On The Occasion Of The Memorial Service For Dorothy Lowery
On a rainy Tuesday, August 27 at 2:00 pm at St. John's Anglican Church,
North Vancouver. Father Ray Murrin presided.
On behalf on my Father, Jane, Ashley and all the family friends I would like to welcome you all here and thank you for coming together to celebrate the remarkable life of Dorothy Lowery.
Mum would call this a "nice day for the ducks" which is an excellent example of the positive attitude she had towards everything.
I thought I might tell of some of the many and varied achievements and experiences that Mum had in her life, of which some of you here today may be aware of, yet others may not. Separately they are interesting but together they begin to describe that special personality that was uniquely Mum.
Dorothy was her first name, which means "Gift of God" and all those who knew her would agree she was aptly named. Her maiden name was Heron, which she said explained her boney knees and thin legs when she was a young woman.
She was born of modest means in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. She was British to the core, always maintaining a lyrical English accent even though she had not lived in England since 1936. She took great pride in flying her 6ft. Union Jack on Victoria Day and Canada Day even in Montreal during changing political times.
She was an accomplished gymnast, and one of her specialities was the Indian Club routine, and she used to amaze us all with her skill and grace using two wine bottles after family dinners.
She was a Scottish and English traditional dance expert and instructor, specializing in the sword dance and several other disciplines. She and Ashley would tap a fine figure together on my sister's dining room floor as well.
She was a member, with Aunt Betty of the "Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire", and I am sure any Empire would take pride in her as a daughter.
She was basically deaf for over 30 years and learned to lip read skillfully until she bravely became a candidate for one of the first successful inner ear operations. I can't fathom to think how much more she might have done, had she not had this disadvantage.
Florida was yet another "pied a terre" they established and Mum continued her love of flowers and nature by continuing her gardening. She had bananas and loquats and many other varieties. Aunt Betty and Uncle Will bought a small 3 ft orange tree, that I had to cut back to half size each time I visited, as it went to well over 30 ft. and plenished with oranges by the bushel.
The next stop was Vancouver where she loved to watch "the beautiful British Columbia sunsets". By now you have realized she travelled a great deal. Although her demure was one of simplicity and charm, she was certainly an early member of the million mile club, half of which was before the introduction of jet aircraft. This gave her a deep wisdom and understanding of life that was not always apparent. I remember last year having a surprisingly in-depth conversation with her about "junk bonds" and the "savings and loan" situation in which I was quite out of my league!!!
She was at home in the kitchen, and meals made by her were made with love and always tasted better.
Her Dad was a tailor and she was a fine seamstress and made most of her own clothes, even her evening gowns and saris.
She was a penny pincher always saving for a rainy day. The lining of the christening gown we were all christened in (including Ashley) was made from the drawing plans of one of Dad's architectural renderings.
She was an accomplished artist painting in oils with a brush and palate knife and even toilet paper, as a brush for abstracts. It was again a good example of team work. Mum would choose the subject and composition and Dad would help with the perspective.
She was one of the very few women to launch two ships. As a ship's sponsor you become sort of their "fairy godmother" whose spirit is supposed to protect her crew and all who sail on her. One of the ships, by coincidence, although built 25 years ago safely plies the waters of Howe Sound today.
Although always polite and proper she was equally at home in the jungles with the tigers and monkeys as at Government House.
She was a woman of great determination who never knew fear, she was not afraid of anything in fact one of her favourite expressions was "NO FEAR".
As a mother she gave great kindness and support.
As a wife she was part of a great love story.
She is certntuly the greatest "Lady" I shall ever meet whose legacy is with us all ........... to continue to live the celebration of life.
CHRONOLOGICAL BIOGRAPHY / BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
SHIPBUILDING HIGHLIGHTS / STORIES / POETRY
images: ART / ORDER OF CANADA / SHIPS / PHOTOS