They Stood on Chunuk Bair', 'The Lonely Grave' and 'How I Miss You'. Ed provided background music during the interval at several concerts and along with his wife, Fay, recorded many concerts on video. Ed was made a Life member of the Choir in acknowledgement of his many skills, and his enthusiastic contributions made over a number of years.
The Choir wishes to extend its sympathy to Fay, and to the members of the Frazer family.
Robert ( Bob ) Frederick William Hadley 1918 – 2015
610505 Corporal Royal Air Force
Born in London, England on 2 September 1918 to a regular soldier, it was always likely that Bob would end up in the services, though the way that came about was typical of his sense of duty and humility. Bob was the eldest of 4 children, and, as was typical of the time, he left school as soon as he could to bring money into his relatively poor family. Bob's father's health had been damaged by his wartime service and with the depression in full swing, the money Bob earned as a telegraph boy failed to supplement the family income enough to keep food on the table all of the time. In March 1938, at the age of 19, Bob enlisted in the RAF so that there would be one less mouth to feed at home. With the approaching war, Bob applied to be an air gunner, but colour-blindness ruled him out of a flight crew role. He was assigned to barrage balloon operations which eventually took him to Clydeside. While buying milk one morning at the local dairy, Bob met the love of his life – Janet. Whether it was wartime pressure or some never-to-be-seen-again impetuosity, Bob quickly declared his intention to marry Janet. On 2 June, 1941, Bob and Janet began the start of a long and happy partnership that lasted until Janet's passing in Dunedin in May 2005.
Bob's RAF service took him back to south-east England where he was re-assigned to Fighter Command as an engine fitter on Spitfires and Hurricanes. The same role took him to India and on returning to England in November 1945, Bob retired from the RAF. In India, playing football and singing in the RAF Choir were things which helped Bob bear the separation from his family. His love of singing and active involvement with the church wherever they moved helped Bob and Janet to make friends and become part of the community.
When they emigrated to NZ to join their son, Ken, Bob and Janet were in their 70's. The Dunedin RSA Choir became an integral part of Bob's life until his retirement in 2007. Bob's enduring love for Janet prompted him to persuade the writer of 'The Wonder of You' to allow the RSA Choir to add his arrangement to its repertoire – the Choir's first performance of this song was dedicated to the memory of Janet Hadley. Bob spent his last few years at Ross Home, and passed away on 29 March 2015.
Robert Noel Angus 1929 – 2014 RNZAF L/Cpl 77665
Choir Member 1996 – 2012
Noel was born in Gabriel's Gully on March 13 1929. He attended primary school in Lawrence – his daily travel started with a 3km walk to Evans Flat where he hitched a ride on a truck to Lawrence. In 1942, the family moved to the suburb of Wakari in Dunedin with Noel attending Holy Name School and Christian Brothers High School. Noel left school at the end of Form 5 and worked at the clothing warehouse of James Dunlap & Co before joining the Post and Telegraph Department. Noel then joined the Income Tax Department as an assessment clerk before joining the RNZAF in 1954. Noel served for 14 years, 2 of which were spent in Singapore, and on his return to Dunedin, he worked in various administrative roles as well as owning a dairy near Forbury Corner.
In September 1954, Noel and Helen Childs were married at St Mary's Catholic Church in Kaikorai. Noel and Helen had 3 children – Carl, Paul and Suzanne –and the family grew with the arrival of 8 grandchildren.
Noel was a dedicated parishioner at St Mary's Church, and he was the ideal person to work on the book that was published to mark the centenary of St Mary's.
Noel's strong faith was the main reason for being an advocate for consumer rights. After his retirement, Noel volunteered at the Dunedin Citizens Advice Bureau for 15 years.
He was made a Life Member of the Dunedin CAB in recognition of the significant contribution that he had made promoting and fighting for consumer rights.
In retirement, Noel joined the 1st bass section of the Dunedin RSA Choir and his loyal support and contributions were very much appreciated.
Noel passed away on May 22 2014 and he will be remembered by the members of the Choir as a quiet gentleman who had a sharp mind and a fierce determination to assist those consumers who experienced difficulties in the world of commerce.
Douglas (Doug) Milne 1930 – 2010
Doug passed away in Mosgiel on September 29th. A stalwart of our choir in the 1980's & 90's, Doug willingly shouldered the tasks of choir treasurer and subscriber secretary.
