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Farewell to an old friend

8 August 2017

Just over a month ago we visited old friends Martin and Wendy Goulding. A month later Martin died.

Martin & Wendy Goulding, Melville, Johannesburg 29 Jun 2017

Martin told us something about his health problems. He was taking pain-killers every day, and had to have medicine for diabetes more than 20 times a day. He was regularly seeing an oncologist about cancer.

And today we attended his funeral.

St Francis Anglican Church, Parkview, 8 August 2017

And my mind went back more than fifty years, when four of us, all students at the University of Natal, took off for a long weekend travelling around seeing friends. We were Martin Goulding, Isobel Dick (now Beukes), Pam Taylor (later Trevelyan, now dead) and me.

We were driving from Piet Retief to Ladysmith on a beautiful spring day in September 1965, with the hills around Paulpietersburg green with new grass, and we started singing eschatological hymns. One of them was Light’s abode, celestial Salem, vision whence true peace doth spring.

When we had sung it a couple of times Martin said that his favourite verse of the hymn was this one.

O how glorious and resplendent,
fragile body, shalt thou be,
when endued with so much beauty,
full of health and strong and free,
full of vigour, full of pleasure
that shall last eternally.

I hope he has now discovered what that means.


More memories of Martin Goulding (and other old friends) here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 9 August 2017 1:39 am

    I am sure your dear friend is now resting in peace.

  2. Irulan permalink
    15 August 2017 9:34 am

    This old Puritan prayer came to mind:

    Thou Great I AM,
    Fill my mind with elevation and grandeur
    at the thought of a Being
    with whom one day is as a thousand years,
    and a thousand years as one day.
    A mighty God, who,
    amidst the lapse of worlds,
    and the revolutions of empires,
    feels no variableness,
    but is glorious in immortality.
    May I rejoice that,
    while men die, the Lord lives;
    that, while all creatures are broken reeds,
    empty cisterns, fading flowers, withering grass,
    He is the Rock of Ages, the Fountain of living waters.
    Turn my heart from vanity, from dissatisfactions,
    from uncertainties of the present state,
    to an eternal interest in Christ.
    Let me remember that life is short and unforeseen,
    and is only an opportunity for usefulness.
    Give me a holy avarice to redeem the time,
    to awake at every call to charity and piety,
    so that I may feed the hungry,
    clothe the naked,
    instruct the ignorant,
    reclaim the vicious,
    forgive the offender,
    diffuse the gospel,
    show neighbourly love to all.
    Let me live a life of self-distrust,
    dependence on Thyself,
    mortification,
    crucifixion,
    prayer.

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