I’m not the kind of person to place my “personal” life onto the internet however with the previous few weeks behind me I’d like to leave this somewhere to remember Grandpa Ridgwell.
This was a Eulogy I wrote with my sister, and is a shared moment that hopefully brings out just a little of who this man was and what he meant to us as grandchildren.
Ian: My granddad and I met when I was three. He was a tall man who reminded me of the proud Aussie battler in the photos of classic Australia. Alexander Ridgwell’s reserved composure has become an iconic memory of how I saw his generation. Hard working, loyal to his family and meticulous in his past times, there is much that granddad had to offer to a younger generation.
B: In addition to his commitment to us, his grandchildren, you can only admire his loyalty to his wife of nearly 66 years; a marriage in length one can only aspire to achieve. Loving father of two children, who, thanks to his guidance were both successful with their own families and lives.
Ian: my fondest memories shared with granddad were fishing with dad grandad and Dean, or more accurately the not fishing part. Granddad’s meticulous planning and endless preparation was a source of constant frustration to mum and dad. Dad would often say to us boys “I think he likes the idea of fishing more than fishing itself”. All of the replacing of the tackle box and selecting of fishing rods, the thermals (in 30 degree heat) were fine by me; I didn’t want to fish anyway, I just loved spending time with my grandpa my dad and my brother.
B: granddad really was about the details, particularly when it came to making porridge . He was adamant that it was to be prepared the night before and I will always remember him teaching me what the prefect salt-to-porridge to over-the-should-ratio was. Despite him not being superstitious, this act of throwing the salt over the should was almost a ritual he shared with all of us.
Being the youngest grandchild, I may not remember the things about granddad that the others got to, but the time we spent together when he and gran made the annual trip to Queensland are identified as some of my fondest memories. Granddad’s passion for painting and creative art was and inspiration to both my sister, Sara, and myself, and that is something we will always share. Every Alex Ridgwell painting mum hung on the walls as we grew up is memory of granddad and a reminder of the passion for creativity we shared.
In 2005, granddad was first diagnosed with cancer. With the help and support of his family, he fought that battle and won. We have since been given an extra eight years with granddad, and we are thankful for the extra time, opportunity and memories given to us all as a family.
Ian: it’s a sad thing to say goodbye to someone you love, but as we write this eulogy, we realise how much time we shared with granddad. 6 grandchildren and 5, going on 6 great grandchildren, a loving wife, friends, and extended family are all gathered to celebrate the life of Alexander Wallace Ridgwell. Our grandfather.