Category Archives: Family

Video of Doug’s Funeral

Funeral Services for Doug Duncan, Oct 11, 2011 from James Duncan on Vimeo.

On October 11, family met for a small funeral service at Nelson Baptist, after which they met at the cemetery for the interment. A bit later that afternoon, a larger celebration service was held at Hope Community Church. Both services are shown in part here, spliced together during the eulogy. Photos from the interment accompany the final hymn.


Posted by on 25 November, 2011 in Family, Personal



Another Milestone

We’ve made it to another milestone.

Today is Bronwen’s and my 43rd Wedding Anniversary.

Many memories come flooding back of that Saturday 43 years ago. I played tennis in the morning before the ceremony at the Nelson Baptist Church in the afternoon. Bronwen looked radiant in spite of the fact she had the ‘flu. Shona and Bruce sang a duet at the reception in her honour, the Gilbert & Sullivan song, “Take a pair of sparkling eyes”.

The eyes have not lost their sparkle and she no longer has the ‘flu. Instead, its me no longer able to play tennis and having the ailments.

Bronwen has been such a faithful companion and put up with so many changes of house and country over the years that its a wonder she didn’t consider that she needed a change of man!


Through the highs and the lows, the valleys and the mountain tops, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, by God’s generous grace, we’ve made it to 43 years together.

And the last three years have been the closest and best.


Posted by on 7 September, 2011 in Family, Personal


Drama queens!

Drama queens!

Off on their excellent adventure

There’s more drama in Mum and Dad’s life than that in a marathon of amateur Shakespeare recitals!

The last blog post had doctors diagnosing the cause of all the bleeding he’d been having. Much blood has dripped down the drain since then.

He underwent a procedure on Wednesday afternoon to cauterize the wounds in his bowel and to stitch up a leaking hepatic mesenteric artery. Following a dose of fresh blood, Dad’s color and character returned, slowly, but he did improve.

Dad was discharged around midday on Thursday from hospital. I went and picked him up and on his way home he (or the morphine) wondered out loud where we should go for lunch. When Dad is told that he can “go home” what he hears is: “you’re good to go”.

In spite of Mum’s and my strong suggestions that given he’d lost around 3.5 liters of blood since the weekend, he really should just put his feet up and rest – he didn’t. Well he tried, but resting isn’t in his nature. If he’s still ‘above ground’ and there’s work to be done, he sets about to get it done.

This morning over breakfast he told me he’d lost some more blood during the night. To say that was disappointing news to hear is an understatement. We were all so hopeful that Wednesday’s procedure would be ‘it’ for a while. While I was finishing my morning coffee and he was having his potions and elixirs, the plaintive call of “Doug” came from the bathroom. Mum had had one of her turns and this time she was the patient and Dad was the nurse.

Shortly after lunch, Dad checked his colostomy bag to find that there was more blood and that there was a constant drip into the bag. Mum and I decided that we wouldn’t muck around and we’d just get him to the hospital to get him looked at (actually ‘treated’ is a different matter). While I was helping Dad get his stuff together, Mum called St Johns Ambulance for advice. They told us to wait there, they were sending some Ambos round.

While the St John’s boys were prepping Dad for the trip to hospital, Mum had another of her turns and they looked at her and decided that they should take her as well. Sweet, I thought, a quiet afternoon for me. Being the father of three young kids, I realize that an ambulance house call is not a crisis moment – it’s a Kodak moment! I got my camera out and snapped away. If only I’d had the foresight to grab the video camera I might have been able to engineer an entry to Funniest Home Videos. ‘Always be prepared’ and all that. Alas, I’m no boy scout.

With the afternoon with the parents out of the house, I set about trying to organize some of Dad’s files. No sooner had I written my siblings out of the Will than I got a phone call from Dad to say that I could come and pick them up. To say that was disappointing news to hear is an understatement – I hadn’t chucked a ‘save’ the corrected document yet!

There’s possibly a more accurate version of events, but I can only call them as I see them. Perhaps Dad will give you his perspective when he’s feeling a little better.

‘Till next time… Sim.

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Posted by on 27 August, 2011 in Family, Medical


66th Birthday bash

Although the day ended in a bit of a medical crisis, the rest of my birthday was celebrated in grand style.

First of all Bronwen and I went for lunch at the Tahuna Beach Cafe with Ron and Jocelyn Tucker who live just down the road from us and whom we’ve known for many years.

In the evening we went up to Becky’s house where she’d cooked a lovely roast chicken dinner for us. We also enjoyed a chocolate-iced marble cake that Abe and Phoebe had helped to make.


Posted by on 26 July, 2011 in Family, Personal, Photos


Better news on lungs

I went to the doc today about the coughing spasms and tight-chestedness I had on Tuesday night. He listened to my lungs and assured my I am getting a good volume of air into the lungs. Nor is the problem related to the lung metastases. He said I have picked up an upper respiratory lung infection and should just lie low until it gets better. He said I need to be careful exposing myself to the cool night air.

I came away quite relieved.

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Posted by on 21 July, 2011 in Family, Medical, Personal


I thought I was slowing down!!

I used to think I was away a lot before I hopped on the cancer train, however it appears there’s been a bit of activity in the last year.

Bronwen has been completing a Morgan Research poll and one of the questions related to holidays and trips we have done in the past twelve months where we have stayed for at least a couple of nights. I have been away fifteen times and Bronwen has accompanied me on twelve of those occasions. Only one of those trips involved a cancer treatment!

We have been to:
Dunedin – x1 (radioactive spheres treatment & whanau)
Hanmer Springs – x3 (ministry)
Geraldine – x2 (ministry)
Blenheim – x1
Australia (Geelong, Hobart, Canberra, Geelong) – x1
Picton – x1
Wellington – x1 (ministry)
Auckland – x1 (ministry & whanau)
Kaiteriteri – Bethany Park – x1 (Homeschoolers camp under canvas)
Little Kaiteriteri – x1
Riwaka & National Park – x1
Martinborough & Wellington – x1 (sibling reunion)

It may not seem much to most people and the places may not seem that exotic compared to Asia and Eastern Europe where we’ve been in the past. At times it has seemed as if my footsteps are stodgy, but when I look back over these twelve months it is good to realise how much we’ve been able to enjoy together both in short breaks and ministry.

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Posted by on 4 July, 2011 in Articles, Family, Personal