I drove up to Christchurch on Wednesday morning in time to lunch with daughter in law Audrey and get driven to Hagley Park. Margaret's memorial service waa in the 'Geo dome' an erection on the geodesic principal Buckminster Fuller first designed about 1938.
When I entered I was handed a programme and told,
"The first two rows are for speakers, the next three rows are for Governors Bay people, otherwise sit anywhere you like. I sat about eight rows back from the stage and had an excellent view of everything. I think everybody in Governors Bay must have attended, not only that the prople of Governors Bay provided afternoon tea for the more than six hundred people who attended.
The children's choir and the cathedral choristers crept and took their seats in the front rows, Louise Deans was MC and the service flowed perfectly. Tessa Duder gave the first eulogy, a biuography of Margaret's life, followed by her grandchildren sharing memories of their grandmother. Gasvin Bishop and Kate di Goldi spoke in tribute of working with her followed by a video clip of 'Down the Back of the Chair'.
The Children's Choir sang a selection of her words set to music by Phillip Norman.
Sue Collyer and Louise Easter, in rainbow wigs, told anesdotes about being librarians working with Margaret Mahey. The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage sent a representativce to speak for the Government. We watched another clip of Margaret reading 'Ghosts' and two choristers from Cathedral Grammar sang 'Pie Jesu' perfectly as her granddaughters carried her ashes out of the dome.
The recessional was 'Dance all around the world,' by Blerta with words by Margaret Mahey.
That was how Christchurch farewelled her, but it was not the only farewell. Auckland held a memorial service, probably other places did too. And in Libraries and schools all over the country Margaret Mahey stories were read in memory.
She deserved it. She worked incredibly hard at writing and encouraging children to love books, and she won the respect of everybody whose lives she touched.