The thanksgiving service that we held was wonderful (I know that that could sound strange) but there were so many wonderful memories and little things that we all shared and found out that it was a real celebration of his life. Below is the text from the eulogies that formed such a part of the service…
Looking out I see many family and friends. Thank you for coming and showing us that my father holds a special place in your heart. … It is such a healing gift to be surrounded by your love for my father.
We very much appreciate you sharing your memories of my father with us…so please continue to share them, both now and in the years to come.
After the past few months and particularly his last 2 weeks in the hospital I am mindful of my dad’s final journey that he bore with such fortitude.… He showed courage, he showed that he could endure much pain; he showed strength in his suffering. ….He knew and was confident that he was going to the God he trusted, that my mum and his family were waiting for him with arms open wide.
I have struggled to find the right words, the right stories, the right note that would speak honestly of my father…
But there are simply too many….. Family, faith, church, architecture, photography, painting…..
Single words that hold a lifetime connecting us all… to my dad. He had a gifted and inspiring life, a multi-faceted and multi-dimensional life, a generous and giving life, a life of significance to his last breath…
This is what I know to be true….
Our family is the way it is because of my parent’s faith, their faith in God. It is a gift of love that cannot be taken even in death. It lends us assurance and gives us courage. My Mother and Father shared a very special love story, one that was real, honest, and paved the way to inspire us to follow:
My father’s faith meant that he believed that love is the most important aspect of life. So it didn’t matter what you did or who you were.…. my dad loved and was loved. Who could ask for anything more? What inspiration I saw in my father’s attitude.
Dad must have stopped aging at 60 ….he simply did not grow old. He lived his life everyday to the full, in style and determination.
He was a generous man, and he loved to spend time with you. He would love to share his wisdom and knowledge and, given the chance, he would love to discuss his faith with you.
I only hope I can be as generous in my love as he was in his love for life, his faith, family, and friends.
You know, we will see dad in the eyes of his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, and in all those that loved him. We will see him in his paintings and particularly his photographs (all the many thousands of them!!). We will hear him in the memories that are stored in our hearts and that will be told and retold and remain vibrant forever. Yes Dad you are here with us, I see you in the eyes and memories of those gathered here, of the many familiar faces, I see you greeting them with your smile and your gentleness. We are here to thank you for being the loving, gentle man you were and to celebrate all the many facets of your life here with us.
One of the major aspects of my father’s life was Paterson Macaulay and Owen and some of the people involved would like to say a few words about that part of his life, starting with Beryl Patterson.
Beryl Patterson, Paterson Macaulay and Owens
Whenever I think of Stuart he is always linked in my mind with Ken and Ron, the three who made up PM&O.
These three friends worked together for many years to establish what became a well-respected firm of Wirral architects. On Ken’s retirement, Stuart wrote about how they met after being demobbed in the late forties:
We joined over 100 other students at the Liverpool School of Architecture and we both remember our first ‘crit’. A small, wizened –looking man with the name Francis Xavioir Velarde [a well know Liverpool architect who design Roman Catholic churches, etc.] gazed around at the vast array of students and said in horror “Good Lord, you’re not all expecting to be architects are you?”.
However, both Stuart and Ken emerged wikth honours degrees, became Masters of Civic Design and members of the Town Planning Institute.
They worked for two years in the Liverpool Town Planning department, where, it seems they spent a lot of time designing monster paper darts, propelled with dozens of elastic bands linked together and launched in the basement. Stuart wrote:
The basement was 100 yards long and the crowing glory came when we practically demolioshed a model of Liverpool City Center, which stood behind the counter at the entrance, with one almighty flight from one end of the basement to the other.
After this happy interval, they both obtained posts with Liverpool architects. In their spare time they began to do small jobs such as houses and bungalows, with a view to setting up their own practice,
Fortunately in the fifties and sixties there arose a demand for new churches. For Paterson and Macaulay, as it was then, two churches, one in Ellesmere Port and one in Hoole provided work for Ken, and Stuart continued with the estate of bungalows in Higher Bebington so that, by 1957, they felt they had enough work to set up their own private practice, in a small room added to our house in Wirral Gardens.
I feel privileged to have been involved at the start of PM&O even though I only provided tea or coffee and lunches and occasionally answered the phone.
So these two young men began what was to become a thriving business. Soon they needed more staff and along came Glyn.
Glyn Roberts, Paterson Macaulay and Owens
I first met Stuart in 1959, the day I joined the practice. It was then situated in a small extension at the back of Ken’s house. (later we moved to the Royal Oak in Higher Bebington)
On my first day, after being shown round by Ken, I asked if it was alright to smoke.
