I’ve been watching a lovely video, called Winifreda’s Return, uploaded last year to YouTube, of Garry sailing the family yacht/fishing boat of ancient vintage, a century old, and describing its history. Although he was a wonderful narrator, as the craft sailed the high seas, I think he was probably even more at home within the Burnlaw Community, where this photograph was taken.
Garry’s quiet influence on Allendale and the Allen Valleys was immense; he was a spiritual influencer long before such a concept was invented. His limitless delight in the ineffable nature of the world, the universe, his family and his faith was totally infectious. You could always count on Garry for a beatific smile, a hug, friendliness and commiseration.
He will be so missed. The celebration of his life at Burnlaw will doubtless be just that, a celebration, though it must, inevitably, develop through the mist of tears. His life was truncated, though the last years have been very hard too.
I spent some hours with Garry finessing the entry on the Burnlaw Community, and the Bahá’í faith, which eventually appeared in the Allendale Diary during the waning months of 2019. It was a real blessing to share the concepts of the faith, to try to understand what held the community together. Garry was so proud to have been part of the group that discovered the derelict buildings on the road from Allendale to Whitfield.
He was a constant friend who nurtured his friendships, and we shall miss him very much. Our sympathies, condolences, sadnesses and joy over a wonderful life, profoundly lived, go out to his family and all who knew him.
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