Friday, 10 August 2012

A Good Send-Off


This is also on my writing blog.
The service of thanksgiving for the celebration of the life of Mr Prue yesterday went well. So many people came from all over the country, some of whom I hadn’t seen for well over 10 years. It was good to see them all catching up with each other at the afternoon tea after the service, exchanging contact details.

The service itself was wonderful. It was just right, with music Dez loved, two tributes by the ex-head of the research institute where Dez and I worked for so long, and also the chairman of the geology group we both belonged to.

Here’s the order of service.

Requiem by Tomas Luis de Victoria sung by the Armonico Consort

Entrance music: Hanaq Pachap Kusikuynin sung by Ex Cathedra

Welcome and Opening Prayer

Poem: Not how did he die, but how did he live? Anon

Tribute (about Dez’s scientific career)

Reading: Proverbs ch 4, vs 5 – 13 (we heard this on a visit to Ely cathedral a few years ago. We’d been on a tour of the cathedral, the last of the day. As it finished the evening service was starting and Dez suggested we stayed for it. Rather odd as he didn’t believe in God and so never went to church. The reading was Proverbs ch 3 and 4. It impressed me so much that I asked one of the clergymen after what it was, and he wrote it down. I’d looked it up in the bible when I got home and left the piece of paper in the page, then forgot all about it. When a friend phoned the other day to suggest a reading, the bible opened at Proverbs. I remembered and thought, “Yes! That’s just right” because it's about wisdom and understanding.

Hymn: For the beauty of the earth

Tribute: (about Dez’s invovlement with the geology group)


Music: Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan (Dez loved Bob Dylan’s music. I didn’t share this love – one of the very few because mostly we liked the same music. It seemed right to have Dylan in somewhere, although I had to grit my teeth through it!).

Reading: Song of Songs ch 8, vs 6 – 7 (NIV)


Hymn: He who would valiant be ‘gainst all disaster

Commendation, Committal and Blessing

Poem: If I should go before the rest of youby Joyce Grenfell

Exit: Trumpet Tune and Ayre by Henry Purcell

A friend did the flowers; ivory roses with frothy gypsophilla, stripey grass leaves and larger dark green leaves. It was a glorious tribute. And I cut some wild carrot flowers and tied them with raffia, because Dez worked on fungal diseases of carrots.

It was a sunny day, people stood around afterwards chatting in the sunlight. It was more like a party which was lovely. Afternoon tea lasted nearly 3 hours! This was held at the conference centre where Dez worked. They put display boards on tables and I’d put up lots of photos of Dez. There must have been well over a hundred people there and I think I managed to speak to every one of them.

It was a fitting end to a life well-lived and enjoyed, and it was wonderful to see people talking and laughing. The afternoon was as good as it could be, and as more than one person said, “Dez would really have enjoyed it,” which made me smile because I think he would have.


  1. Very touching Prue. I hope you are holding up through this!

  2. Thanks Bertie. I'm holding up just about. Some days are better than others.