"Of course it is" said Ken, "Mac smokes like a chimney". Shortly afterwards, Stuart arrived, and I met a young man in his 30s, full of energy. After being introduced, he lit a cigarette and started work.
Stuart was responsible for a number of churches — the ones which come to mind are Tranmere Methodist church which replaced the old pepper pot, and St. Michael and All Angels in Greasby. Helsby Methodist church was another of his designs, and there were others too.
Apart from Churches there were very many houses, some of them quite prestigious.
One of Stuart’s projects was a complex of bungalows near Neston. This was for elderly people with a warden. It was in the 1960s, and so was a forerunner of the modern sheltered housing schemes. He was also responsible for a number of schools. Banks were also projects with which he was involved.
It was a very varied practice, but I can only recall Stuart doing one pub. This was out on the moors somewhere, at a small place called Brogden Admergill, and I remember being there with him when his son Andrew was born.
Ken and Mac — Stuart was always known as Mac in the office, were very different characters, but these differences were overwhelmed by their close friendship. Stuart always liked to be warm in the office. Then Ken would come in, complain of the heat, and turn everything off.
10 minutes later, Stuart would turn it on again. This happened frequently, much to everyone’s amusement!
The other thing I remember about Stuart was his fondness for gadgets. He had all sorts of devices and knick knacks, which amused Ken enormously. Naturally, Stuart was the one who introduced computers to the office.
But, besides being an architect, he was an accomplished artist. He did wonderful illustrations, not only for our own projects, but for other architects too, and of course, painting and photography were important when he retired.
There is so much more that could be said, but, to summarise, he will be greatly missed, I’m sure, by everyone who knew him.
Dorothy Jewell (Owens), Paterson Macaulay and Owens
Paterson and Macaulay—It was a Wirral household name and then Owens was added to the Partnership. Ron and I, as Ron’s wife, became part of the team and , for us, it was the happiest of relationships, with Ken and Beryl, and Stuart and Betty, Glyn and Gwen and the office staff.
We enjoyed social occasions as well as the opening of new prestigious buildings designed by the partnership.
You have heard from those more closely connected than myself about the firm. I would like to pay tribute to Stuart who with Betty was a wonderful friend over the years. We shared skiing holidays with them when I was more then thankful for their company. After Ron died Stuart and Betty phoned or called every week for a long time, and they made sure I was included as part of the PM and O family. This I appreciated so much, especially as they were dealing with Betty’s severe health problems and much was happening in the firm. Stuart, in later years often called with Betty and we shared special occasions with them and we, with all their friends saw how they worked together as a team with such devotion to each other. What a fine example they were to everyone. I am grateful for this opportunity to say thank you Stuart for the Christian love shared over the years and for many happy memories.
Dorothy, Glyn, Beryl – thank you for those lovely words.
They remind me of the time I enjoyed at PMO in the Royal Oak during school holidays helping out: making blueprint copies and labelling drawings. I enjoyed this so much that for most of my childhood I was certain that I would follow him to become an Architect – however, when I had to decide on university he advised me against it seeing the way the market was developing.
In fact, although I came at it from a completely different way, I have landed up being an architect – or more specifically an IT Architect (a term that is still somewhat controversial) – and it was the qualities that dad passed on to me – thinking in pictures and understanding the wider perspective whilst maintaining an eye for detail – that allows me to do the job I do.
I have many more memories of dad, covering many aspects of his life, from simple ones of him trying to teach me fly fishing in Scotland (something that I never did really get) and the time that he managed to “catch himself” with a hook attached to his eyebrow – to the model that we made together (well, actually, dad largely made) of the Parthenon in Greece following a holiday we had cruising the Adriatic – to persuading the family to go skiing after I went with the school and got the skiing bug and the many subsequent trips to Sauzi D’Oux in Italy.
It is clear to me that that so much of what I did with him a long time ago has shaped me and stayed with me ever since!
There are also plenty more funny stories…
I remember the time that I had to drive dad’s automatic for him when he broke his arm ice-skating in Aviemore (and yes, from memory, he probably was showing off to his son – something I know all too well having done some interesting jumps skiing).
This was the first time I had driven an automatic and the first time I had driven a car as big as my dad’s having learned in mum’s mini – and I had to do it in the Scottish highlands including along some very narrow single-track roads! The insurance would simply never allow that these days!
I was also reminded by my wife Angela of the first time dad met her – and the colour chart he did about her, which convinced him that she was the one! And nearly twenty five years later with two wonderful boys, I am pretty sure he got that right!