He played a prominent role as a Customs Broker in Dunedin. Doug was a superb all-rounder sportsman becoming an original "Silver Fern" and had the distinction of being the first New Zealand athlete to high-jump 6 feet. He gave a lifetime of support to the Caledonian Society.
We extend our love to Nancy and the families.
Alexander (Lex) Colin MacDonald 1917 – 2010
Lex was born in Dunedin on April 1917.He began his singing career at the age of 6 and already at that stage his voice stood out. His first recital was in October 1930 in the Concert Chamber of the Dunedin Town Hall, followed by several other performances and a trip to Sydney where Lex had several recordings made with Columbia Studios. Lex was a member of the Dunedin Cathedral Choir for 15 years and a member of the RSA choir for 26 years. During that time he sang solo parts in many of the Choirs' concerts.
Lex worked for most of his life with The National Mortgage Company and eventually was their Trading Manager in charge of Imports and Exports. He loved his sports! He played tennis in his youth and golf right through his adult life only stopping at 81.
Lex will be missed and remembered by all who knew him.
Hector Matheson Martin
Hec Martin was born in Dunedin on March 12th 1923. His father worked for the Ministry of Works and they spent time near Balclutha before moving to the North Taieri area. Hec then moved to the Glendining Home in Waverley where he was to stay for at least 10 years. He went to Andersons Bay school with many others from the Home and he considered that they were better off than some of the other children at the school.
When Hec was 15, he was apprenticed to the Love Construction Company and shortly after, he left the Home to live with his mother in Mosgiel. In 1939, Hec was apprenticed as a painter and he was sent to paint the newly-constructed buildings at the Taieri Aerodrome.
During this time, the Mosgiel Brass Band was aligned with the Otago Mounted Rifles and young Hec was recruited as a trumpeter to sound the calls for the Unit. During this time, war was declared and Hec found himself in the Unit. He was underage but the regimental clerk adjusted his age accordingly. Hec was sent to Tonga and in 1942 he was sent to Egypt with the 11th Reinforcements. Hec was then involved in the Italian campaign, ending up in Trieste. Hec came home from the war, got married and established a family. In 1988, Hec joined the RSA Choir which he enjoyed very much until 2004 when his health prevented him from participating. During this time, Hec was noted for having a true and accurately pitched voice and he was a valuable member of the 2nd tenor section. Hec was also in charge of providing supper for a number of years.
Kenneth Hamilton Munro 1920–2008 124979 Lieut 26 Btn
Ken was born on the 18th of April 1920 and died on the 15th of October 2008. He was educated at North East Valley primary school and Otago Boys High School. Ken worked at Williamson Jeffery stationers and his career there spanned more than 40 years. At Wiljef he made his way up through the ranks eventually becoming the branch manager and made many lifelong friends.
An important part of Ken's life was his war service. He joined the army and was initially involved as a trainer for the army at Burnham. He saw active service in Italy throughout 1944 and 45 then after the war in Europe ended he remained to assist with organising the repatriation of New Zealand troops, and returned to New Zealand in 1946. He married his wife Moira and together they had eight children and now have a large extended family including 21 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Upon his retirement from Wiljef Ken took a part time job at the South Dunedin branch of the Otago Savings Bank managing their stationary and printing. The RSA choir benefitted from Ken's expertise in this area as he took charge of publicity and programmes for 16 years.
Throughout Ken's life he was involved in many sporting activities including tennis, golf, cricket and bowls. He held many administrative and support positions within these clubs over the years. One of Ken's very long term interests was his involvement in the RSA choir. He joined in 1947 and was an active member for over 50 years. During this time he sang many solos and his family learnt a lot of songs people their age didn't usually know due to his impromptu practices in the bathroom every morning! Over the years Ken held many positions within the choir including President, Chairman and Committee member and in 1977 was honoured with a life membership. Having the choir perform at Ken's funeral was a fitting tribute to a man who loved to sing.
Ken will be missed and remembered by all who knew him, especially his family.
COMMANDER JOHN A PERRY QSM, VRD, RNZNVR
CHOIR MEMBER 2000 - 2007
At the time of his sudden passing late last year, John was carrying out the valuable roles of Chair Treasurer and Subscription Secretary.
John was born in Dunedin, gained qualifications in Commerce and Accountancy and from 1974-96 practised professionally on his own account. He loved Dunedin and gave a lifetime of commitment and service to at least 25 organisations. These included the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, Scouting, Dunedin Citizens Association, Amenities Society, Otago Early Settlers Association, John McGlashan Old Boys, Rugby and Geneaology. John also had a wide ranging involvement with bowls as a player, administrator and forward planner.
