Ernest John LE GRICE, 19251994 (aged 69 years)

Ernest John /LE GRICE/
Given names
Ernest John
Birth May 30, 1925 37 33
Address: 183 Victoria Rd, Devonport, Auckland, NZL
Note: Congregational Church, Devonport Auckland
mariner, waterside worker, Fitter & Turner

Birth of a brotherPeter Leonard LE GRICE
July 9, 1926 (aged 1 year)
Note: 183 Victoria Rd, Devonport, Auckland
Death of a paternal grandmotherEmma BUGG
May 25, 1938 (aged 12 years)
Address: 26 Walmesley Rd, St Heliers
Burial of a paternal grandmotherEmma BUGG
May 26, 1938 (aged 12 years)
Cemetery: Purewa Cemetary, Plot 9-A-8w
Death of a fatherGeorge Ernest LE GRICE
May 31, 1942 (aged 17 years)
Burial of a fatherGeorge Ernest LE GRICE
June 3, 1942 (aged 17 years)
Cemetery: Purewa Cemetary, Plot 9-A-52E
Death of a motherKate Florence HART
April 20, 1982 (aged 56 years)
Burial of a motherKate Florence HART
April 23, 1982 (aged 56 years)
Cemetery: Purewa Cemetary, Plot 9-A-52E
Death August 10, 1994 (aged 69 years)
Address: 101a Kowhai Rd. Mairangi Bay.
Cause of death: Heart Attack
Cremation August 16, 1994 (6 days after death)
Address: Schnapper Rock,Albany,Sctrd/at
Family with parents
Birth: August 26, 1887 28 28Wandsworth, Surrey, England
Death: May 31, 1942Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand
Birth: February 23, 1892 19 19Halstead, Essex, England
Death: April 20, 1982Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand
Marriage MarriageJanuary 24, 1923Auckland, New Zealand
16 months
elder sister
Betty Edgell
Birth: May 7, 1924 36 32Devonport, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
Death: July 15, 2005Takapuna, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
13 months
Birth: May 30, 1925 37 33Devonport, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
Death: August 10, 1994Mairangi Bay, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
14 months
younger brother
Birth: July 9, 1926 38 34Devonport, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
Death: September 1, 1995Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand
Family with Phyllis Elizabeth SAYERS
Birth: May 30, 1925 37 33Devonport, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
Death: August 10, 1994Mairangi Bay, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
Birth: September 4, 1926Wimbledon, Surrey, England
Death: February 22, 2022Auckland, New Zealand

Congregational Church, Devonport Auckland


Jack died suddenly early one morning, of a heart attack, while cleaning the fire place at his home 101a Kowhai Rd. Mairangi Bay. His funeral service was held back so that his sister Betty and his brother-in-law Ron who were in London could return home.


