Celebration of Life

Eulogy of Greg Logan

Good afternoon.

I want to start by saying thank you to all of our family and friends. Thank you for all the condolences, prayers, phone calls, texts, emails, memories shared, flowers delivered to Mom, food dropped at the house, and every assistance and support provided to our family. To know our Dad touched these many lives give us feelings of peace and happiness, in this difficult time. I also want to say thank you to the St. Joesph church, who have accommodated us on short notice in these unprecedented times.

In the days since our Dad, Jim Logan, passed away, we have gathered, shared memories, stories and prayers. We have cried together, and we have laughed together. Through this all, I had the opportunity to reflect on his life. And as I asked family and friends to help paint the full portrait of our Dad, several themes began to emerge. Themes of kindness, generosity, humility, and family. Themes that weave together to reveal the fabric of a good life, measured not in time or material things, but in the love and opportunity created for those left behind. So although there are sadness and mourning, this is also a time to honour and celebrate his amazing life. A life that has ultimately been defined by family and the legacy that endures in them.

Jim was born James Lochhead Logan, in Wellington, New Zealand. He grew up about 50 kilometres north, in a town called Paraparaumu, on the Kapiti Coast. His parents, James Logan senior and Mother Phyllis, had earlier immigrated from Scotland to New Zealand to escape the war. Jim was the youngest of 5 children, and with an age gap to his older siblings, he was always considered the baby of the family. Now…we all know Jim had a passion for golf, but it is important to understand where this came from.

The Logan family lived in a house backing onto the ninth hole of Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club. This is a renowned and hallowed golf course, considered to be one of the top links-style courses in the Southern Hemisphere, and has played host to many professional tournaments. Golf was in the blood. Jim’s parents and siblings were competitive golfers, winning many tournaments and club championships. Jim’s youth was spent hopping the fence to play with his family and friends. Jim would also earn money working as a caddie for some of the wealthy members and a few famous professional golfers who passed through. Jim became an excellent golfer in his own right, competing with family and friends and winning junior tournaments. The game taught him many principles and values that would carry with him his entire life.

The young Jim Logan had other interests as well, such as rugby and cars. He purchased his first car at age 18, a Morris 8 Convertible. According to his childhood friends, his Mother loved this car, and when he took her for a drive around town, she would smile from ear to ear. At the age of 19, Jim left New Zealand for Canada, following his brother Jock in search of new adventures and career opportunities.

Jim arrived in Toronto in 1969. He spent several years working at a bank before applying to a job at Canadian Pacific Airlines. This involved re-locating West, and he moved to Vancouver in 1974. Jim would share a house in Richmond with several of his new colleagues at CP Air, which they dubbed the Aztec hotel. His work colleagues would become his best and life long friends, some of whom are here today. Jim would go on to work in the airline industry for 31 years. His job gave him the opportunity to travel the world. He always had exciting stories, exotic foods, and gifts for us when he came home from trips.

As children, we were incredibly fortunate to frequently travel on airplanes to new destinations. Dad loved Hawaii, and our family trips to the Islands would become a hallmark of our family memories.

Jim met Evelyn Siglos at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, in 1978. Jim was shy and reserved, Evelyn was the complete opposite. She complimented him perfectly, coaxing the fun and humorous side of his personality, and it was true love. After Mom finished nursing school, they married on September 26, 1981. They had six children, which, I believe, is a sign of a happy and devoted marriage. Many people who would meet and get to know Dad would say, “I never would have expected you to have six kids,” to which Dad would reply, “I’m not sure how it happened… “ Being a relatively new father myself, I often ask myself, how he did he do it?…

Well…I think we all know the answer to that question. Our Dad’s best fortune in life was meeting our Mom. She was his bedrock, his guiding light, and she has shown incredible strength and grace in the time since he has passed. We love you, Mom.

I believe Dad’s greatest passion was being a Father.

As the oldest sibling, I can remember eagerly awaiting his phone calls from the hospital to proudly announce the newest sister or brother in our growing family. He was involved in school, sports, scouting, travel, camping, fishing, and any interest his children displayed. Everything he did was for his family. The time Dad invested watching and driving us to activities is infinite. He was funny, a great storyteller, and a good listener. Being a grandfather was a feather in his cap. He adored his grandchildren, spending lots of time with them, and always asking Mom for the daily pictures or videos we had to share.

My time and words here cannot do full justice to our Dad’s life. We take comfort, knowing his story continues in his children and grandchildren. Children and grandchildren who carry on his name and traditions.

If anyone here has stories of our Dad they wish to share, please approach any of us after mass, we would be grateful to hear them.