John was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for public service in 2005. He is survived by his wife Virginia and children, Stephen, Barbara, William, James and Richard.
280054 L/CPL RONALD EDWARD SHRUBSOLE 5TH LAFV, OMR
CHOIR MEMBER 1991 RESIGNED 2003
Ron was born in England in 1921 and came to New Zealand as a seven year old. Ron and Vi met while both were working at Donaghys in South Dunedin. A life long love of music began at Caversham Primary School and led into drumming, singing, dance bands, Musicians Club and M.C. responsibilities.
Ron's broad range of interests outside of family and work included Tin Hat Club, Commercial Travellers' Club, Freemasons, fishing, duck shooting, camping and whitebaiting. He was a past president of Dunedin RSA and served on the Montecillo Veteran's Home Welfare Committee.
Vi passed away a few months after their Golden Wedding in 2002. They are survived by their daughter Wendy.
James Barrymore ( Barry ) Hellyer 1927 - 2013
Choir Member 2005 – 2011
Born in Macandrew Bay, Barry attended North East Harbour School and excelled at sports. Barry attended OBH. There he won athletic events and fives competitions and continued playng rugby. After high school, Barry worked on the family farm, enjoying ploughing paddocks with a team of draught horses and building stone walls, many of which still remain in good condition. His rugby career ended at 20 when he sustained a serious knee injury.
Saturday nights were spent at the dances at the St Kilda Town Hall, where he met his future wife, Beverley Healey. They were married in February 1952, and with farming in his blood, they bought a home and farmland in Macandrew Bay. Two daughters, Sharyn and Glenda, were welcomed into the family. Barry played tennis for the Macandrew Bay club, winning Otago titles and representing Otago in tournaments. For many years, Barry attended the Agricultural Shows at Portobello, Milton and Taieri, showing livestock and vegetables. Barry and Bev enjoyed singing – at 16 he had a year's singing lessons showing accurate pitch and a resounding tone. They performed in many shows and talent quests, often providing entertainment at functions. Later, Glenda ( vocals ) and Sharyn ( accompanist ) also became involved. Barry's life-long love of music saw him a long-standing member of the Macandrew Bay Orphans & Entertainers Club, a member of the Dunedin Orphans Club and the RSA Choir. Here he sang as a 1st bass.
Barry spent most of his life on the Peninsula, farming and working the land. In 2010, he retired to Mosgiel but health issues required spending the last 6 months of his life in St Andrews Home and Hospital. He enjoyed good company and lively conversation, and is remembered for his sense of humour and his cheerful manner. The Choir extends to Bev, Sharyn and Glenda its deepest sympathy.
Lyell David ( Bill ) Lawrence 24/7/1926 – 3/8/2012
Choir Member: 1963 – 2012 ( 50 years )
Bill's decline in health, and passing, has been a significant loss to the RSA Choir. Bill was a strong and confident first tenor and his love for singing showed as a soloist for the Choir and other groups.
Bill was born in 1926 in Outram where his father was a guard on trains from Outram to Allanton and Mosgiel. His schooling began in Outram before the family moved to Speights Terrace near the brewery. The rest of his schooling was at Christian Brothers until he was 15, when he began 40 years of employment at Hillside Workshops. Hillside had a large staff and supported a good choir in which Bill sang.
In 1950, Bill married Joyce Roughan who supported Bill in his singing. Bill and Joyce had 3 children– Sharon, Bill and Raewyn. In 1993, Bill lost Joyce after 43 years of marriage. Bill later married Audrey Couch who shared his interest in music, and they were members of a small singing group that entertained in rest homes. Bill played rugby for the Dunedin Rugby Club for many years, playing one game for Otago in 1950. Bill coached the Otago team in 1972 and after each match, Joyce would wash the jerseys at home herself. That was the year Otago defeated Australia 26 – 0. Bill was an Otago selector from 1972-1977.
The RSA Choir members extend their sympathy to Audrey and to Bill's family.
Frederick Barry Flavall 1936 – 2015 RNZAF
Choir Member 2013 – 2014
Margaret, his wife-to-be, invited Barry to the RSA Choir's concert in the Dunedin Town Hall on ANZAC Day 2013. Barry loved music and was so moved by the Choir's performance that he joined its ranks shortly after. Barry loved his time with the Choir, even though this time was sadly interrupted by times of serious illness from which he died on 17 January 2015.
