Tuesday, September 10, 2013

R. I. P.: Dr John Mackenzie Ross

(10th December, 1928 - 10th September, 2013)

Feeding the Seagulls
(24th February, 2009)

My father died this morning, after a brief illness, at Aria Gardens rest home, Albany.

This isn't the time to try to explain what he meant to me, or to try to write any kind of eulogy. I just felt I should put his death on record here, for those of you who knew him. I'll post funeral details here also when we've had more of a chance to absorb the news and tell as many as possible of the family, as well as his many friends.

He loved the sea, and sailing, and this was one of his favourite poems, so I thought I'd just put it up here in memory of him:

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

- John Masefield, Salt Water Ballads (1902)

NZ Herald (11/9/13): A34.

ROSS, John Mackenzie (Dr).

Peacefully on 10 September 2013 at Aria Gardens.

Much loved husband of June;
father of Jim, Kenneth, Anne (deceased) and Jack;
father-in-law of Janet and Bronwyn;
grandfather of Catherine, Murdo and Trudy;
and brother and brother-in-law of Jim and Ruby.

Greatly missed.

A service will be held at the North Harbour Chapel of Dil's Funeral Services, 185 Schnapper Rock Road, Albany, on Saturday 14 September at 10 am, followed by private cremation.

In lieu of flowers, donations to NZ Red Cross, PO box 97144, SAMC, Manukau 2240 would be appreciated.

My grandfather, Angus Alexander Ross (1920s?)

Jim and John Ross (Deep Creek, 1930s)

John with his mother (1940s)

John as a young bagpiper (late 1940s)

The Ross family (early 1960s):
l-r: [unknown], Ken, June, Anne, Jim, John

The Ross family (1970s):
l-r: John, Anne, June, Jim, Jack and Grandma

Ken, Anne, Jim, Jack (1970s)

In Ross tartan (1980s)

sailing the boat (1980s)

In Ross tartan (2000s)

John & June Ross (2000s)

John & June Ross (2000s)

At Bronwyn & Jack's wedding (November 2007)

Setting off to feed the birds (late 2000s)

John & June with their granddaughter Catherine (Christmas 2011)

John with Jim & Catherine (Christmas 2011)

Out and about (2000s)


Tazey said...

Rest in peace John. That's a lovely photo of him feeding the seagulls in Mairangi Bay and an image that I'm sure many of the locals will recall instantly. So sorry for your sudden loss Jack. See you soon.

Richard said...

Hi Jack my deep condolences to you and your family. I met your father and recall him showing me his book collection - or some of it.

This is one of the rare weekends I have other commitments.

My deep regards, Richard.

Sacha Jones said...

Condolences to you Jack. There's nothing as soothing or as sympathetic as the sea.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to express my condolences Jack.

Kind regards,

Scott said...

Our sympathies for you and the rest of your family, Jack.

I have always enjoyed hearing your stories about your father - about his adventures amidst old battle sites in the Waikato, his forays along the Auckland shoreline, and about his book hoarding. I also heard some endearing stories about his work as a doctor from other Mairangi Bay residents. He sounds, all in all, like a remarkable New Zealander.

Scott (and Cerian and Aneirin)

Katherine Dolan said...

Thanks for sharing these memories and the lovely poem and photos.

John and I are thinking of you at this time.

Dr Jack Ross said...

Thanks to all of you for your kind comments. It is a great loss for us.

The sea was certainly one of his great loves, Sacha, and came up a good deal in the funeral tributes.

Harvey Molloy said...

Dear Jack

Please accept my condolences to you and your family.

Dr Jack Ross said...

Thanks Harvey