Tuesday, December 17, 2013
GARTH Gibson – Exmouth’s much-missed town crier who died in 2009 – now has a fitting tribute in the Manor Gardens.
In a poignant dedication service on Saturday morning, a beautiful ceramic memorial – created by Mal Hewitson and members of Exmouth Ceramic Group (ECG) – was unveiled in Garth’s memory.
Members of Garth’s family attended. Alongside them stood former town mayors, town clerks, the Exmouth Shanty Men – who Garth sang with – and ECG members.
The service – led by Father Tony Oswin, the former rector of Withycombe Raleigh, and the Reverend James Hutchings, of Holy Trinity Church – was hosted by John Humphreys, the Mayor of Exmouth.
John spoke warmly of Garth’s nine years as town crier and introduced former mayor Brenda Taylor, who had nominated Garth for the role in 2000. Brenda spoke of her many memories of Garth.
Following a prayer from Father Oswin and the dedication of the memorial, the mayor read more memories of Garth from former town clerk John Wokersien.
Roger Bourgein – the town’s current town crier – also spoke with great humility about the ‘unique’ man who ‘was that rare thing – a true human being’.
The service concluded with a heartfelt rendition of Roll The Old Chariot Along – performed by the Exmouth Shanty Men – and a closing prayer from the Reverend James Hutchings.
“The memorial is a wonderful tribute to Garth,” said John Humphreys.
“It’s clever,” said Brenda Taylor. “He touched so many people’s lives, he was such a special person.”
“The memorial is beautiful,” said Mike Gibson, Garth’s grandson. “It’s brought back a lot of memories, not just from the family but also from all his friends that have turned up today to support him. It just shows how much he was loved in the town.”
“It was an honour and a challenge for the Exmouth Ceramic Group to create and design Garth’s memorial,” said ECG chairman Doug Middleton.
It took ECG member Mal Hewitson two years to create the memorial.
“We had some photographs of him,” she said. “They were all different. That gave me the idea of the four faces.”