Barry was born on 17 October 1936 and was raised in Feilding. After retiring, Barry and his late wife, Marie, moved to Outram to be near their daughter Lianne. Unfortunately, it was here that Barry lost his wife and the mother of their 2 children.
Barry's life before retirement had been full of action. At the age of 17, Barry joined the RNZAF where he found his niche and was flying De Haviland and Venom jets when only 18. Barry later became an instructor with 75 Squadron at the Central Flying School. Barry was awarded the Queen's Commendation in 1963 and retired from the RNZAF in 1965. In 1966, Barry joined Air New Zealand, serving initially as a first officer, and later, as a captain in charge of international aircraft. Barry described his aviation career ( 12 years in the RNZAF and 25 years with Air New Zealand ) as living out a 'Boy's Own Annual' dream.
Barry found happiness again with his second wife, Margaret, with whom he shared a strong Christian faith. Barry was blessed with a dry sense of humour which entertained his 3 Mosgiel travelling companions in the car on the way to, and from, practice. Barry's time with the RSA Choir was sadly brief, but filled with enthusiasm.
The Choir offers its condolences to Margaret, and to Barry's family.
Gainor Earle Blackman 1922 – 2013 RNZAF
Choir Member 1953 – 2012
Born into a musical family in Dunedin in 1922, Gainor was the youngest of nine children. His father Percy James Blackman, (known professionally as Percy James), was a versatile stage performer, managing New Zealand tours for such luminaries as Nellie Melba and John Philip Sousa. His mother was an accomplished pianist who played for the silent movies. Gainor grew up in Dunedin and Nelson. In World War 2 he did pilot training at Taieri, and later in Canada. He was sent to Green Island (between Rabaul and Bougainville) seeing active service in the war's final year. He loved flying and in later years he was Club Captain of the Croydon Aviation Heritage Trust at Mandeville.
Returning from the war, Gainor married Mavis Kinross in 1946, and they had five children: Helen, Margaret, Ross, Judith and Allan. Gainor worked at Fur Dressers and Dyers for nearly 30 years, before becoming the Otago/Southland organiser of the Braille Week collection. Mavis died in 1986 and Gainor remained home (Blake Street, Halfway Bush) until a month before his death on April 23rd 2013.
Gainor joined the RSA Choir in 1953 singing as a second tenor. He eventually served in all the offices of the Choir and appeared in nearly every concert until ill health intervened in 2012. Personal highlights included solos for the Governor General and Lady Freyberg and Choir trips to Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra and throughout Otago and Southland. A favourite memory was of a Seacliff Mental Hospital concert where the curtain went up on the Choir to absolutely no audience: the Salvation Army Band, who had played prior, was thought to be the final act! Gainor got the Choir outfitted in red socks during an America's Cup regatta, in which his son Ross was heavily involved.
Son Allan scattered some of Gainor's ashes at Gallipoli, with the remainder to be placed with those of Mavis at Gibbston. The Choir extends its deepest sympathy to Helen, Margaret, Ross, Judith and Allan.
Kenneth Wallace Clark 1919 – 2013; 12836, Captain 23rd Battalion 2NZEF
Choir Member: 1986 – 2009
Ken was born in Wellington in March 1919 and the family shifted to Dunedin later in the year. Ken went to Musselburgh School followed by one year at OBHS before going to work at the age of 13.
He started work as a grocery assistant and because he was a thrifty fellow, 18 year-old Ken was able to buy his first car – a 1930 Model A Ford – in 1937. Ken was a keen sportsman, running with the St Kilda Harrier Club and playing rugby for Pirates. In May 1940, Ken entered Burnham Military Camp, and in September 1940, he boarded the 'Orcades' with the 26th Battalion and sailed to Egypt. Ken became part of the NZ Division that travelled to Greece but the 46-day campaign ended with a rapid retreat back to Egypt. After undergoing officer training, Ken was posted to the 23rd Battalion and was involved in the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. Ken was hit in the chest by a piece of shrapnel – it was fortunate that the wallet in his jacket pocket prevented any serious injury. At Takrouna in Tunisia in 1943, Ken was again wounded when he triggered a booby trap that damaged his right foot and left leg. Fortunately, the metal pieces were removed from his wounds without any serious lasting damage. Ken was then involved in the Italian campaign before returning to NZ in October 1944.
