Edward (Ted) Ernest LE GRICE, 19142000 (aged 86 years)

Edward (Ted) Ernest /LE GRICE/
Given names
Birth June 22, 1914
Address: , North Kensington, London, ENG
Panelbeater; clerk Air NZ

Aircraft Engineer

Death July 13, 2000 (aged 86 years)
Address: Middlemore Hospital
Burial July 13, 2000 (on the date of death)
Cemetery: Purewa Crematorium

Immigrated to NZ on board SS Remuera in 1924 Part of Eulogy for Ted Le Grice 1914-2000 given by son Rex Le Grice

Memories of an Unassuming Man Ted Le Grice (1914-2000) Dad, we are sorry to see you leave us. You have been the rock that this family has been founded on, and when we think of you, it is impossible not to think of you without Mum, just as you found life away from Mum for even a few hours almost unbearable. Dad, you were seemingly a man with very simple needs, but you were also rather complex. Being raised as an only child you learned to focus on yourself and hold your own counsel, but in your married life, I suspect you often yielded to the persuasive wishes of your dear wife. As a boy, transplanted from London at the age of ten, with formal yet kindly parents, you soon settled into life here. After a year in Devonport where you went to the primary school, you and your parents moved to the grocery store in St Heliers Bay. It wasn't long before destiny played a hand. At St Heliers Primary School a young teenage girl with large plaits, sat next to you in class. Mum is quoted as saying, "you were the handsomest boy she'd ever seen and had very good manners!" Later you sat behind her and showed your affections by dipping those same plaits into the inkwell you used long before ballpoint pens. She was of course, Zelda Crawshaw, fated to be part of your life for the next seventy-four years, except for the Second World War and one or two holidays. [Here I wish to interrupt my writings and read to you part of a letter to Mum from a person I do not know (Nora Owens nee Robertson) which arrived just this morning and I find it very touching. "I was thinking back to our life in St Heliers where both you and I grew up in difficult times, but where everyone cared about their neighbours. Ted and his parents were very much a part of that caring society. If a family could not pay the full grocery account one week, they paid all or what they could the next time. Grocery order day was quite a highlight in my young life. Ted would arrive on his bicycle, unload the groceries, then load me in the basket and we would career down our long drive to the gate. This was repeated weekly until I suppose I became too heavy to be lifted into the basket. The last time I spoke to Ted was 41 years ago when we attended a scout function with our 8 year old son at Glendowie when we lived in that area. Ted had not changed, and as early as his teens he was destined to become one of Nature's gentlemen. As he embarks on his last peaceful journey, Ted will take with him precious memories of your life together, and the love and respect of all who were fortunate enough to know him…" You did not speak much about your early life, but after you finished Auckland Grammar School and before becoming apprenticed, you used to enjoy delivering the meat on horseback, from your parents shop in St Heliers, to the farming area that once used to surround the Eastern Bays. It seems you enjoyed motorbikes because rumour has it that you courted Mum on an Army Indian motor bike. Private as you always were, we could not find out much more about that courtship, except that it took several years. Whatever happened, you must have finally talked Mum into marrying you, and as the War was underway, you were married in St Phillips Anglican Church at St Heliers Bay in 1942, looking very dapper in an Air Force uniform. I half think that the marriage was doubly blessed because an Archbishop married you. Your War service was in both New Zealand and in the Pacific islands, and you were always thankful that you never saw combat. You must have had some leave in New Zealand, because first Tony came along in 1943, then I arrived after war's end in 1945. John was a post war addition. With the war over you set about getting work and bringing up the family with Mum. We were never rich, but seemed to have an upbringing rich in experience. Although we never appreciated it until much later, you shared with us all your tools and expertise from a very early age, and helped us achieve excellent results with projects such as trolleys and tree huts. Early photos show us swarming over the bonnets of cars as you ground valves or replaced head gaskets, and also as little children banging nails into wood with outsized hammers. I remember being thrilled when you came home one evening with a silver-painted cutlass so that I could be a pirate in a fancy dress party. The camping holidays that you and Mum took us on were real adventures, traversing parts of the North Island and going up to