behalf of the family of THOMAS GEORGE BERNARD DECLAN REYNOLDS, affectionately
known as Tony, I would like to thank each and every one of you for attending here
today, 2nd January, 2004, to celebrate his life.
name is Lesley Bawden and I am the funeral celebrant.
service is to be a service of thanksgiving to celebrate Tony's life, so be prepared
to smile a little as well as cry a little. Funerals are definitely a time for
grieving and to express our loss through tears, but they are also times to remember
some wonderfully happy occasions, and it is alright to smile as well. I think
today there will be some memories for both.
the conclusion of today's service, the family extends to you all, an invitation
to join with them for refreshments here at Le Pine, Mordialloc, with the opportunity
to exchange reminiscenses and memories about Tony.
you missed signing the memorial book on entering the chapel today, please do so
before leaving, as it is the only record that the family has of your attendace
and it is impossible for them to remember you all during this time of grief.
we are paying our last respects to a real Irish gentleman who was immensely popular
because he was always sunny and such fun to be around. Tony left very strict instructions
today about how he wished his funeral to be conducted and we are honouring his
wishes as far as possible, except for his wish that today's service be just five
minutes long! He left a brief eulogy of his achievements and I would like to read
them to you for this is how he would like to be remembered.
was born Thomas George Bernard Declan Reynolds in the "crystal" city
of Waterford, Ireland, on 12th February, 1926. He attended the local school at
De La Salle College in Ireland.
leaving the army in 1945 he went to live in England where he met Joan, his first
wife, and they had two sons, Kevin and Paul. Tony and Joan lived for the next
fourteen years in England before the family emigrated to Australia. Here they
settled in Eildon where Tony was to remain for the next thirteen years.
this time he was well considered in the community and was a Councillor for eight
years. Among his other Eildon accomplishments, of which there were many, included
being President of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Public Service Association,
Secretary of the Progress Association and Public Relations Officer for the Ministry
for Conservation at the trout hatchery, better known as the State Fish Hatchery.
During his time with the Ministry he continued with further study and gained a
diploma in Public Relations and Salesmanship.
his time at the fish hatchery, Tony was acting as a tourist guide and there he
espied Beryl, who was holidaying near Eildon with her daughter, Karen. He pursued
her around the guided tour and then accompanied them back to their car, with Karen
aware that this was over and above the usual duties of a guide, even though Beryl
didn't notice at the time! Tony's courtship continued and was successful, with
he and Beryl marrying in 1975.
Tony came to live in Aspendale with Beryl, he worked for Educational Supplies
for 11 years. During these years he continued to maintain his wonderful community
ethic of assisting others as a volunteer. He was a well-known volunteer at Yarrabah
Special Developmental School for over 13 years, assisting the children with disabilities.
of you here today would be familiar with some of Tony's idiosyncracies. We all
have them, and they make us the individuals that we are. His included his cheerful
greeting whenever you met, with his "Top o' the morning to you." The
other would be his predictable answering of the phone which was always done with,
Toastmasters Organisation was one with which Tony was closely involved, winning
Toastmaster of the Year at the Mentone Toastmasters in 1990. Perhaps the greatest
accolade which Tony received for his community work was when he received an award
from Kingston Council for voluntary service and when he was awarded a Certificate
of Appreciation from the State Goverment of Victoria for voluntary service to
was also very much involved with the Freemason's movement, and we will hear from
a fellow member during a short Masonic tribute later in our service today.
has had a very happy life from the time he was in Australia. He was known to most
people as a perfect gentleman and many of you will remember his enjoying whatever
came his way with a whistle or a song. He loved to sing and was a dab hand at
most of the Irish songs of his childhood. He returned to Ireland in 1990, visiting
relatives and enjoying his homeland. Also, he and Beryl travelled when she retired,
enjoying a wonderful trip around New Zealand.
a sportsman Tony loved his golf, playing once a week with his dear friends. He
also loved his football, being a one-eyed Hawks supporter and he attended their
games every week for many years with his granddaughter.
Reynolds has lived his life fully, to the best of his ability, assisting others
whenever possible and will be sadly missed by you all, for he was special.
first reading today is titled "Cry Not For Me", and if Tony was able
to speak to us now, the following words may well have been those he would have
chosen to say:
not for me,
I have no pain in leaving.
not visit my grave,
For I no longer exist there.
am in the air that you breathe,
I am in the sun that warms you,
am in the rain that fills your springs,
I am in the heaven that you dream of,
You and I.