While in Italy, Ken had been writing to Patti Norris, the young lady who lived next door. They were married in the Musselburgh Presbyterian Church on April 28th 1945. Ken and Patti had 2 children – Allan and Verena – and in the passing years, 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandsons have been welcomed into the family.
On his return to Dunedin, Ken worked at McCracken's Grocery in Caversham before taking over a grocery store in Queen's Drive in 1953. 20 years later, Ken sold his 4 Square shop but he remained in the grocery trade, working for Foodstuffs until he retired in 1981.
Over the years, Ken held significant positions in 3 organisations that meant a lot to him: 1. Clerk of Works at the Musselburgh Presbyterian Church. 2. President of the St Kilda Bowling Club when the indoor bowls facility was built. 3. Treasurer of the Dunedin RSA Choir – and to recognise the valuable contribution that Ken made, he was made a Life-Member of the Choir.
Other interests included maintaining an excellent vegetable garden; renovating houses; driving for Meals on Wheels; keeping up with current affairs and sporting events, particularly bowls and rugby; and of course, spending quality time with his family.
Ken was a true gentleman, a man of high principles and a man who endeavoured to treat people fairly at all times. Ken will be remembered for his sense of humour, his ready smile, the sparkle in his eyes and his positive approach to life.
The RSA Choir members extend their deepest sympathy to Patti and the family.
Leith Ernest Mowat 1922 – 2013 - 444659 Sergeant 3rd & 6th Field Regiment, NZ Army
Choir Member : 1965 – 2012
Leith was born in Dunedin and attended North East Valley School and OBHS as well as completing studies at King Edward Technical College or 'night tech'. Leith was called up in the first ballot of 18 year-olds in 1941 and became a gunner in the 3rd Field Regiment. In late 1943, Leith was sent to Egypt , and then onto Italy with the 6th Field Regiment as an anti-tank gunner. On his return to NZ, Leith joined the Territorials, serving as a Warrant Officer for a further 19 years.
Leith began work as an apprentice compositor at Whitcombe & Tombs in 1938, completing his apprenticeship on his return from war service. Leith also worked as a linotype operator at the Otago Daily Times, Stantons, Whitcombe & Tombs and Coulls Somerville Wilkie. Leith retired from his position as a photoset operator at Whitcoulls Print Pack in 1986.
Leith married Marjorie ( Marj ) Munro in 1951 and 4 children – Sharon, Kathryn, David and Fiona – were welcomed into their family.
Throughout his life, Leith was an active sportsman, playing rugby for Alambra before the war. Unfortunately, Leith damaged his back playing for Alambra soon after returning from Italy and he then joined the Leith Harriers Club. Two years later, Leith decided to return to rugby and played for Union. He also played soccer, tennis and basketball, appearing on court for the last time at 48 years of age. Recreational interests included swimming and tramping while in retirement, Leith was a keen golfer, playing at the Island Park course. Leith enjoyed working in his garden, and singing in the 1st tenor section of the Choir. His long and loyal service was recognised when he was made a Life-Member of the Choir a number of years ago.
Many of us will remember Leith as a fine fellow - a true gentleman - and we extend our sympathy to Sharon, Kathryn, David and Fiona and their families.
Leslie Albert ( Les ) Goatham 2/5/1935 – 25/7/2012 Royal New Zealand Navy – awarded the NZDSM
Choir Member: 2001 – 2012
Les was a local lad, educated at Caversham School, Macandrew Intermediate and King Edward Technical College. He completed an automotive apprenticeship and then moved into appliance servicing – his skills in this area were greatly valued.
Shortly after joining the Choir as a 2nd tenor, Les willingly took on the crucial position of Almoner. Les excelled in this role. He knew whenever a Choir member was unwell and invariably had a 'get well' card awaiting 60 signatures as we trooped in on a Wednesday practice night. Les maintained the Choir roll, keeping our President and Chairman fully informed of significant birthdays and anniversaries. Hospital visits, setting out the chairs each Wednesday night, acting as Deputy Choir Controller as required, and never missing a member's birthday – Les embodied the ethos of the RSA Choir : equality, loyalty and a thoughtful friend to all.
Like all Choir members, Les loved to sing. He had a fine tenor voice and his extensive involvement with operatic productions was often drawn upon by our concert producers. In 2005, Les was honoured with a Merit Award from Musical Theatre New Zealand. The Regent Theatre-Otago Theatre Trust also benefitted from Les' enthusiasm and he was rightly proud of his many years service as a volunteer.
