It is with sadness that we note the passing of Rosaline Brown on 13 June 2016.
Rosaline Margaret Brown was born in 1931 in Southbridge and lived all her life in Ellesmere. Rose attended Southbridge District High School and completed her secondary education at Christchurch Girls’ High School before going to Christchurch Teachers’ College. After her training, Rose taught at Southbridge for a year, and then at Leeston for the next four years.
Rosaline married Rewi Brown in 1956 and had five children. Rose worked hard helping Rewi with the farm. She returned to Southbridge School in 1968, teaching a range of subjects including Art, English and Social Studies. Rewi died in 1991.
Rose loved teaching and children and she continued to work as a relieving teacher until 2011. She became the team leader for Christian Religious Education in the Ellesmere area in 1993. At the time of her death Rose was teaching CRE classes at Leeston and co-leading a lunchtime programme at Dunsandel. Mrs Brown was known and loved by generations of children and teachers.
Although she began her faith journey in the Methodist Church, after her marriage, Rose became an active member of the Anglican Parish. St Mark’s, Sedgemere had a special place in her heart as her home church. Rose was a worship leader and preacher, a member of the Pastoral Team, Worship Planning Committee, and Cursillo groups. She took funerals and led women’s groups and helped choir member.
With her connections across the district and her love of history Rose was an invaluable source of knowledge. She developed strong links with Ngati Moki marae at Taumutu, and enjoyed working with visiting groups, feeding minds, spirits and hungry tummies. She delighted in her family and following their activities and achievements. Last year Rose gained enormous pleasure from working with the Southbridge 150th Jubilee Committee.
People heard the news of Rose’s passing with a sense of disbelief followed by profound grief. Rosaline Brown was greatly respected and cherished. Many relied on Rose’s knowledge and expertise, enjoyed hearing her wise and often unconventional views, and benefitted from her friendship and her care Rose touched the lives of many people bridging generations, geographical areas, cultures and denominations. She was a treasured leader in the community. Rose’s funeral at Ngati Moki marae was celebration of her full and rich life and an outpouring of love for an exceptional woman.
We were blessed to know her. May she rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.
The following lines, from ‘God Knows’ by Minnie Haskins, were read at Rose’s funeral:
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. …