Barry Brickells’ Memorial Service on Wednesday last followed a private internment the evening prior for family and workers from Driving Creek and a few close old friends. The numbers for that were limited to how many the train could carry half-way up the mountain to his chosen burial site behind Driving Creek – 64. The Memorial Service the next day had to be held in the hall of the local, Coromandel Area School, as not only was half the town there but more friends and associates from Barry’s many-stranded life came from all over the country – the deep south, the capital, small and large towns and many from Auckland. Some of those even persuaded the Gulf ferry company to delay the return journey so that travel by boat, on a hot, humid mid-summer’s day might be engaged rather then the three hour journey by car down motorways and across long flat plains. The hall was packed, extra seating had to be brought in from all over the school and a number had to stand at the sides, and gladly did, for the more than two hour event. There were somewhere over 900 people gathered.
His brother and sisters gave an initial eulogy. Then many was the story told by old friends, of course. Contributions were made not only by the pottery and the arts communities but also from people involved with him in his conservation activities and rail restoration projects as well as Trust Board representation from Driving Creek itself. There was a small choir that sang a cappella and joined with the assembled audience for a chorus of “He’ll be coming round the mountain”. The ceremony was grand and well managed as was the country-style feast that followed. Barry would have loved it.