16 February 2010

Uncle Paul

Hubby and I have both lost favourite uncles in less than a year ...

On Saturday 6 February Hubby's Uncle Paul finally lost his 6 year battle with cancer. He died in his eldest daughter's arms, as she was giving him a drink of water. Today would have been his 79th birthday.

William Dargie was a family friend of Hubby's grandparents (as was Daryl Lindsay); Dargie painted this portrait of Paul (aged 9 or 10) as a gift to Paul's parents (Hubby's grandparents).

Uncle Paul was a wonderful man. Softly spoken, kind, intelligent, and a real gentleman ... A devoted and gentle father and grandfather. He never argued, or caused problems, but quietly got on with things, and succeeded as well. He also had a wicked sense of humour. The Goon Show was a firm favourite.

He listened to ABC Classic FM while he painted every day (my favourite radio station as well). He was a commercial artist (what we now call a graphic designer), and taught at the RMIT. In later years he focussed on painting sublime watercolours from the Australian landscape, and was a compassionate and insightful teacher. He was a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute (Paul Warner, near the end). His father Ralph Malcolm Warner - Hubby's grandfather - was also a professional artist, serving as a war artist during WWII.

Hubby and I travelled up to Sydney last Thursday to attend Paul's memorial service on Friday. We travelled by the early train, and loved the trip - the nice thing about train travel is how close to the countryside you are, and the lovely old station buildings.

I even got some lace knitting done (Snowdrift by Susan Pandorf - knitted in Fibreworks Possum Merino) ... a long-neglected project.

In Sydney we had a few hours for lunch at the elegant Queen Victoria Building...

... and a blissful first (but not last!) visit to Books Kinokuniya, the best bookstore I've ever been in. Which is saying something. I bought a copy of this ... and Hubby started our Lindsey Davis collection.

We stayed with Hubby's Aunty Rona - their house is like an art gallery, with original works by Dargie, Lindsey, Paul, as well as other Australian artists, and Rona. You'll remember the amazing knitted vegetables and tea cosies she made ... she also paints.

After the memorial service, there was afternoon tea at the Mona Vale Hotel - we had good protection from the summer showers, which gave us some respite from the heat. As ever, the sadness of the day was tempered by the enjoyment of catching up with cousins and their families, who we haven't seen in years.


  1. Isn't it sad that we get together sometimes when something sad happens? I vote for more happy get togethers!!! Your Uncle Paul sounds like a wonderful person, what's not to like about The Goons I ask you!!!

  2. What a lovely eulogy. Sounds like he will be sadly missed.

    Funerals ARE a mix of empootions, and I think that's entirely appropriate. And what a lovely place to gather.

  3. I am sad for your loss. but I loved your wonderful description and your ability to enjoy the blissful moments even if tempered by mourning.

    Best from Tennessee


  4. I'm sorry for your loss but glad that you have such wonderful memories.

  5. I was sorry to hear, and read your post. Commiserations for your loss.

    This was a lovely post mentioning so many nice things though. I am SO glad you have found Lindsay Davis. I have read everyone of the Falco books at least once they are a source of much entertainment to me.

  6. Sorry to hear of your loss of Uncle Paul, sounds like a great man and a very interesting family history.

  7. He sounds special and like he was well loved. I only see some of my relatives when someone dies (or gets married but that happens seldom). It always feels strange to sit around and laugh but I remember that the loved one we are remembering would enjoy the talk and laughter just as much as we are.

    My condolences to you and your family

  8. Before Facebook, the only time I heard from a lot of the extended family was when we got together at funerals.

    He sounds like an interesting guy.

  9. We should all have an uncle Paul in our lives. His life must have touch you deeply in a positive way to be remembered with such love.

  10. You're lucky to have had this man in your life.

    Thank you for sharing the photographs and your lovely words for a well-loved uncle.

    With deep sympathy ...


  11. Great story. I do like how we seem to have moved to a 'celebration' of a life at the time of death. It makes much more sense.
    Thinking of you.

  12. i'm glad you got to have a nice little trip on the train even if it was for something sad. xo

  13. I believe that I have one your Uncle's paintings on my wall - large boulders on a beach - with "Clearing Storm, Wilson's Promontory" written on the back. I bought it from an Art Gallery in Glen Waverley in the late 60s or early 70s.

  14. We lived as expats from the US in 1997 through 1999. We went to the Rocks in Sydney to find a watercolor that represented our 2 wonderful years in Australia. Paul's view of Sydney harbor will stay in my family forever. He will live on through us... He was a great artist. Bazza

    1. What a lovely story, Bazza, thank you for sharing that with us!


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