A Wish Before I Die : The Peter Gourlay Story

By: James MacLeod - Managing Director, Tobin Brothers Funerals
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

During late May and early June I couldn’t help but be touched by the story 3AW’s Neil Mitchell ran on four-year-old Peter Gourlay.

Peter was suffering from terminal cancer and had stolen the hearts of many Australians due to his zest for life.

Neil Mitchell shared Peter’s story with us all to assist him with ticking off some of the things on his bucket list, and with his twin brother Daniel beside him, Peter went about achieving much of it.

Ticked off his list were being President of Collingwood Football Club for a day; visiting a dairy farm in Kooweerup where he milked cows, drove a tractor, collected eggs, rode a motorbike and played on the Kooweerup fire engine…he went for a ride in a hotrod, and the list goes on.

You couldn’t help but be moved by Peter’s story and by the strength of Peter’s mother Meredith – a mother of 6 beautiful boys.

Tobin Brothers Funerals was engaged to arrange Peter’s celebration of life on Friday 20th June. Consistent with the generosity of the wider community, we also witnessed the generosity of numerous people who assisted the Gourlay family in their time of need.

In particular I would like to acknowledge:

  • Lilydale Memorial Park and their CEO Jacqui Briggs-Weatherill.
  • Lombards the Paper People for the wonderful balloons they supplied – special thanks to their Managing Director Claude Lombard.
  • Checkpoint Catering and in particular their Principal Benjamin Bramble.
  • Elisa Mallinder from Newscorp.
  • CityLife Church – in particular Rev Cheryl Daly and all of the staff.

Peter’s life celebration was held at CityLife Church in Wantirna South where Reverend Cheryl Daly led a beautiful service and CityLife’s music team did a wonderful job.

The Church was decorated by all of Peter’s favourite toys together with a painting that was made by his kindergarten buddies, his favourite coloured balloons, his Collingwood signed Guernsey, and his police office teddy bear that sat on his coffin looking after him.

At the conclusion of the service, family and friends gathered around Peter, whose wish before he died was to ride on a Harley Davidson.

Sadly because he didn’t get the opportunity to fulfill that wish in his short life, he took his final ride on Tobin Brothers Harley Davidson hearse out to Lilydale Memorial Park where a private cremation took place.

The balloon release that was held just prior to Peter’s departure was a wonderful sight. There was a balloon for each week of his life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To all those who assisted in making Peter’s funeral a true celebration, thank you.

 

Written by James MacLeod - Managing Director, Tobin Brothers Funerals

Photography by Matt Weedon  |  Tobin Brothers Funerals

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the letters you see in the image.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

The Life Celebration of Daniel Harkins

On 18th June 2017, Daniel John Edward Harkins was returning from Bairnsdale after a race meeting when he stopped to assist a car that had run off the road between Sale and Rosedale, he was tra...

It’s your funeral, an investigation of death care in the Funeral Industry in Australia Comment

  As Managing Director of Tobin Brothers I’d like to make the following comments on a recently released paper “It’s your funeral, an investigation of death care in the Funeral Industry...

Coping at Christmas

Christmas in many ways is about change. As a child growing up, our Christmas meant an early rise and our pilgrimage would begin to my mother’s home town Willuara at the foothills of the Grampians,...

Mother's Day Can Be A Very Difficult Day

Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for us all to give thanks to the unique individuals, often affectionately known as Mum, Mother or Ma, who have cared for each and every one of us. Equally, ...

How Would You Like To Be Celebrated?

In recent months Tobin Brothers Funerals, with the assistance of Creative Director Robin Geradts-Gill from RGG Creative, produced four new TV ads that posed the question ‘How would you like to be c...

Tobin Brothers Support : Gach Nyuon

On Sunday 20th September, Tobin Brothers Funerals were pleased to announce that Gach Nyuon was the 2015 winner of the Tobin Brothers Young Multicultural Player of the Year award. Gach was...

Funeral Insurance Pitfalls

This week I read an article on news.com.au which highlights the recent report from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) regarding Funeral Insurance. The report states that “i...

Tribute to Peter Banfield

Introduction: James MacLeod's recreational pursuits are playing cricket, golf, horse racing, and the Blackburn Football Club of which he is the immediate Past President. In this blog post, J...

Celebrating Transparency, Celebrating Lives

When I was appointed Managing Director of Tobin Brothers Funerals in February 2011, I had many things on my ‘to do’ list. One of my main priorities was to take the transparency of Tobin Brothers F...

Commiserate and Celebrate

An increasing number of Australians want joy not sorrow at funerals. That’s a key finding of a survey carried out on behalf of the Australian Funeral Directors’ Association (AFDA) by McCrindle Rese...