Les had a very special place in the heart of every Choir member, and our deepest sympathy is extended to Sue and the family.
Lindsay Watson McGavin 1925 – 2013 - Royal New Zealand Navy
Choir Member 1947 – 2013
Lindsay was born in Dunedin and attended High Street School and OBHS. On leaving school, he was employed by Sargood Sons & Ewing, and he joined the Dunedin Naval Volunteer Reserve. Lindsay was a keen sportsman with major interests in rugby and swimming.
In 1942, Lindsay joined the Navy and served overseas as a signalman. Post-war, Lindsay trained and worked as a carpenter until 1952. He then entered Dunedin Teachers College to complete the 'pressure cooker course' for older students. Posts at Mornington School, Tokoiti School and Milton District High School followed and he was appointed principal first at Little Akaloa and later at Henley, Paroa, Clinton and Lawrence Area School. Lindsay had an special interest in school music and was a strong supporter of NZEI where he was made an Associate. He retired in 1985.
In 1953 Lindsay married Nyra Ford and they welcomed 4 sons into their family: Bruce, Donald, Robert and Keith.
Lindsay's interests included golf, bowls at the Kaikorai club and ardently supporting Otago rugby teams. While in Lawrence, Lindsay was Master of the St John Lodge. Lindsay joined the 2nd tenor section of the RSA Choir in 1947. Although his service was broken by teaching appointments out of Dunedin, he still served on the Committee and a term as Chairman. His fine contributions were acknowledged when he was made a Life Member of the Choir.
Lindsay was pleased to join the Choir for the last song of the 2013 ANZAC Revue and it was fitting that he was able to proudly wear his new scarlet jacket as he was instrumental in getting the Committee to start the Uniform Project.
Lindsay died peacefully at the Otago Community Hospice on June 30th 2013. The Choir extends to Nyra, Bruce, Don, Rob and Keith its deepest sympathy
Mervyn James Moyle. NZDSM – CMT. 1932 –2013
Choir member 2001 – 2013
Mervyn joined the choir in 2001 and strongly supported all our activities. He sang with the second tenors.
Born and educated in Lawrence, he had an especially strong interest in all forms of sport from his earliest days. In Dunedin he played rugby with Southern; tennis for the Macandrew Bay Club; inter-house basketball and in retirement golf at Chisholm Park.
Mervyn began a butchery apprenticeship in his home town, completing his training after moving to Dunedin in 1950. Over a period of more than 50 years Mervyn worked for three of the city's largest meat retailers. Specialising in small-goods, on one occasion he had the distinction of making the world's largest Haggis!Supporting his family, Mervyn quietly gave half a century of 'behind-thescenes' assistance to youth groups, Dunedin School of Ballet and the Competitions Society.
A very proficient gardener all his married life, Mervyn was justly proud of his contributions to the dinner table. Mervyn had a strongly committed association with the South Dunedin Baptist Church and it was there that he met and married Eleanor. The couple shared a passion for music and singing. Eleanor conducts the Dunedin Red Cross Choir who are often our concert guest artists.
Mervyn is survived by his wife, son, two daughters and the grandchildren.
Neville Millard Brown 1922 – 2013 - 442890 Private, Base Band – NZ Army
Choir Member 1963 – 2009
Neville was born in Dunedin in 1922 where parents, Cliff and Nelle Brown, were active members of the Salvation Army. Neville had a brother, Lindsay and a sister, Beverly. He attended Musselburgh School and King Edward Technical College. At age 11 he commenced the flugelhorn in the Salvation Army Band and later played in the KETC Orchestra.
Neville began work with his father at Clifford Brown's Cycles in 1936 and at 14 needed a special dispensation to ride motorbikes around town. He eventually took over the leadership of the bike shop where selling Vespas and Vespa Club involvement gave much enjoyment. He was active in the Otago Cycle Traders Association (and later a life member of the NZCTA), the Stuart Street Business Association, and a Rotarian for 20 years. Neville retired after 48 years with the family firm, by then renamed 'Brown's for Bikes'.
At 18 he joined the army. He was based at Burnham and Hororata for 2 years, training as a driver for the artillery. He became the camp bugler and a dispatch rider. At 21, he was sent to Egypt, becoming part of the entertainment support for the troops there.
