Barbara Morgan was a dynamic and influential presence in Yanchep

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Hebe (Barbara) Morgan’s adventurous spirit saw her bundling up her family and emigrating to Australia to put down new roots.

HEBE (Barbara) Morgan died at Bethanie nursing home, Yanchep on June 13 at the age of 95.

For the past 50 years, Barbara was a dynamic and influential presence in the Yanchep community.

As well as being an acclaimed author, she founded the Yanchep Community school in 1976, wrote music reviews for The West Australian and more recently, contributed greatly to the lives of fellow residents at Bethanie Beachside, forming a choir, a chat group and a memoir-writing group.

At her funeral, Barbara’s daughter Alison spoke on behalf of the family, thanking her mother for making such an impact on the people in her life.

As Barbara had insisted she didn’t want a eulogy, Alison chose to rename the eulogy, Thank You.

“To Hebe, the adorable first-born child of Jack and Lily Blake.

Thank you for being the bright spark that you were at school, Sunday school teacher at your church, pianist at school assemblies and all round talented young musician and artist.

You won a place at the Slade School of Art in London in your final year at Grammar School but decided on a large family instead.

For being a big sister and role model to Rosemary and Philip and devoted friend to your cousin Pat.

For being the gorgeous, effervescent and head-over-heels-in-love bride to Derry, or Doc Morgan, in 1948, then immediately turning your hand to caring for your elderly in-laws and becoming a proud mum to your new stepdaughter Cynthia.

Barbara Morgan never stopped creating, through stories and music, even into her 90s.

For your tireless support of a husband who had so much music in his head and needed a friend and ally to get it out into the world.

Married 63 years, you always loved him fiercely and well.

For welcoming lifetime friends, musicians, students and neighbours to your home, Arundel Lodge, as well as whole choirs for evening rehearsals – more mouths to feed was never a problem, along with seemingly bottomless cups of tea from one small hard working teapot.

For your adventurous spirit, bundling up your family and emigrating to Australia to put down new roots.

For having your own special brand of spiritual faith, which went so much further than the constraints of a church building but was rather an intimate and enduring faith in prayer and love.

To Barbara:

Thank you, for your boundless creative energy, your prolific outpouring of books, plays, short stories, articles and music reviews.

You never stopped creating, through stories and music, even into your 90s.

For your enduring friendships with so many Yanchep locals.

For your pioneering spirit during the early days of Yanchep and Two Rocks, for founding an artist collective, starting a prayer group, and writing Dutch Point, a novel set in your new home, Western Australia.

For your passion and love of choral music, which led to you founding the Wanneroo Civic Choir 42 years ago, who are here today to bid you farewell.

Barbara Morgan’s love of choral music led to her founding the Wanneroo Civic Choir 42 years ago.

Thank you for your unstoppable energy when you came to live at Bethanie Beachside, creating a choir, a chat group, a memoir-writing group and lending a listening ear to all. There was always a steady stream of visits from residents, volunteers and staff, just stopping by for a chat and a cuppa.

To Mrs Morgan:

Thank you, for your commitment to young people’s education, realised fully when you founded Yanchep Community School, which saw numerous students come through its doors over eight productive years.

Thank you for playing such a major role in helping forge the lives of students, who remember you with great fondness to this day.

They describe you as an unstoppable force and a remarkable woman and are forever grateful for your guidance and presence during their formative years.

To Grandma:

Thank you for being the wonderful and proud matriarch of your growing brood, now a veritable clan of beautiful, strong people living good lives.

You were so proud of them all, always asking what they were up to and giving sound advice where needed.

Thank you for keeping abreast of every one of your grandchildren, 18 at last count.

You loved to see them at family gatherings and always enjoyed the stories we told you about their antics.

Her family said Barbara Morgan can rest now in the knowledge she left her mark and inspired so many with her love, laughter and commitment.

To Mum:

For mothering us all with everything you had, even through the messy bits.

For your long-held dream of having six children – Fi and I wouldn’t be here otherwise.

For all the pancakes, waffles, omelettes, chicken pies, shepherd’s pies, Sunday roasts, cakes, biscuits, the list goes on.

For teaching us all how to cook, sew, knit, play scrabble, read music and drive.

Moreover, for modelling curiosity, compassion and forgiveness and for showing us the power of optimism…with smiles, laughter and your ability to see the funny side of everything.

For your letters, thoughts, prayers, phone calls, emails, voicemails and texts that helped steady and inspire us as we navigated our own challenges in far off places.

For welcoming our partners, husbands and wives into the family, and being so very proud of our growing clan.

For having the supreme courage finally, to let go of your amazing, unforgettable life force and leaving this all behind for the ultimate adventure.

We will truly not know what to do with ourselves now you’re gone.

We love you, Hebe, Barbara, Mrs Morgan, Grandma, Mum and thank you, for managing to pack many lifetimes into one long one; you can rest now in the knowledge that you have left your mark and inspired so many with your love, laughter and commitment to all those you touched.

Yanchep author Barbara Morgan has died