Eulogy – Mum (Margaret Melva Bradshaw) Melva

To be read by Selwyn Wilkinson at the celebration service of Melva’s life Jan 7 2021

Due to unforeseen circumstances my close friend Selwyn wasn’t allowed to read this at my mums funeral – celebration of her life. I missed the memo that no public readings allowed. Including me, My fault so have put it up here.
After failing to enter NZ thru Covid restrictions this day was going to be tough enough. My only option to let others read about my love for my mother is here.
The exact copy that Gunner left beside my mothers Urn – bless you Selwyn Wilkinson re: Gunner.
A true friend and a local guy that loved Melva almost as much as I do. I hope you get to post your own words publicly too bro 🙂


Good ole mum, she passes away early hours on dec 31, the morning after our eldest daughter Elle’s 26th birthday and of course Chrissy a couple days earlier.
Earlier West Australia and Victoria had a solid long hard lock out between the states. They open up just before Chrissy so Gaylene and I could be together with our kids for Chrissy in Melbourne. When mum passed away our whole family was together, first time in 11 months due to that covid crap thing.
The very same day of mums passing the WA – Victoria border closes again, Gaylene fortunately got a plane ticket back to WA and I am yet to work out how I am getting back. Sure, a huge pain in the ass but how fortunate we were to be together for my mum and gran for our kids, way to go mum.

Unfortunately, Don and I cannot be here today in person to celebrate you and your life here on earth. Covid restrictions between Aussie and NZ would make this beautiful day a circus with all the regulations and space suit type gear my almost body guard type Covid assistant glued to my side making sure I don’t hug touch or get close to anybody including family. So, no not going to happen.
We will be here for a personal burial when NZ and West Australia open up again for travel.
Hopefully the North Island family will make the journey as well for a very special celebration of your wonderful life.

I would like to take this opportunity and acknowledge the efforts of Ken and Kay for being there with mum as she passed away. The time and energy for organising everything needing to be done to make today happen in the best way possible. While also having own family time, grieving and business matters to attend to is very much appreciated.
Ken you will be an expert now on how to pack up a elderly mothers house and rest home, especially when it’s your own mum. Deciding what was trash and what to keep as it’s our mothers treasure would not be easy.
Thankyou Ken and thankyou Kay.

Right, Where do I start, hmmmmm

From what mum told me of her youth or at least some things she did when her and dad were young and dating, sorta explains my I may have been a little mischievous in one’s younger days.
However this did help me turn into the person I am today and weather you see that as a good thing or bad thing I really do not give a shit. Why? Easy I know my mum saw through those years believed in me and in later years we had an awesome unique relationship.
The type of one where we could talk about anything to each other and have a good laugh. This was so important to her in the last few months when we had our weekly phone calls. On one call she told me to “come on cheer me up I need a laugh to get me through the rest of the day”. I was a bit caught off guard because I had to think of something to make her smile where as our usual banter automatically made this happen. I then realised we naturally could take the piss out of each other or some unsuspecting sole and she would get genuine laughter from it.
To actually come up with something was hard so I just come up with this.
Well mum you know that they make really small motors now and if you get two of them and strap them to a skateboard, you’ll be able to beat all the ole farts in here to lunch. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll really be annoying everyone. Sounds like that would be something you could enjoy yeah? Would be safer than trying to swing off the chandelier to get to the door way.
Of course she said but I don’t have a chandelier and the light shade in here would break.

Then I’d have to figure out if she was serious or not, but she couldn’t keep the giggling back long enough and the following comments were usually a bit censored to just us.
Out of respect we will keep it that way.
As for boy friends in the rest home, sorry guys not a chance. Once again censorship comes into play here.

3 major highlights over the last 2 years that will live with me and others for lifetimes on end.

