In memoriam


Thomas Ganderton, born June 5, 1925, died February 10, 1987. Jacqueline Wall Ganderton (nee Height) born April 9, 1924, died September 29, 2016. Married September 25, 1947.

How do we honor and remember those who have gone before us? Death is final, yet we have the ability to keep people alive, within us, not just as memories, but through our thoughts and actions. My parents live on through my recollections, but mostly, and most importantly, through my acts. By being a good person, I honor them.

Memories of my mother.
She was known by many names: mum, John, Johnnie, Jackie, Auntie Johnnie, Grandma Johnnie, Mamma Gandini, Gran, the ancient. She was many things to many people: daughter, sister, love of his life, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, and friend. A friend most of all, as perhaps most of us would like to be, and be remembered as. She was someone to talk with, to share moments with, over a cup of morning coffee or afternoon tea. She actually enjoyed a cup of coffee, especially at a coffee shop in the mall. But a cup of tea is what she will be most associated with. A special blend of leaves and other ingredients she concocted that combined to make a great cup of tea.

Mum enjoyed a simple life, although she was by no means limited in her worldly view. She had travelled the world. To some places in person, but to more places through books, and thanks to the ABC and BBC, via television. I believe she holds the record (yet to be acknowledged by Guinness) as the longest continuous member of a book club in the world! For over 50 years she read the 11 monthly books, and many others in between. I’m sure she read thousands of books in her lifetime, literally. Her simple pleasures, especially later in life, were reading quietly, enjoying her garden, and spending time in conversation with a friend or friends over a cup of tea.

Her favorite color was blue. She adored the ballet. She preferred a time when people treated others with more respect, and didn’t use ugly language. She was bored by politics, which reveals the true depth of her intellect. I don’t know if she had a favorite piece of music, as music didn’t seem to play a large part in her life. I remember as a teenager playing Frank Zappa at high volumes without her ever complaining despite having her sewing machine right between my speakers!

She took great pride in the achievements of her children, and their families. She was a very proud grandmother, and great grandmother. I expect her legacy to live on in their love of beautiful things, and the knowledge that tea is the universal panacea.


Here is a gallery of photos of my mother and father.