24 Jul 1927 - 20 May 2014
24 Jul 1927 - 20 May 2014
Hi - I'm very sorry to hear of Eric's death and that because I am going to be out of the country at the time of his funeral there will not be a representative of the McMorran family at his funeral. As you may know Eric has been part of our family since before I was born and beyond. He has been one of my father (Frank's) closest friends for more than 60 years and I grew up with Eric joining us for almost every long week and holiday. As an only child Dad didn't provide my brother Steven and I with uncles so Eric was very much an uncle figure in our lives. We looked forward to his visits because he always had time for us as kids. Whenever he visited we would wait until Mum told us he'd had enough of a sleep in then jump into bed with him for him to read us stories (until Mum told us he'd probably had enough reading and to leave him alone). Because of his mechanical talents, Dad would always look forward to Eric's visits because Dad was always needing his expertise to fix the lawn mower (something of a busman's holiday for Eric though). They would sit outside with the mower in bits having a few beers then put it back together at the end of the day and Dad would declare that it was working better than ever (until Eric's next visit). We actually inherited Eric from another of Dad's friends - Ross Richards. Ross and Dad worked together and were great mates and coincidentally before Steven and I were born, Mum and Dad moved into the same street as Ross and his wife were living in Lower Hutt. Eric always used to stay with Ross and Colleen when he came down to Wellington and when they moved away from the Hutt, Eric just kept on coming but to us instead. Eric was so easy going he fitted in with whatever we were doing (including lawn mower repairs) and just became part of our family. He was always very generous to us kids with pocket money when he left us - I remember after one holiday having enough money because of Eric's generous donation to be able to buy two guinea pigs and their cage - much to Mum's disgust as she'd been hoping that the lack of savings would prevent me from getting two more pets she would end up looking after. I also remember a summer holiday we took to Napier - my first ever visit to a place I could happily live in. The 4 of us stayed with Eric and his mother in their house in Wellesley Street - he didn't move far! - and we had a fantastic time doing all the touristy things that you did in Napier at the time like Marineland etc. One day Steven and I thought we'd try out the paddle boats down on the Parade and with each of us having control of an oar we inevitably got into a fight about which of us was responsible for our going round in circles. Mum, Dad and Eric were watching the spectacle from the shore and were in fits seeing us going round and round in circles shouting at each other. When we got to the point where one of us (me probably) stood up to whack the other with an oar it was Eric who was the most concerned about our safety as our parents were too busy falling about laughing.
In my adult life I've continued to consider Eric as a surrogate uncle. I've always made a point of meeting up with him for a beer or two or a meal or whatever whenever I've been in Napier and I know that all of the McMorrans will miss his good company and the long conversations putting the world to rights. We will be thinking of him and his family on Tuesday and sorry once again we can't be there. If someone wanted to read this out on behalf of the McMorrans on Tuesday we would be very pleased. With all best wishes, Lyn McMorran