Neville and Lorna met before the war and married in 1946. In Neville's words, "we had a wonderful life together". They had 5 children: Janice, Carol, Howard, Tony and Susan. Neville served on kindergarten and school committees He and Lorna were active members of the St Andrew Street Church of Christ, and leading members of the choir.
Neville was a skilled rugby winger, enjoyed golf, and was an accomplished table tennis player being an Otago champion and representative. He enjoyed supporting his children, and later, his grandchildren, in their sporting endeavours.
Neville became a first tenor in the RSA Choir in 1963 and was Deputy Conductor for many years, gaining Life Membership in recognition of his valuable service. Neville always set himself high standards and in his dealings with people was always friendly and polite. He had a sense of humour, especially when facing challenges. A true gentleman and loyal friend, he passed away at the MontecilloVeterans Home on August 7th 2013.The Choir extends its deepest sympathy to Carol, Howard, Tony, Sue and their families.
Peter Charles Harris 3/12/1930 – 2/9/2012 - Royal Air Force
Choir Member: 2004 – 2011
Peter was born in the base hospital of RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire, England and spent his boyhood in the nearby village of Wendover. His interests included singing in the church choir and football, with Peter becoming an Arsenal supporter.
At 15, Peter joined the RAF, graduating with credit in 1950 as an aircraft radio technician. Peter spent time in the UK, the USA and West Germany before being posted to RAF Locking near Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset as an instructor at the Apprentice Training School. While stationed at RAF Locking, Peter met his wife-to-be, Penny, and they were married in August 1958. Soon after the birth of their only child, Helen, Peter was posted to Cyprus and the family moved to Episkopi. At the end of this tour, Peter was posted to RAF Watton in Norfolk where the family bought their first home. Peter was able to pursue his life-long interest in gardening as well as taking up bowls. Further postings around the UK, to Germany and to Cyprus followed before Peter retired in 1980, having served in the RAF for 35 years. Never one to be idle, Peter became a postman in Watton and a lab technician at the local high school before retiring in 1994. During this time, Peter joined the Wyndham Choral Society as a tenor.
Helen and her family emigrated to NZ in 1999 and when Penny passed away in 2002, Peter decided to join his family, arriving in Dunedin in December 2003.
Peter greatly enjoyed family life on the Peninsula and created wonderful vegetable gardens for the family. Peter joined the 1st tenor section of the RSA Choir in 2004 as well as joining the Portobello Bowling Club - he enjoyed the friendship and the camaraderie provided by both organisations. When Peter was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia shortly after arriving in NZ, the treatment and outstanding health-care that he received provided several years of remission. Unfortunately, Peter's health began to fail and the last 14 months of his life were spent in the excellent care of the staff of the Montecillo Veteran's Home.
The RSA Choir members extend their sympathy to Helen, Shaun, Tom and Ellie.
Peter Rowlands 2/11/1929 – 3/12/2011 - British Army
Choir member: 2002 – 2010
Peter was educated in Bournemouth, England, at the Talbot Village Primary School and the East Howe Secondary School. Peter enlisted in the British Army in mid-January 1948, receiving his basic infantry training in the Royal Hampshire Regiment in Winchester. Peter then transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps and was posted to Yorkshire where he trained on Comet and Cromwell tanks. Peter then joined the Fourth Queens Own Hussars and was based at the Colchester Barracks before undertaking a tour of duty in Malaya.
Peter returned to the UK in December 1951, being stationed in Tidworth, Salisbury, and in Wales, before being demobbed from the Tidworth Barracks in May 1953. While in Dunedin, Peter worked as a Departmental Manager at Arthur Barnett before retiring in November 1989.
Peter married Beverley Petrie in October 1966 and they raised 3 children – Justin, Andrina and Rachel.
Music and Scouting were Peter's major interests. He enjoyed singing in the St Johns Church Choir and was a member of the Operatic Society, taking part in many shows and later helping backstage. Peter joined the first tenor section of the RSA Choir in June 2002, while in Scouting, he was a member of the Baden Powell Guild.
Peter passed away in December 2011 in Dunedin, and he will be remembered by those who knew him as a fine, quiet-natured gentleman.
Ronald George Young MB ChB 1931 – 2012
Choir Member 2011
Ron was brought up, and went to school, on the Taieri. On leaving school, Ron worked in a bank, but later studied at the Medical School at the University of Otago and graduated as a doctor. Ron chose to be a general practitioner, and he was devoted to his patients, both in New Zealand and overseas.