Finally, I remember the many discussions that we had on so many different subjects over the years, the way that he looked after mum, through all that she went through, without complaining; how he was still taking his yoga class until the last few weeks – and how he managed to keep on with his photography and painting over the years and the speed at which took to using computers for digital photography.
Thank you, dad, for the qualities you have given me, the lessons you have taught me and the inspiration you have been.
I would like to hand over to Brian Magor from the Wirral Photographic Society, who will say a few words about that aspect of his life.
Brian Magor, Wirral Photographic Society
Stuart joined the Hoylake Photographic Society in September 1989 and started in the Intermediate grade. However he quickly showed his skill, winning two of the monthly cups and then the Intermediate cup in the Annual at the end of the season in 1991, and was promptly moved up into the Advanced section. At that time you had to be invited to move from one grade to the other by a grading committee so you had to show it wasn’t a flash in the pan by constantly working at a higher level. He managed that – winning the Grenfell Trophy, which is for the best monochrome image in the exhibition the next year. That season he also won 5 out of the 6 monthly competitions and his 6th success was for a slide in the remaining competition. Not bad at all! From then on he always won either a monthly or an Annual trophy or both. I don’t know what went wrong in 1997 but there were no annual trophies only two monthlies. When I looked to see which competitions he was most successful at, it was no surprise to see the Guy Farrar trophy being awarded to his Mono Architecture and Record prints four times, which he was always pleased about, but less than happy when he had to carry it home – it’s a very heavy chunk of rock. For 10 years his main interest was in mono and he was an expert, four times winning the McBirnie which is for a panel of three black and white prints which blend well together. He also managed to get the Portrait and the landscape for mono prints and the twice won a slide cup. From 2003 he still produced mono but had also moved into colour printing and was just as successful, getting the Illustrative and the A&R several times, as well as the colour print shield which goes to whoever manages to gain the most points from awards through the season. He also got the Colour group cup which is for winning with slides through the season. Don’t think he’d given up on the mono either – he still won the Grenfell again.
All this tells you how good he was at taking interesting shots and then being able to print them to a very high standard. In fact when outsiders used to say they ‘only had a little camera’, I took great delight in pointing them towards some of Stuart’s prints, blown up to 12×16”, and showing just what could be done from a little camera.
Stuart was a great member of the club, prepared to take on responsibilities – he was President in 1994 and a committee member for several years. He was ever ready to help anyone with their photography and happy to give advice. He regularly came to the Colour Slide group and the members were always delighted when he brought selections of his photos for the travel evenings. He would have tales to tell which ended in everyone having a good time. He always entered the colour group competitions and enjoyed the creative titles because then he could give rein to his sense of humour. Some of the pictures were very weird and wonderful – I still remember the series on the ‘Signs of the Zodiac’ and the ‘Zebra crossing’. If you look at the small picture on the boards one of those Zodiac signs (Cancer) is illustrated in the top left hand corner. Stuart entered every type of competition – it didn’t matter whether it was a traditional Landscape or Nature or a rather different ‘Song titles’. He just enjoyed photography, taking many of his pictures locally. A small selection of his last year’s prints are on display in the Hall. He put up his own choice for a member’s exhibition in January – he took part in everything.
We are going to miss his humour and his stories as much as his great photos.
David Ladlowe, Westbourne Methodist Church
In the Methodist Church we have local preachers, lay people who take services in churches, usually on a Sunday morning or evening. Stuart was an enthusiastic local preacher, and Alison has asked me if I would say a few words about this.
Stuart used to think long and hard about difficult questions, eg the meaning of suffering, and as a result gave some very enlightening and original sermons and talks. I remember an unusual talk he gave to the Local Preachers’ Meeting: it was on the subject of time: what is time, what do the scientists tell us, did time begin at some point, did God create time, what is eternity? It was fascinating.
He studied in depth the whole question of suffering and healing, especially after Betty developed multiple sclerosis — spiritual healing, alongside the work of the medical profession. He had a deep, strong Christian faith, focusing particularly on the love of God, but he also explored other areas on the fringes of Christian belief, ideas which might seem unorthodox to some. One local preacher said to me "Stuart has some strange ideas, like spiritualism". But no, Stuart wasn’t one for seances and table rapping; he had rather a vivid sense of fellowship, and even communication, between ourselves and those who have died.
Many of you will know St Michael’s Church in Newton, and I have had the opportunity of preaching in some other beautiful modern churches designed by Stuart. One of these, in Helsby, was in the Frodsham Circuit, a group of churches of special interest to Stuart as he used to take two or three other preachers to take evening services there four times a year. I would do the same for the Wrexham area. On one occasion I asked Stuart if would drive to Wrexham instead of me. All went according to plan. He picked up the other preachers from home and dropped us off at our various churches. Then Stuart set off for his church — Acrefair, I think, and I had made sure he had directions.
