BERYL BANKS EULOGY
When I first came to know Beryl, I suppose I thought of her as a lovely elderly lady, from an old village family, modest, and desperately proud of her two sons, Clyde and David and their achievements, having been happily married, in their dancing years to Larry, her formerly Scottish soldier husband.
But as I got to know her better, especially during her illness, I soon found out there was a lot more to her than that. I wasn’t’ wrong about her in my first impressions but I had seen only part of the picture. I was to discover that she was intelligent, and thoughtful; that she could be very direct, that she liked her independence; and that there was deep within her a single-minded determination ( I wouldn’t say stubborn but her sons might). She was determined that she was not going to leave her home, however ill she was. I also discovered, and maybe she did for herself, deep reserves of courage. She knew how ill she was; she could hardly see, and barely hear, yet she was determined to look after herself. And her wish to die at home was made possible by this determination, but also I think because of the help and good friends and neighbours; people like her niece Bubbles, across the road; people like Jim and Tess Thompson Bell; she had in the past been a good neighbour herself, and I like to think that this was repaid by her neighbours. And above all made possible by the care of her two beloved sons.
I also discovered where these sons got their brains from. In the days when many village girls would probably have gone into service, Beryl went to the Commercial College, and learnt secretarial work and office management. She enjoyed her work, and was quietly proud of her own proficiency,. And she gave this up to look after Clyde and David. For at heart she was family oriented. She encouraged Clyde and David, she gave them opportunities and time, and in turn they gave her a good deal of quiet but proud satisfaction.
She was also a good raconteur, with a fascinating and sometimes moving fund of stories about village life, and I shall miss her stories. She told me about the night in Nov 1940 she and her family heard the droning of aircraft and they went outside into the road at Stock’s Hill to hear and see wave upon wave of aircraft flying due SW overhead. They knew some poor souls were going to catch it that night. A few hours later the sky to the West was bright orange and red with flames reflected in the sky, and the next morning they heard on the wireless that Coventry had been destroyed by the Germans. But there were also happier stories. She and Larry loved dancing, but her dancing life began before that as a child. In their home at Splash Lane where she and her 7 brothers and sisters lived there was a shed in the garden for the boys to sleep in. But in the evenings this shed, with the help of a wind-up gramaphone and friends became their private dance hall.
She was a wonderful mother, she loved her extended family , she was hardworking, good at home making, but she was also a spirited lady with a good sense of humour, who enjoyed a challenge, who liked her little victories as fellow members of the WI would have found out when she was their secretary and treasurer.
I also discovered that she was a woman with a deep, traditional Christian faith. She always came to church here, if one of her sons was around to bring her. She was grateful that God had spared her time in hospital; that it was going to be possible to die at home. And she met her death calmly and peacefully. When I annointed her and said the last prayers with her she understood exactly what was happening and her life ebbed away, as she had lived, with courage in the face of adversity, courage perhaps she did not know she had herself, but also with dignity.
As some-one who had cared for others, she did not find it easy at first , to be looked after, but I know that she was really grateful to all who helped her, that their company was completely appreciated. Things have now changed. She who looked after others is now to be cared for herself. A home-maker herself she is now in a home made ready for her. She who prepared a place for others, is now in a place prepared for her, a place in the house of our heavenly father.. She knew discomfort during her illness but her body is at rest free from all pain. Her faith reflected her personality; it was direct , honest and straightforwrad, with a strong sense of right and wrong, and strong in the face of adversity . She has mourned, now she will be comforted;, As a child of God she will be blessed, as shall we all when we, in our turn look on the face of our heavenly father. We let her go with sadness, accompanied by our prayers, but with confidence in the faith that was hers and is ours. May she rest in peace. Amen.
|The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;
he makes me down to lie in pastures green; he leadeth me the quiet waters by.
|Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale, yet will I fear none ill; for thou art with me, and thy rod and staff me comfort still.
My table thou has furnished in presence of my foes; my head thou dost with oil anoint, and my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life shall surely follow me; and in God’s house for evermore my dwelling-place shall be.
Opening Prayer and Kyrie Eleison
Reading: Revelations 21: 1-4
Gospel: John 14: 1-6, vs 27
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame; and I love that old cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it some day for a crown. O, the old rugged cross, so despised by the world, has a wondrous attraction for me; for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above to bear it to dark Calvary.
In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, a wondrous beauty I see; for ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died to pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true, its shame and reproach gladly bear; then he’ll call me some day to my home far away, when his glory for ever I’ll share.
Priest: Let us pray
Lord have mercy upon us
All: Christ have mercy upon us
Priest: Lord have mercy upon us
Priest: As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.
All: Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not in to temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Priest: Rest eternal grant her O Lord,
All: And let light perpetual shine upon her
|The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended, the darkness falls at thy behest; to thee our morning hymns ascended, thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
We thank thee that thy Church unsleeping, while earth rolls onward into light, through all the world her watch is keeping, and rests not now by day or night.
|As o’er each continent and island the dawn leads on another day, the voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away.
The sun that bids us rest is waking our brethren ’neath the western sky, and hour by hour fresh lips are making thy wondrous doings heard on high.
So be it, Lord; thy throne shall never, like earth’s proud empires, pass away; thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever, till all thy creatures own thy sway.
Priest: Rest eternal grant her O Lord,
All: And let light perpetual shine upon her
Priest: May the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
All: And rise in Glory Amen
Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace:
According to thy word.
For mine eyes hath seen: thy salvation.
Which thou hast prepared: before the face of all people.
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles:
And to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.
Beryl Josephine Banks
16th Dec 1920 – 10th May 2001
St Kyneburgha of Castor
Wednesday 16th May 2001.