Yesterday we got on a coach for an outing but rather than our usual bowling day away, this was a sadder outing to say goodbye to our dear friend Ernie Merritt who passed away recently. We stopped en-route at a very nice garden centre for a while to have something to eat and a comfort break. The service at the Norwich crematorium was very nice (if a funeral service can be said to be nice), sad but also at times joyful with laughter. Many of the people from their former church All Saints in Goodmayes also came by coach and the chapel was full with quite a few people standing. Afterwards, we met at the Lodge near to where June and Ernie live with their daughter Nicola and son-in-law Malcolm. The hospitality shown by the family was wonderful, they clearly appreciated the efforts made by people to make the journey to Norwich but was it really an effort for us? Ernie was such a lovely man that it really was no effort at all to go and say our goodbyes to a good friend, kind human being and not forgetting, a fine bowler. There were some very nice tributes said at the Lodge by the family, All Saints church and by Brian (Mackenzie) on behalf of our club. As these were said in garden we were very fortunate that the weather was kind and it didn’t rain. We were less fortunate on the way home when our coach broke down at Gallows Corner! Some people managed to arrange lifts from their family but in the end it didn’t take long for a replacement coach to arrive.
Ernie’s ashes will be interred at the All Saints church, June will let us know when this will be so that those that wish to,can attend.
A sad day but one that none of us that attended would have missed.
Ernie, a dear friend who taught me so much, not just by his words but how he lived his life. – Brian Mackenzie
Above: The floral tribute sent by St Chads Bowling Club.
Below: All the floral tributes to Ernie. The family had said people could send floral tributes or instead, make a donation to the British Heart Foundation (https://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/donate).