When Ron retired, he returned to the Taieri, and having an interest in singing, he joined the 1st tenor section of the Choir at the start of 2011. Unfortunately, illness prevented him from continuing with his involvement in the Choir in 2012, and he passed away on December 19th 2012. Ron had a warm and friendly personality, and his presence in the Choir is missed.
The Choir extends its deepest sympathy to his wife Kay and the members of her family.
James David Sumpter 1933 – 2015
Choir Member 2001 – 2013
David was born in Milton on 21st March 1933, and he attended Milton School. David's secondary education took place at Waitaki Boys High School in Oamaru. As a boarder in the large hostel - 300 boys from all over New Zealand - David found the environment vigorous and exciting. In his final year, David was a school and hostel prefect. There were only 10 prefects for the hostel and they had a lot of responsibility, so it was a crash course in leadership.
Singing was strong at WBHS and was recognised on National Radio with a programme called 'Waitaki Sings'. David's singing developed in Waitaki choirs so that when he went to Otago University to study law, it was no surprise to find him in the irreverent 'Sextet' which was the backbone of the large capping concerts each year. David went from university to his 3 years of CMT, being part of the 4th intake into the army.
With his law degree completed, David joined the law firm in Milton in which his father was a partner, and he spent his working life serving the community in that role until he retired in 1996. As a local Rotarian, his value was recognised when David was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship.
David married Elizabeth ( Liz ) in 1977 and they had 4 sons, but sadly lost Mark to cancer earlier this year. His mother's family had an established country house and a large garden/bush area at Doctor's Point, and this became David's base for his interest in gardening, especially rhododendrons. His work with them over many years led to David becoming the National President of the NZ Rhododendron Association, and later being awarded Life Membership of the Association.
In 2001, David joined the Dunedin RSA Choir first bass section where his lovely baritone voice was an asset to the Choir. He soon started showing his love for the Choir by taking on the job of librarian, perhaps one of the most thankless jobs in the Choir, but he brought his own style to the job with a combination of resigned patience and sarcasm. When the Choir made the decision to have its own 'in house' concert producer, David became our first producer and carried out that huge task for 3 years until health problems intervened.
David is fondly remembered by his Choir friends, particularly at daffodil time when he would bring many bunches of daffodils to be sold for Choir funds.
Liz, we mourn with you and your family. Thank you for supporting David so strongly during his valued time in the Choir.
Choir Member 1999 – 2015
Graeme was born in Christchurch on 1st June 1929 and for his first 15 years, he was the youngest of three children until foster sister Mary joined the family.
Graeme attended Shirley Primary and Shirley Intermediate Schools, and Christchurch Boys High School. On leaving school, Graeme worked as a carpenter with his father building houses. However, the repetition of the same plans got to him, and in 1960 he trained as a woodwork teacher at Christchurch Teachers' College. In January 1955, Graeme and his 'first' wife Ruth were married - Martin, then Melanie, then Jonathan, then Gini duly arrived.
Graeme began teaching at Christchurch Technical College, training building apprentices. Teaching opportunities then arose in Putaruru (6 years) and in Murupara (2 years) before the family moved to Dunedin so that Graeme could teach at Otago Boys High School (15 years). At OBHS, Graeme established the technical department, ensuring that art, technical drawing, woodwork and metalwork would be exam rather than hobby subjects.
At only 58, Graeme, known as Wombat to the boys at OBHS, retired from teaching as he recognised the stress term time was causing him. His advice to colleagues approaching retirement came from personal experience : "retire two years before you think you can afford to."In his retirement, Graeme's woodwork lathe gave him much pleasure, and he was able to turn out interesting items such as baby's rattles and supermarket bag holders. Swimming at Moana Pool, singing and lip reading were just some of the other things that kept him busy.
Graeme was actively involved in Baptist churches wherever he lived, spending his last 15 years as a valued member of the Caversham Baptist Church. At various times, Graeme served as an elder, a player of indoor bowls, and as the Voice of God - whenever a voice was needed for God, there was only one choice!
Graeme joined the second bass section of the Dunedin RSA Choir in 1999, and was presented with his 15 year Service Award at the concert in August 2015. Graeme was always cheerful and chatty, and his valued contribution to the Choir through his loyal service and support was greatly appreciated.
The Choir offers its deepest sympathy to Ruth, and the members of Graeme's family.