Eulogy to George Woolliscroft Deakin
23 June 1989
Nobody has ever been able to explain why we exist, why we are here or from whence we came.
No one knows where we go when we leave this life. These are imponderables which will probably never be explained.
But we know what we do whilst we are here. We know how others affect us. We know at least in part what others do for us. And I know, at least in part, what George was like and what he did with his life.
To me George always stood for setting and keeping high standards in all he did. He was meticulous and careful and a professional to his finger tips whether he was gardening. teaching, designing his own house, playing bridge, taking photographs, dealing with the Sultan'
s people in Brunei or simply being a husband, father, father in law, grandfather, great grandfather or friend.
Few know that he was offered the title of "Dato" by the Sultan of Brunei for services rendered. But George turned it down. He preferred to let his record speak for itself than accept the trappings of such an honour.
George loved music and regularly attended local performances at every opportunity. He was especially keen on NZ Symphony Orchestra. In his early career George worked as a recording engineer at HMV in Paris. It was during that time that he was involved in the recording of the Gregorian chants that are being played in this chapel today
In addition to all of George's many interests I will remember him for his workshop and all the wonders he produced in it. A spotless den with every tool in its place and every tool kept and used with amazing care and skill. Many of us have received examples of his work over the years and I guarantee that every one of these was like his own life. A "good solid job ". I have a dinghy rudder devised by George which is so well made that it will no doubt outlast the dinghy and its owner.
I first met George when he was head of the manual training school at Christ's Hospital in Horsham, Sussex. CH was also the place where George was educated as a boy . So he was not only an esteemed member of its staff but also a respected "old blue". He always maintained contact with CH and a continuing interest in its progress over the years. The blue and saffron colours on the sprigs of rosemary today are reminders of his service and connections to that great old school.
So I will remember George as a man who set fine, worthwhile standards for living. He was someone to have been a privilege to know. I am grateful to have had that privilege and for all he did as a forbearing father in law and friend. Rest in Peace, we will all sorely miss you.