Just over an hour later, when I had finished my service. I went to the door to look out for Stuart. He seemed to be back early, and I asked "Did you find your church all right?" "No", he replied", I never found it, I’ve been driving round and round for an hour looking for it"!
This wasn’t typical of Stuart, he usually knew exactly where he was going. One person said to me, after visiting him recently in hospital, "He is quite peaceful, he knows where he is going". He knew where he was going, to enjoy fellowship with God, and with relatives and friends who have gone ahead of him, especially Betty. We thank God for Stuart’s wonderful life, and for the privilege of having known him.
There’s no doubt we are talking about a very clever man who had a vision , in business, in his church life and all his other activities that he followed so faithfully, but to me , he was just my Dad !
I was aware always of his cleverness, because I remember seeing his drawing of the artists impression of SATOR before building started and was positively blown away when I saw the finished product and couldn’t get over how the artists impression and the building where identical even to the tree outside, When you’re only 9 you’re easily impressed and I was impressed!
Living in our 1959 ultra modern home was a bit like living in a goldfish bowl for many years as people would stop and peer into the front room eager to try and make sense of the strange building with its possibly stranger occupants, but we all took it as a great compliment that people were so interested and they certainly were.
At the end of the day, meal times were a chatty affair and we would hear about the ins and outs of how the business was going. and before long we were enjoying the fruits of their labours and we were jetting off to foreign climbs, VERY 60s. He was a very 60s man himself, and gadgets were always something he had a need of– well who didn’t in the 60s it was all so new and chic–The latest waste disposal unit was installed with much excitement followed by an attachment that would peel the potatoes for you, it was all about labour saving everything, Nylon Shirts, nylon bedding he embraced them all and I think the static electricity embraced us as well!!!
In 1972 he got up on the roof and installed solar heating panels– a bit ahead of his time I think, he even made it onto Granada TV for that one.
Whatever he did he did it with gusto and enthusiasm.
Oh yes I was aware he was clever but he was just my Dad, so I never looked beyond that role into his other life.
However he was good at answering God questions which at 13yrs upwards there was a constant stream of, and he was never short of answers and I trusted him implicitly–if that’s what he believed, I believed it too. But as with a lot of people I guess the personal search that ensued took many years but I know that he ,my dad never gave up praying for me, day after day, year after year.
So my dad took me on a journey through the difficult days of the 50s the heady days of the 60s the granddad days of the 70s the my new career days of the 80s to my final commitment to Christ days of the 90s.
His journey of absolute commitment to my mum through her ever changing illness was taken with the same gusto and enthusiasm as he had shown in all his other activities, 100% commitment no matter what, in business ,church ,photography ,painting, yoga with the MS society, whatever he involved himself in ,he gave his all, what an example to us all.
He has undoubtedly made a great impression on so many people in his life. It was well lived and he was well loved
and his memory will live on in the hearts of many.
Around 18 months after my dad (Stuart Macaulay) lost his wife, Betty, to a stroke after years suffering from MS, he finally succumbed to the cancer that he was suffering from last Saturday, 17th October 2009. Dad had been in hospital for just over two weeks, following some months of serious pain which he managed to survive at home (as he really wanted to) and during which he still managed to visit others suffering from cancer, teach yoga for older people and continue to submit photography and paintings – and win competitions!
The idea of death was not a worry to dad – he was looking forward to rejoining his wife, his parents and grand-parents and many of his friends and colleagues that had passed away over the years. He was, however, not looking forwards to the process of dying. After a few days when the doctors and nurses struggled to get the pain killer doses right, dad finally had a couple of good nights and died peacefully in the early morning.
We have all been grateful for the number of people who have been in touch during his illness and since his death, expressing their sympathy but more importantly, telling us some wonderful stories about him and how they saw him. To celebrate his life, we are holding a service of thanksgiving for his wonderful life next week and, although we will all miss him dearly – and I am sure will have times when we will be sad – we KNOW that we can be glad that he lived his life to the full, completed all that he set out to do and was an inspiration to us and to so many others who met him.
We love you dad – say hi to mum for us!
Even apart from that, it seems to me that a Funeral Service, and particularly a Memorial Service, is a wonderful opportunity to preach the Gospel to those who need it most, an opportunity which is so often missed, or even worse destroyed by the use of religious language which is incomprehensible, or even offensive to people who are unused to it.
So below is a copy of the talk I gave before reading the scripture.
EPHESIANS 1 v. 3-10