I shall always step with you.
to me often,
I shall always hear you.
me your love,
I shall always feel you.
in your heart
I will be with you every day.
until we meet again: Be Happy!
us now take this opportunity in the service to gather your thoughts and memories
as you reflect on Tony's life and the times you shared with him. For the believers
amongst us, it is a time for silent prayer, whilst for the others, it is a time
to make memories to take with us today and sustain us in the future as you remember
Tony. We will not listen to music at this time, for Tony was adamant that we not
break the service in sons - instead let us enjoy a moment of quiet.
feel free to join in with me as I read the well known scripture reading of the
23rd Psalm, The Lord is my Shepherd. I will be reading the old St.James version,
but if you feel more familiar with a more modern version, feel free to say the
one with which you feel most comfortable.
Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
leadeth me beside the still waters
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in
the paths of righteousness for His name's sake
Yeah, though I walk through
the valley of the sahdow of death
I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me
rod and Thy staff they comfort me
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence
of my enemies
Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over
goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell
in the house of the Lord forever.
SERVICE: DENNIS COLAM
Tony was very involved with the Freemason's Society, it gives me great pleasure
to call upon fellow Mason, Dennis Colam, to lead us in a Masonic service now.
final reading has been chosen especially for Tony by his family. It is titled
"Moving On" and brings us all strength at times such as these.
can shed tears that he's gone
Or you can smile because he lived.
can close your eyes and pray he'll come back,
Or you can open your eyes and
see all that he's left you.
heart can be empty because you can't see him,
Or you can be full of the love
can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for
tomorrow because of yesterday.
can remember him and only that he's gone,
Or you can cherish his memory and
let it live on.
can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what
he'd want - Smile, open your eyes, live, and go on.
proud of his children and loved spending time with them and telling his favourite
jokes. To tell us a little of Tony as a father, let's hear finally from his son,
the things that Tony had that didn't get passed down to me was the ability to
pick any subject - or talk to people for hours, so this won't be long today, and
it works in with what he wanted.
personally, on my behalf and Tony's family here today, I'd like to thank all you,
his friends here, for coming, and I'd just like you to go away with the thoughts
of him as that happy-go-lucky person that would break into song or tell a joke,
or just generally be a nice person to be around.
memories of a few things in Eildon - with the way he did things and how he talked
to everybody - a 30 minute visit to the shops would take 2 hours by the time he'd
talked to everybody! And then his other problem of not remembering where
he'd left his keys, or his glasses, so we'd have to revisit every shop again to
try and find them - or a late evening call from the MCG on one of his many trips
to see his beloved Hawthorn, where he'd walked the length and breadth of the carpark
there - his car had been stolen, but we had to remind him that he'd actually gone
in by train that time.
this is the Tony that I'd like everyone to remember. Not being a long service
today, and I know some of you have come a long distance, I hope nobody's disappointed
in the length or the content of the service, but that's what Tony wanted and we
tried to abide by what he wanted.
I just hope that everybody goes away today with that thought of Tony, with a smile
and a song.
and gentlemen, could I ask you to please stand for our final farewell to Tony.
If standing is difficult, please remain seated.
reverence and tenderness we commit the body of Tony Reynolds to the elements.
are grateful for the life that has been lived, and all that life has meant to
us. We will remember Tony's life by the memories he leaves behind.
of us who feel deeply will grieve deeply. No philosophy or religion ever taught
can prevent this wholly natural reaction of the human heart.
come into this world with nothing and we depart with nothing, but the memories
we lave behind with our friends and families are a mark of our life's successes.
can now detract from the joy and friendship you shared with Tony.
can possibly affect the happiness and depth of experiences that he himself knew.
will remember him as a vital, living presence.
memory will bring solace to your hearts, and strengthen you in times of trouble.
are the reflections that you treasure, for there can never be too much friendship
in the world, never too much human warmth, or too much love.
Reynolds - Tony, much loved husband, Dad, Pa, friend - we bid you farewell and
leave you in peace as we leave this chapel today.
you rest in peace in God's care.
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