Taking mum to the All Blacks rugby test in Dunedin June 2018, thanks to gunner supplying a driver and a van that could take her wheelchair. Sitting in prime location seating on the half way line rugged up freezing cold with a big beaming smile.
We did spot ken on the other side of the field (once he moved into the aisle and waved out) that was cool. Just a shame there are barriers preventing walking all way round although was still great for mum to know they were there. (covid restrictions were early in Dunedin hahaha )
Mum really loved her rugby, the smile in the pics we took are self-explanatory, even if she did struggle with a few new rule changes, then again even I struggle with them.
On this same trip we took mum on a limo drive to a restaurant in Balclutha with a few of her close friends, once again the smiles and being in Gunners limo is a rather special moment. So glad we forgot the bottle of wine, they were giggling enough as it was!

The Napier oldies get together in late March 2019, inspired by cousins Neville and Linda.
This all come about when auntie betty got onto facebook. I befriended her and then Linda jumped in and we had a wee chat to and fro. We casually agreed when a gathering was on the cards I’d come over from aussie for it. Honestly, I thought this was just pleasantries being handed to each other.
A few months (not years) later Neville is on the phone, very straight to the point. Evan how are you? been a while we should catch up.
Anyway I seen Melva the other day and we got to get her up here to Napier for a oldest generation get together. The final 3. Just for the oldies anyone else can sort one for the younger ones. This is just for Melva betty and Ian. Can you get her up here? I said well yeah, and I’ll check with her doctors to see if she can travel.
Shad said stuff the doctors to hell with them Melva wants this, needs it and if her health deteriorated while up here well at least she would be extremely happy. Evan I am telling you this because that’s what she told me. Now can you get her up here? I’ll sort out 3 dates that suit us and you pick one. Once she is here we will do the rest.
And that is how the Napier gathering come about. A few chats back and forth with Linda and the event happened. A large Bradshaw and Webster and Bradshaw related family get together.
So so so grateful we all made this gathering eventuate as it wasn’t long after when Uncle Ian went downhill and then covid etc….

3rd and to me personally the most magical moment would have to be Christmas 2019.
Mum, mum in law, son, and daughter in law, our two kids being her aussie grandkids together in one house for Christmas.
An air bnb was booked for boxing day thru to the 30th. Our family flew Christmas night from Melbourne to Christchurch and picked up a hire car 5.30am. Straight to Kurow and picked up Colleen, Gaylene’s mum.
To the house in Dunedin and checked it out. Geez the steepness up the path to the back door was deceivingly steep. I had wonderful thoughts on the wheelchair ride up here for mum, this would be cool.
Gaylene Colleen Jonathon and Cheyanne stayed at the house and I ventured on down to Milton to pick up a very excited mum.

My way of organising a trip like this is to tell mum what day we are coming and sorta where we are going. This gives her ample time to annoy the crap out of the rest home staff that she is going on a trip with family over Christmas.
Also doubles as a sense of excitement building up to pick up day, anyways it worked wonderfully, and we had a awesome trip back into Dunedin.
The bond both mums had with two of their grandkids over those 5 days was absolutely priceless. Even the attention seeking skills of each mum to get grand kid attention was funny to watch, so cool.
On the third day mum and I went to Palmerston to visit Dot – Dorothy Grant, a long-time special friend of Melva’s. Honestly to have been involved to make these two old friends see each other again was even more priceless. When Dorothy gave me a big hug for something she thought would never happen again made my eyes watery. Seeing them both banter off each other in the sunshine of Dots back garden was a moment I’ll cherish for ever.
Back to Dunedin now the kids get to play crib with mum. Jonathon smashed us all at crib and as my mum said… beginners’ luck, beginners’ luck.
Watching Gaylene and her mum spending time together, the grand kids bonding with both grans, this truly was a great week. Even more so now with travel restrictions in place.
So so perfect timing.
After we went back to aussie our oldest daughter and her partner headed over to NZ and caught up with both grandmothers in their homes. The stopover in Milton to see Gran – Melva was perfect timing. Mum gets to enjoy more family visitors and Elle got as much family history out of gran as she could and plenty old photos. The story of Elle, Alex (her partner) and mum getting the car bogged in the cemetery looking for Dads, Grandads grave stone was a classic.