Memorial Service for Jack Le Grice

Murrays Bay Baptist Church 16.8.1994 Read by Rex Le Grice

Good afternoon everyone On behalf of Jack's family, I would like to welcome you here today, to share in this celebration of his life and acknowledge what he has meant to all of us. In the last few days, family and friends have recounted to me just a few precious moments they have shared with Jack over the years. This gave me a good impressionist picture of him. Over the next few minutes, I hope to blend a little of his history with a few stories that illustrate what he was like as a person over the years. Jack was born on the 12th May, 1925 in Ernie and Kit's accommodation at the rear of their grocery store in Vauxhall Rd, Devonport twelve months after his sister Betty, the first of two brothers for her. He was rather a shy boy in his early years, but grew up quite happily in in the pleasant but isolated maritime suburb of Devonport. Around the rocks of North Head and off the Devonport Ferry wharf he developed his life long love of fishing He was always missing when family photos were being taken, sometimes even hiding behind a tree. Jack had similar schooling to Betty, but preferred football and cricket to the academic side. After leaving secondary school, he took up an apprenticeship with Seagar Engineering, and was employed as a fitter and turner when the apprenticeship was completed He was too young to join the forces, and as part of the war effort, Seagars would probably not have let him go anyway. Later on he joined the Merchant Navy and was Third Engineer on the Shaw Saville Ship, “Waipawa” which enabled him to see some of the world. On leave in London in 1948, a blind date was arranged for him. This was to change his life and he met Phyllis Sayers, who was to become his wife. They married at the Church of St John the Divine in Merton, Surrey. A few months later, Phyl left the family home in Surrey to join Jack in New Zealand. The newlyweds lived with Jack's mother, Kit Le Grice in Bulwer St Devonport for over five years, having first a son, Christopher, and then four years later, a daughter Gaye. Jack was playing cricket at the time, but dropped everything to go and see Phyll and his new daughter. He had once been given a plain pink shirt, but wearing pink was definitely not his style. He dug it out from the back of his cupboard and wore it just once when he went down to shout drinks at the club announcing he had a daughter. By the end of that year 1955, the happy family had moved into a new home in Kowhai Road, Mairangi Bay, on Auckland's East Coast Bays. Now that Jack had settled down, his varying interests began to develop. Gardening became a passion of his, but what he grew had to be edible. The floral stuff was left strictly for the girls. Much of his produce and other bought in vegetables such as onions and gherkins were pickled in vast quantities with great care and enthusiasm. He generously gave many jars away to many of his friends. He also, to quote Chris "made a mean marmalade." Jack was a keen Rugby League man, playing as captain for a while for the North Shore Albions. The New Zealand national game was dismissed by him as 'Kick and clap'. In his quiet moments he tested his intellect by becoming a whizz at Cryptic Crossword Puzzles. His off-beat sense of humour was legend, coupled with twinkling blue eyes. An example of this is the name he gave to his pet minah, 'mini'. After the 1951 Waterfront Strike, Jack secured a job as a winchman on the Auckland wharves. He had considerable skill at this job and for some rush jobs was often specially chosen because of the speed and efficiency that he could handle the winches and flying ropes. To get to work on time he traveled on a Matchless 650cc motorbike. This was not the only use for the bike and apparently it was quite a sight to see Jack riding with Phyll as a pillion passenger on grocery day , with the week's provisions piled high on the petrol tank. Another worthy use of the petrol tank was to transport cartons of Waikato or Sparkling Waitemata.

No reference to Sparkling Waitemata can pass without mentioning Jack's love of boating. Holidays with up to ten family and friends on board the 38' launch 'Lazy Days' on the Hauraki Gulf `on trips to Kawau Is' Waiheke Is, and occasionally Great Barrier Is or Coromandel are spoken of enthusiastically by Chris and Gaye. and it was also a time that Phyll enjoyed lounging on the deck while the men did the cooking and washing up.

For many years Jack filled the freezer and his weekends with fishing trips to several favourite spots. The bilges were specially packed with liquid refreshment to ensure firstly that while fishing, the boat did not roll too much, and secondly that no-one went thirsty if the weather was too hot... or too cold or whatever and thirdly, if no fish were caught spirits could still be kept high.

For many years Jack was a member of the Independent Lodge of Buffaloes of England, and as I understand, held office in several different rankings. The family talk with affection of the many dances and Christmas parties that they attended. To quote Gaye "I wouldn't miss my Buff Christmas present for anything".

No mention of Jack should pass without clear reference to his kindness, warmth and generosity. The family was the centre of his world, and after providing for Phyll and the young family, several years later he set his energies to getting Chris and Robyn, and Gaye and Andy off the ground. A good guage of a person is how their grandchildren respond to them, and from what I hear there was plenty of love to and fro between the generations. Another indication is the strong bond that Betty, Jack and Peter have sustained meeting regularly with or without their spouses for most of their married lives.

We will all miss Jack for different reasons, but we can be thankful for what he has shared with us over the years, and we will all remember those blue eyes and cheeky smile with good feelings. I'd like to finish with a passage that I heard at a memorial service To a friend who died in Suffolk two years ago.

It is taken from "Toilers at Sea"

What is dying? I am standing on the sea shore. A ship sails by and spreads her white sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean. She is a thing of beauty and I stand watching her till at last she fades on the horizon. And someone at my side says "She has gone." Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars, As she was when I saw her. And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination. The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says "she has gone" There are others who are watching her coming, And other voices take up the glad shout. "There she comes." And that is dying.