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Gillian's funeral

Sadly, Gillian Mann passed away on 29 December 2007, just 6 weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, after not feeling well for most of the year.

The funeral- 4 January 2008

We decided to cremate Gillian, so that we could take some of her ashes back to Lancaster England and place them with her parents Beryl and Charles.

We chose a cosy old cemetery to bury Gillian's ashes - in Woden Cemetery in Canberra Australia. She was placed in the memorial garden and has a lovely spot in the morning shade, nicely between two trees.

I have a disassociated feeling for normal cremations, because after the funeral, the body is taken away for cremation. But we are not involved in their final resting place as the remains are not usually available for 2 days..

Therefore we decided to have a public viewing of Gillian on 2 January 2008, so people could say goodbye to Gillian in the physical self. I need to say goodbye this way. This was imprinted to me by Gillian when our first dog was killed when I was at school. Gillian kept the dog for me, so I could say goodbye, instead of never seeing my dog again and wondering what happened to her.

After Gillian was prepared in the White Lady Chapel, her Binalong friends Leonie, daughter Paris and granddaughter Jessica gave her make-up and did her hair.

Gillian looked beautiful again and the same 10 years younger than she really was. The illness that sucked the life out of her had gone.

After the public viewing, Amy and I gave her our last farewell's to the physical. It was a very emotional time as you can imagine.

Gillian was then taken away for cremation.

On Friday 4 January 2008, a funeral/memorial service was held in the chapel at the cemetery. Jennifer Whitlock was a wonderful and appropriate celebrant. Leonie Hunter's granddaughter Jessica Johnson read a poem to start things off.

Four eulogies were then read out (see the right side menu above), covering the time she came to Australia, by Alistair Hay, who remained a good friend from their 2nd marriage, my memories of her as a mother, good friend and former student Fiona Lawry talked about Gillian the artist and teacher and finally Leonie Hunter described Gillian as they new her from Binalong.

After the service, Amy and I walked Gillian's ashes to her final resting place in the memorial garden. Gillian's ashes were then placed directly into the ground, as she wished, with some of her mother Beryl's ashes and the soil from her father Charles' burial place, which Gillian had brought back with her in 2002.

We placed carnations from our garden in with her and I later found out that her childhood nickname Gillyflower is in fact a name for carnations. A symbolic coincidence.

Everyone paid their respects to Gillian's ashes and kindly greeted us with their condolances.

Many of us journeyed to The Brassey Hotel afterwards for the wake, where a movie slideshow was shown, in memory of Gillian's life.

A fitting tribute to a wonderful person.

I aim to keep this website alive as a tribute to Gillian, and hope to add more of her art work of the coming months and years.

- Julian, her loving son.

Gillian is survived by her son Julian Mann, daughter-in-law Li Xue (Amy) and grand daughter Lila.

Gillian was an only child. Her remaining relatives are cousins in England, Northern Ireland, Melbourne Australia and Thailand.

Her first husband Kashmirilal Shah died in 1978 in Canada (Gillian only found this out in 2007). Her second husband Alistair Hay lives in Melbourne and remains close to the family. Gillian remained divorced (with many admirers). 

Her best friends were her doggies: Natalie, Natalie II, George, Kiwi, Wellington, Daphne (all in doggy heaven) and Homer and Illie (both now living with Julian, Amy and Lila).

Below, Gillian's picturesque spot in the memorial gardens between 2 trees. And again a few months later in Autumn with Amy and Lila.


Alistair Hay

Julian Mann

Fiona Lawry

Leonie Hunter

Li Xue Zhou


Jessica Johnson 


Memoral of Gillian 1939-2007

Gillian's resting place

Gillian is in the memorial garden of Woden Cemetery, Canberra.


Condolences / messages

You can write anything you wish to share about Gillian or your thoughts on the guestbook.

Subpages (1): Eulogies
jules mann,
11 Jul 2009, 06:13
jules mann,
11 Jul 2009, 06:09
jules mann,
11 Jul 2009, 06:08
jules mann,
11 Jul 2009, 06:09