Well, that’s enough about me and mum. So, who really was this lady whom started life as Margaret Melva Scott.
All I know is she fell in love with a north Island bloke married him and had 5 kids, the one before me didn’t make it to birth so hence another kid was created. Was supposed to be a girl but not to be although my middle name Jo without an e is as close as they would get.
We had what I was say a fairly normal upbringing for the 19060’s period. If you released a swear word you had the fortunate experience of tasting the dish wash liquid or the bar of soap and worst case a good ole knitting needle stripe across the ass.
We did a three-way shift from the Back road to Bruce road somewhere along the way.
We entertained grandad T.M Scott with his pipe and shot of whisky every Sunday.
We lived on a farm and mum was a typing come shorthand high school teacher. And yes, the other teachers loved to ensure I got the cane each year to show mum how much of a naughty boy she had. Assholes.
Being brought up on a farm with what we thought for so long was a perfectly normal active mother was great. We would be out paced by our awkward running mother and put to shame on our ability to yell and scream at sheep and lambs to move come tailing time.
It wasn’t until I stayed over at a friend’s place when I asked my friend how come his mother didn’t walk with a limp. I thought that’s what all mums did and hence never noticed anything unusual for all those years.
One day while I was working in the USA I called in to see a friend of mums whom they met up with when mum and dad were over there. This guy said to his friend whom I was, and he said oh the crippled ladies son? Crikey you could have heard a pin drop. Very fortunately mums friend quickly moved the subject forward, yet to this day I have never been so more protective of comments made towards my mother.

Hopefully others will fill in many more situations and stories of our awesome mother who now has been reunited with the man she truly unconditionally loved, my dad John Bradshaw.
This wonderful man was taken from our lives here on earth as we know it far too soon.

So soon in fact that I had only got to know him so well and been forgiven for my period of life where I did not respect him enough that I could not bear to see him in a coffin. I had the pleasure of 5 full days with this wonderful man by myself before he passed away. I have been able to cherish that moment as something so special and for so long and I still have it.
Now is the time to release and cherish the reuniting of both these wonderful people. Back together again as Mum has so cherished. We both knew john – dad presence was always close by and now they are back together. This makes my mother’s passing from her form on this earth so pleasing to accept as we know she has left one happy place for an eternal 2nd happy place.

You are one bloody lucky woman Mum, you and the way you have handled the latter years of life is a inspiration for others to follow. You have groomed me as only a mother can for my own family and when the time comes to join you, I’ll be well prepared.

So thankyou Mum and thankyou Dad.

Your youngest son Evan

Some pics from those 3 events and Chrissy this year 2020 with mum and my family.


Jonathon Elle Cheyanne Dec 2020

Me Jono Cheyanne Mum Dec 2019

Gaylene my wife and daughter in law to Mum Dec 2019 They get on soooo well

Mum and Elle Jan 2020

Mum and Jono Dec 2019

Cheyanne and Mum Dec 2019

Auntie Betty and Mum April 2019

Dot and Scotty

Dot and Scotty Dec 2019

Mums love for Rugby
Under the roof 2018

Gotta love it

Don and Sue and Mum April 2019

Sue and Mum April 2019

Neville – (Shad) and Mum

The two mums 🙂  Christmas 2019

It’s just a game of crib !

Jono and Cheyanne v Mum at crib

Napier Airport april 2019 Yip we got her on the plane

Auntie Betty and Uncle Ian April 2019

The awesome sisters
Cousin Shads wife Marree and Super cousin Linda

Lunch at Ashly Grove Rest Home

Aaaahhh just a wee flight from Christchurch  to Napier April 2019 return.

Some older Pics when Gaylene and Elle did a Gran and Nanna Road trip

Now now Elle Are you really surprised 🙂

Love this pic