We love you, Dad. We know you are in heaven now. Please watch over us, until the time that we will see you again.

Thank you.

Note:
This is the first time the church opens its door to the public as part of re-opening due to COVID. We are blessed and fortunate to celebrate my brothers-in-law, Jim Logan, Mass of Christian Burial.

We were allowed to have maximum 50 people including the body of Jim in the church. Having a big family, we cannot accommodate them all.

Needless to say, we gathered mostly in prayers by using Zoom. The funeral was lived streamed via Facebook. All something new.

Thank you for the new technology, over 500 viewed the video from all parts of the world that joined us celebrating the life of Jim Logan.

 

Filling the hole in our heart.

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They say dogs love you, cats own you. Maybe so. Cats are just as loving as dogs. They are love, oozing with so much love to give and receive. With their love, we become captives. I had two cats, Maurice … Continue reading

Memory

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THERE ARE TWO WAYS of remembering. One is to make an excursion from the living present back into the dead past. The old sock remembers how things used to be when you and I were young. The faraway look in his eyes is partly the beer and partly that he’s really far away.

The other way is to summon the dead past back into the living present. The young widow remembers her husband, and he is there beside her.

When Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me,” (1 Corinthians 11:24) he was not prescribing a periodic slug of nostalgia.

~ Frederick Buckner

The Gift of Prayer

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We have just finished our third night of prayer for our dearly beloved, Lorena when her sister’s mother-in-law followed Lorena’s footsteps. Now, we have to remember the mother-in-law in our prayers as well. Tonight will be the sixth evening that is extra … Continue reading

Yes, Jake, memories of you do last even if you are a cat

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To lose a pet always comes with anguish. You wake up everyday and there they are. It becomes so much like breathing you can’t imagine them not ever being there. They ask so little of us food, water, love and … Continue reading

Pilgrim’s Ending

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It was the end of Cesar’s pilgrimage. I know Cesar’s wife, Bennie. She organizes pilgrimages and I have joined a couple of her many pilgrimages. The Celebration of Life for Cesar seems to be a reunion all pilgrims. Such a beautiful celebration. … Continue reading

In Praise of Mother: A Legacy of a Selfless Person

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I really do not know much about Mother. My siblings have asked her numerous times to write her story. If she can’t write maybe, she can record her memoir. They gave her a recorder. Thinking that she might do it, … Continue reading

Keeping my Mother alive

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Mother subscribed to “Living with Christ” that I took over when she died. I changed the mailing address and kept her name. It’s a booklet of daily mass readings.

As years go by, I noticed I started receiving other mails addressed to her.  Now, there are more mails for her than for me.  These envelopes are coming from various charitable and health organizations asking for donations.  Some mails even have greetings cards, address labels, calendars, pens, bags and other goodies.  I consider these as bribes.

motherWho on earth is keeping my Mother alive?

I know that there is an industry that collects and sells data of name and address of other people.  At the same token some organizations buy the list for solicitation purposes.  I wonder if they have any idea that some people on the list are dead.

I find it rather amusing that these organizations are totally clueless.  One envelope is from Heart and Stroke.  Do I dare tell them that Mother actually died of a massive heart attack on March 31, 2000?

Seeing all these mails for Mother is one way of keeping the memory of her alive.  I do not have the heart to return them to sender for I love receiving her mails.

Mother left us a lasting legacy of love, faith and hope.

Love is her guiding principle, faith is her foundation and hope kept her forging ahead to raise her thirteen children as a single mother.  Like most parents, she wanted the very best for her children.

Mother had a tremendous responsibility to maintain love and care for one another in our family unit. She provided a modest rented apartment as our home that is welcoming.  Even though our home is small, our friends and classmates are part of the family. There was a sense of belonging and ease.  They even call her Mother, too.

When it comes to education, Mother wanted us to focus our energy on studying since she only finished Grade 4.  Once we graduated from University, only then can we try extracurricular activities such as having a boyfriend.

Family is all about relationship of unconditional love, giving and nurturing.  She loved, gave and nurtured.  Her children came first and sacrificed her own personal wants; a very altruistic person. She set a good example and standard for me, my siblings, family, friends and community.  The community presented her an award as Mother of the Year.

When I was younger, I cannot see through what Mother is.  Only then, as I grow older and have more time to contemplate and reflect about her, I can truly say how blessed I am that she chose me to live and saved my life when I became gravely ill.  Not just me but so many others before me.  We are all lucky to have Mother.

Even though she’s no longer here on earth, we keep her legacy of love, faith and hope.  And for as long as we are alive, we will continue to speak and tell stories to the younger generations.