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Dead but not forgotten? Foreword to our Parish Registers (1903-1936)


jane-riley-tombstone
‘In loving memory of Jane Riley who died 18th May 1910
Dead but not forgotten’

Jane Riley died 63 years to the day before I was born. In 1910 she was dead but not forgotten, as shown by the erection of this tombstone close to St Stephen’s church.
Almost all of the people recorded here in this volume are now dead. Some are still remembered by those still alive. But for most of them even these people are now dead as well. Like Jane Riley they are now dead and forgotten. So true are the words that were spoken at their funerals –
‘all people are like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more’ (Psalm 103:15-16).

This is the sombre reality of life – despite each person’s joys and hopes and achievements – eventually the dead are not only gone, they are also forgotten.
So once again I extend my thanks on behalf of many to the members of the Hawkesbury Family History Society for recording those who otherwise are now forgotten. May the publication of their work again proide a wonderful resource for family and local historians. And may these records give us pause to remember that we too are like grass, and so to remember those other words spoken at their funerals –
‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live , even though he dies’ (John 11:25).

Rev. Shaun McGregor
Senior minister, Parish of Kurrajong
8th April 2016 A.D.