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Her hands were always busy

Alex and Gwen Mulligan with daughter Shirley pictured around 1988

Anne Lawton speaks very warmly of her friend, Gwen Mulligan. “She was a most special person. She was married to Alex (a church warden) and a mother of 6 including Shirley, a daughter with disabilities.

John and Anne Lawton in December 1963 at their wedding

“She loved doing flowers, her hands were always busy – knitting, sewing, baking or helping others. She was my ‘other mother,’ my go-to person when I first came to St John’s. I got married at St John’s in 1963, then we lived in Johannesburg and I came back in 1970.

“I met Gwen at the cell group at her home. She was a remarkable person, was 99 years old when she passed away in 2015. She often organised the food and functions at church.

“For one of our International Food Fair fundraisers, each group was assigned a nation, we dressed up accordingly and made the food that went with the country and played music (see pictures below). We had many wonderful get-togethers. Others like Bev Marshall, Evelyn Huson, Jean Davids, Joan Adams, Maureen Fabe also did lot of cooking.  We used to be very busy people – ‘Been there, done that’ -  it makes me tired thinking about it all.”

Her family fondly remembers her always being busy making her garden beautiful and how much time she spent keeping it up. Leigh, her 2nd youngest grandson of 15 grandchildren, recalls how deep her Godly wisdom was and how she loved having visitors to entertain - probably the reason she hosted Bible study for so many years.

Many others have spoken of the positive influence of Gwen at St John’s. She was noted for her compassion for others, her willingness to help and always putting the teaching of Scripture first. Her life continues to speak of humility, compassion, cheerfulness and devotion to the Lord. A sweet fragrance – gone, but not forgotten.

Pictures: Mr Mulligan and Patrick May with some of the beautiful flower arrangements for the 160th Anniversary (1994) of St John's; Swiss stall at the International Food Fair in 1989 (Anne on the right), tables full for the occasion, all made to feel welcome.


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