Six pallbearers carried Jim’s coffin into the chapel while we listened to Charlie Pride sing, I’m Just Me. After the coffin was in place, the pallbearers were seated and I had stood near the lectern, Paul Scherr, Jim’s son-in-law, offered a ceremonial military salute with a drawn sword.
Today, we gather for the celebration of the life of James John Gorman, best known as Jim, Gormo, Dad, Pa….
…If Jim were here he would make sure he proceedings included some country and western music, some funny stories, a few jokes and a good get together afterwards with some specially made cake. And that, is exactly what Jim’s beautiful family have brought together to show their respect and love for him.
There will be tears and also laughter as you give thanks for Jim’s way of being in the world, his legacy and his love for his family and friends. Jim was a loving husband, father, father in law, brother, uncle, cousin, pa, neighbour and a friend to many.
I’d like to invite Jim’s daughter-in-law, Lee’s wife, Freida to share the first reading.
The Dash by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own —
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more,
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering this special dash
might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read
with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?
Wendy: The lyrics of the opening song by Charlie Pride read, ‘I was just born to be exactly what you see. Nothing more or less I’m not the worst or the best. I just try to be exactly what you see today and every day. I’m just me.’ This sums up Jim, what you saw was exactly who he was, nothing more, nothing less. Jim was good man, a gentleman, who loved well.
Let us now hear from those who knew Jim best how he spent his ‘dash’. I’d like to ask Jim’s daughter, Diane and her daughter, Sara to come forward please to read the eulogy.
After the Photo Reflection
Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall read by Leigh Duggan, Jim’s grand son-in-law.
I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.
Let us give thanks for Jim’s life.
Jim’s body is to be cremated and his ashes will be taken back to the place of his childhood, Tyalgum. Let us offer these words of remembrance and honour Jim’s legacy, and your love and gratitude for his beautiful life. If you are able, would you please be standing.
It is now time to say your farewell.
Jim was devoted to his wife, Helen and to their children, Terry, Lee and Diane; and to Lee’s wife, Freida, and Diane’s ex-husband, Paul. Jim adored his grandchildren, Sara and Kate, Eilidh, Mhari, Ruari, and his great grandchildren, Annabelle, Joey, Jack and Tom.
Jim was a Coffs Harbour icon, one of the Old Boys Club. You’ll remember his hardworking, community minded spirit, and his passion for being of service to others, for putting his hand up to help and to work hard.
You’ll remember his love of making jam drops, lemon meringue pie and the essential lambs fry and bacon for Christmas morning.
Jim will be remembered for his integrity, compassion… and his deadpan humour and raucous laughter. He has, as his grandchild, Kate, wrote in the funeral notice…he has now found a new audience to tell his jokes. Diane said he’d be laughing at that saying, you cheeky bugger!
May your thoughts and hearts continue to be uplifted by your memories of Jim. May you be inspired by his generosity and capacity to love.
I’d like to close the ceremony with the words from the poem, Epitaph on My Own Friend written by Scottish poet, Robert Burns.
An honest man here lies at rest,
The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warmed,
Few heads with knowledge so informed;
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.
Jim made the very best of this life.
Jim was a true gentleman.
May he now rest in peace.
formed by the Park Beach Bowling Club for their member no 4. (One of the founding members)
You can watch the livestream recording here.
Photo of the Park Beach Bowls Club from the PBBC website.