|Margaret Newman & Dudley Robertson|
For those who were unable to attend, we thought that you might like to have the Eulogies given by Richard at the funerals of Margaret and Dudley Robertson
Alison thoughtfully suggested that I might write about the funeral services held for Dudley Robertson and Margaret Newman last week. I am grateful for this and to Bishop Ian for allowing me to conduct them.|
Dudley’s family and friends are spread far and wide. Because of present restrictions, many were unable to be present. The service at Stirling Crematorium held on the 24th July was therefore streamed.
Words written by John Bunyan sum up Dudley’s life to perfection. Bunyan was an irrepressible seventeenth century itinerate preacher imprisoned for twelve years by order of the King. Whilst in Bedford prison he penned the text of Pilgrims Progress and within it these words later adapted as a hymn. He who would valiant be gains’t all disaster
A good deal of disaster affected Dudley’s life. His days as an active sportsman ended with the loss of a leg. He became a widower soon after marrying his first wife. Later ill-health reoccurred, necessitating dialysis and even greater loss of mobility.
Bunyan’s hymn continues ‘Hobgoblin nor foul fiend shall daunt his spirit’. Dudley, like Bunyan exhibited vast reserves of fortitude and never held a grudge against the twists and turns of life’s path. Every problem that arose, and there were many, was solved with a solution. When, for example immobility affected his golf swing, Dudley simply modified his stroke to enable him still to win a cherished cup.
He was greatly loved everywhere not least by his sisters Fiona and Christine. He made and retained lifelong friends, especially his late brothers in law Derek and Colin. It gave him special pleasure to have brokered their respective marriages to, as he teasingly called them, his ugly sisters. With no children of his own, he stood as a beloved father figure to his nephews and nieces.
Dudley travelled extensively by sea and so held the role of the RNLI in great respect. He worked as a tireless fundraiser. The Institute expressed its gratitude with the award of a silver medal and by sending a representative to the service.
The hymn ‘Eternal Father’ was played before a reading of Tennyson’s ‘Crossing the Bar’ The poem, rich in nautical metaphor, speaks about life’s journey
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
Margaret Newman always envisaged her funeral to be at St Andrews and would include her favourite hymn, ‘There is a Green Hill’ far away’ This was penned by Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander, who also wrote ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and ‘Once in Royal David’s city’. Mrs Alexander married a clergyman, who ultimately became Primate of Ireland. They lived in Derry, Margaret’s birthplace. Mrs. Alexander was of humble disposition and disliked praise and flattery. She died greatly beloved by many she had helped by her kindness. A stained glass window in her memory was installed in the north vestibule of St Columb’s Cathedral in Derry which Margaret knew well.
Perhaps Margaret was inspired by Mrs. Alexander because she possessed all her attributes in abundance. Margaret’s patient devotion to Crossroads, a local charity, was just one example of her many gifts.
Margaret was interred at the Port of Menteith with her beloved husband Colin who died in 2009. Colin was responsible for the renovation of St Andrews in 2005. They are now reunited. Deo gratis.