Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Gerald Melchin Funeral

... Gerald Melchin ...
... born Kitichener, ON, May 14, 1921 ...
Greg Bates asked me if I had gone to the Gerald Melchin funeral. I did go and have some things I could say about it. There have been some wonderful families who were raised at the same time that we were growing up in Calgary, and this was surely one of them, a family who have given dedicated service for more than six decades, I would guess.

Each of his children spoke:  Barbara Nitschke, Greg, Brooke, Richard and Wade Melchin, Shauna Murdock and Robyn Creason.   Tina LaRose (Greg Fayant) and all of her children and grandchildren were also listed on the programe. as well as the names of all of the posterity of Gerald and Evelyn Melchin.

Three musical numbers were telling from a number of points of view.  One was the semi-professional sound of the group.  Another is just the fact that so many people will willing get up and sing in a chorus to honour their grandfather.

One 13 piece group of 6 men and 7 women sang "O Divine Redeemer", a dated song that is not sung often now, but it was his favourite song.

Then at least 38 of the grandchildren sang a special arrangement of "Call to Serve", another of his favourites.  His grandchildren are all adults now, except the lovely teen-ager, Elizabeth, who played her violin along with her mother at the closing song which was done by the choir, the violins and the audience joined in.

This is one page of the double-sided
insert which was inside
of the funeral programme

The congregation was uncommonly quiet as we were waiting for the mourners to enter. I think it was the extra insert in the programme that had their attention; at least that is where my attention was. There was a double-sided page of short paragraphs from his experiences, the first one dated 1925 and the last dated August, 2000. There were stories told of his business experiences, his spiritual experiences, and his family experiences. My favourite line was "I have tried to keep an open mind".

The over-riding theme from the talks of his kids was that they knew their dad loved them and they knew that their Gerald often poured out his heart to the Lord.

When the funeral was over, I saw Maxine and Kenyon Chipman.  Later I wondered how they had known Gerald Melchin, but then, of course, it must have been him who called Kenyon to be a bishop.

Here is one thing I wouldn't have known about President Melchin.  He didn't have a university education.  He had gone on a mission, then entered the army where he worked with Morse code and then he began his trucking business with his brother.  And in the short talks that were given,  I was reminded again of his love for politics or probably more broadly his love of his country.

Arta


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