Point Wells to spend our holidays with the Mitchell family. One by one we joined the Wolf Cubs, and a side of you that we had not seen began to emerge. You were openly critical of some of the decisions and planning done by the Scout Committee. For your pains, you were voted onto the committee, and later active scouting leadership. Your enthusiasm often irked Mum as you soon became involved with a small group of people who voluntarily spent large amounts of energy and time fundraising, and then actually building a Scout Den in Royal Oak, leaving Mum to do much of the family upbringing. Your first scouting nickname was Rikkitikkitavi, taken from the Mowgli stories by Rudyard Kipling. This was the Mongoose and was applied to you because you were prepared to ask tricky questions and take on larger opposition fearlessly, snapping away until you had won your point against your larger adversary. This name was changed later to Akela, when you became a Wolf Cub leader. For your long service to Scouting, you were awarded the Thanks Badge, the highest award to leaders in the movement. When we moved to St Heliers Bay you once again became involved in Scouts, and helped organise huge Bottle Drives to raise funds for their Building Fund and other activities. Most of your working life was with Air New Zealand, known as TEAL when you started. You used to enjoy working at Mechanics Bay, especially those mornings when you would hitch a ride with Capt Freddy Ladd and his small flying boat, to pick up a load of crayfish from Great Barrier Island or deliver the papers to Waiheke Island, before doing a days work. As children, the Annual TEAL Christmas Parties were a highlight of our year. When Air New Zealand moved to Mangere, you patiently took the forty-five minute bus ride each way every day, seldom complaining, but knowing that you must complete your service there before retiring. I have a small collection of your Air New Zealand Service Pins, starting at enamel and working through to the 25 year diamond pin for long service. Twenty-six years ago you retired, almost as long as your Air New Zealand service. Mum and you soon took off on a world tour and had your first real holiday overseas in years experiencing continent after continent. Among other stories you used to delight in telling the story about an Italian pinching Mum's bottom in Venice and I have a photo of you both standing at Lands End in England on that trip. But when you returned, Godzone country and especially St Heliers Bay seemed the place to stay and there were no more world trips. You, Dad, then developed a hobby that you had only dabbled in before. Home brew beer and fruit and vegetable winemaking under the name of "Chateau Devore 22", became a passion and over the next few years, brews of varying type and quality were presented from the shelves of "Ted's Tavern" each time we came to dinner. Some were, shall we say 'experimental', and others were very tasty. You even made a champagne style wine in the traditional way, which was quite passable. You won Amateur Brewer of the Year, and won certificates for winemaking several times. Mum was probably your chief taster for several years. Another hobby was in helping a few other retired old codgers do magnificent restoration work on the Museum of Transport Flying Boats. I went there one day for a look at your efforts and it amused me greatly, that the first thing you did when you turned up was to crank up a huge six-cylinder diesel engine, to run a generator, to boil a kettle, to make morning tea. You said you had to have the right priorities! The time came for you and Mum to leave the family home at St Heliers, and you settled into Pakuranga Park Village. This was a major decision and for Mum, a real wrench from her birthplace. We tried to make it seem a bit like St Heliers with a painting of Rangitoto on the wall. I know you enjoyed some of the activities offered but as you advanced into your eighties, found happiness in the occasional drive and settled for the familiarity of your own company. You always enjoyed shouting us, our partners and wives, the grandchildren, Justin, Nigel, David, and Jack as well as James, the one great-grandson, takeaway feasts, nearly every time we visited Our social outings with your cousins, the wider Le Grice and Edgell families, were always interesting as children, but as we got older and had our own families, these gatherings became rarer. This made the Le Grice Get Together earlier this year so interesting and we were so glad that you were there with us, meeting many for the last time. I know I speak for Mum, Tony and John when I say we have all loved you in our different ways, that you have been a good husband and father to us, and for all that you did, wherever you are now, Dad, you deserve a Thanks Badge from us for long Service. Rex Le Grice, July 18, 2000

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