September 14, 1972  Four days after Dave's death, letter from his wife Aisla
to Dave's sisters Liz, Nell, Ann & Till

1972-09-14aisla01.JPG (48004 bytes)1972-09-14aisla02.JPG (58878 bytes)


                                                                                                348 Tingle Road

                                                                                                                        Wynnum. Qld. 4178


Dear Liz, Nell, Ann & Till,


                                         Well, it is all over for poor Dave.


It was a godsend for him to go and I had prayed to God to take him. I watched him going down for the past three months and I knew there was no hope of his recovering. He finished up absolutely helpless and could not even turn in the bed without help, and on top of that his mind was deteriorating. When I got a phone message last Sunday about noon , I immediately rang our parish priest and he beat me to the convalescent home. He just couldn’t do enough for Dave and returned three times during the afternoon and arrived again five minutes after Dave had breathed his last about 7.15 pm . He seemed to be conscious and could hear us praying for him. I could see him trying to answer when the priest said “Lord have mercy”. After a while he opened his eyes and put his hand on my shoulder and said “Hello” and that was the last word he spoke. On Monday and Tuesday morning 8.00 am mass was said for Dave and the nuns and school girls sang the hymns. Words can’t describe the requiem mass yesterday. Twelve priests con-celebrated the mass and John helped and read the Gospel. The nuns and girls lead a packed church in the singing of the hymns. I don’t think anything like it has been seen or heard in Wynnum before. Fr Andrew (parish priest) and Fr Hannah (provincial of the Oblates who came from Perth especially) gave the eulogies and they were wonderful. In fact when Fr Hannah called here in the afternoon, I told him he must have been speaking of someone else. He said when he finished he was nearly going to say “Now, we’ll let Mrs Wotherspoon have her say”. He is a mighty man and John is lucky to have him for a superior. Oh yes, at the Vigil on Tuesday night another Oblate priest gave a wonderful eulogy too. In fact it may have been the best of the three. A packed church that night too. The cortege was miles long and I think it was the largest ever for Wynnum. The flowers were lovely and I didn’t want to leave them on the grave in the sun. I wanted to bring them back to the church but the boys wouldn’t hear of it. John read the graveside service and he was wonderful. He just made it as he had a high temperature and went to bed when we came home and is still there. I got the Doctor to him last night and he has the “Wog”. Pete put up a good show but he has been hit badly. He and Yvonne stayed with me all the time Dave was dying and it was an awful experience for the two of them to watch him. Bill W and family attended the mass so I guess Jean will fill you in anything I have omitted.


 Thanks for the telegrams.                       (D.J. – R.I.P.)                                  Love  Aisla