Thank you all for coming to this Service, many having traveled a considerable distance.
For your support Katherine, Alex, Jill, Rachel and I are most grateful.
Since the tragic incident in Tasmania I have more than ever come to appreciate Gavin`s eminence as a Health Economist.
However to me and my sister Helen, he was a beloved brother, and brother-in-law to Jill and to John, a special Uncle to our 4 daughters and to Helen`s 3 children. My wife Jill and I, and our 4 daughters Louise, Jenny, Rachel and Susan along with their husbands, and no doubt sister Helen and her husband and their children Donald, Susan and Katherine, would love to have been in Mountain River to meet with all you caring, special people. However distance prevented a trip to Tasmania at present but hopefully some of us will visit in the future in happier times.
Gavin was born in 1943 in Glasgow, a fact in which he took great pride. I remember him as a most attractive, likeable little boy sledging without a sledge, and losing all the buttons from his little coat! He was known as “The Pup” in the family —-no idea why! Helen remembers him as a little boy who was always smiling, with a twinkle in his eye. He had a keen sense of humour even at a young age.
Gavin and I attended North Berwick High School for our Secondary education and one of his former teachers has written expressing her shock and distress, stating that Gavin was one of her favourite pupils.
Gavin was a Queens Scout and Assistant Cub-Master. He and I were great childhood pals and enjoyed each other`s company on family holidays to the Isle of Cumbrae on the Clyde—idyllic days when the sun always shone and we had not a care in the world!
On sister Helen`s Graduation Day, Mum was anxious that Gavin and I had tickets for the graduation venue. “It`s alright you pay at the gate” Gavin, then aged 13 responded —- he was attending The Scottish Golf Championships at Muirfield, as soon as possible after the graduation!
Our Mum and Dad lived long enough to appreciate his success as a budding Health Economist.
When Jill and I married in 1973, Gavin was our Best Man, and, since then, despite travelling the world, he attended family events, even chatting with me across Jill`s bed while she was in labour with one of our children. He was present at each of our 4 daughters weddings (for two of these he was accompanied by Del) with Gavin reciting poetry and singing, though the latter effort is best forgotten.
In 1977 in the Preface to his first of many books “The Valuation of Human Life” Gavin asks “What is the value of human life?”
Gavin has always been a political animal and anxious to fight for the underdog. He constantly sought to improve the lot of the less privileged. Perhaps he saw Australia as an under privileged country compared with Bonnie Scotland! Not true I hasten to add! The Aboriginals` inequality in Health Care was close to his heart.
On a lighter note he arranged for Bobby McLeod and his group of Aboriginal Dancers to come to Scotland, where they performed at the Aberdeen Youth Festival!
Gavin, I understand, argued among many aspects of Health Care that more funds should be diverted to Community Projects in Australia and less to hospitals. Our daughter, Rachel, worked for a year in a Perth hospital. Assisting in theatre at an operation one day, her name Rachel Mooney was on the board, which listed all those present. ”Any relation to Professor Mooney?” growled the surgeon. Rachel`s reply was relished by Gavin when he later heard it —“Does it matter?”
Australia became his home in 1993, and, while he never forgot his Scottish roots, he made it clear that he was unlikely to return to Scotland permanently. This became abundantly clear when he met and married Del with whom his life was complete, much to the delight of all our family. Gavin admired Katherine`s successful progress as a lawyer and Alex`s efforts in photography.
Gavin supported Del in her efforts to obtain treatment for Nic in his complex illness.
Gavin`s esteem was unbounded when Del achieved her Doctorate.
In conclusion Gavin was a lover of Burns and “A man`s a Man for a` that”, which I will read now, contains fitting sentiments.
Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a`that),
That Sense and Worth oe`r a` the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an a` that. ( Shall win the victory an` a` that.))
For a` that, an` a` that,
It`s comin yet for a` that,
That man to man the world o`er,
Shall brothers be for a` that.
Thank you for listening.