Thursday 16 July 2009

Ruth Denis Buchanan

Ruth Denis Buchanan
1915 - 2009

A strong-willed and indomitable lady decided to call it a day and passed away in Paekakariki, New Zealand. Bride, Iain's sister phoned us with the news of their Mum's death just a few hours ago.

Ruth was a dedicated birdwatcher for most of her life and in her 70s she went on an ornithological trip to Australia with people half her age and they had quite a time catching up with her! She looked out for her birds in England, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, the Pacific Islands, West Africa and South Africa.
In her mid 80s with her friend Martin (of about the same age), they undertook a 5 week canal boat trip in England - with Ruth actively engaged in maneuvering the boat and working on the canal locks. They then went up north to Northumberland and she walked for miles following Hadrian's Wall - after which the two of them took the local bus to visit her sister Peggy at Bishop Auckland. She was indefatigable!
Ruth was also skilled in the art of Maori basket weaving. She would start by collecting the flax leaves, drying them and from there proceed with her basketry. We all have been given many samples of her work and only her arthritis forced her to stop this activity.
We are also proud recipients of her knitting expertise - from gloves to scarves, slippers, hats and (for me) a beautiful reversible gilet, my very proud possession. And on her first visit to our home in Leicester, we were each given a hand knitted cushion cover - a his and hers. Iain's was embroidered with images of sheep (the NZ connection) and mine with a coconut tree (the tropical association)

She never did anything by halves!

Ruth, you never wasted any portion of your life and we hope that we all, and your grandchildren and great grandchildren can live up to your example.



Unknown said...

Thank you Maz

ph said...

I wish that when i'm 70 I will be able to do the things that i like to do, just like Ruth.

May Allah bless her soul.

Tamsin Singleton said...

I think my Dad (Robin) might have gone to school with Iain at Paekakariki (and my Auntie Carrie with Bride?). His family lived there (there were two boys and three girls)but they have all moved on to other parts of New Zealand and beyond. Dad also visited him in Singapore in 1966!

Tamsin Singleton

anak si-hamid said...

Dear Tamsin,

What a wonderful surprise and what a small world this is!!

Watch this space, Iain will be writing a reply soon.

By the way, when I showed him your comment, he told me that your dad had an incredible family.

anak si-hamid said...

Dear Tamsin,
I remember very clearly. The Singleton family was one of the finest, most memorable families in Paekakariki in those days. Your grandfather was a fine man - handsome, supremely fit, and with a tan the colour of old oak. He had intense twinkling eyes, and always wore a slight smile - a smile which seemed to me then to be that of someone at peace with the world, someone who knew where he was going in life.

The joy of his life was his boat. It was a fine piece of woodwork, strong, graceful, and intricately caulked and joined. You'd meet it as you walked down Wellington Road, on the right, just below the Singleton house. He must have worked on it for at least three years - my frustration was I never knew what became of it when it was finished. Perhaps you can tell me.

I remember Robin well. He was a serious and gentle person. After school we went our separate ways and didn't see much of one another. Again, I would love some news.

As for me, well, you would have got some idea from my wife's blog! How did you find it, by the way? It certainly is a small world.

And as for Paekakariki - it doesn't change much, does it? Pity about the old pub, though. Maznoor and I have been back many times - of all the countries I have lived in, New Zealand still holds a very special place in my heart. It was where I went to school and university, it was where I spent my teens ... and it is, when all is said and done, a peaceful, equable, and very interesting country.

If you, or Robin, would like to send your e-mail to this comment facility, we will note it and delete it (it won't be published), and we can keep in touch.

All the best,


Tamsin Singleton said...
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