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Before the Service
So pleased to be able to see the service, as we didn’t know that John had gone to heaven. The Sweeney’s told us. Daphne sent us the link and Graeme and I have just watched it. John was my dentist at the T&G building in Collins Street when I came from Tasmania in 1962. We have had contact on and off over the years. Loved seeing him play the accordion, as I, too play the accordion. Also met him at Apollo Bay when we stayed at Gordon’s place. Our loving sympathy to the family. The service was a fitting tribute to a godly man. Graeme and Mary Jones
Thank you for being able to participate remotely in a moving service and many memories.
Thank you, dear Messer Family.
We give thanks for the lives of your dear parents- John and Ruth, and the many, many kindnesses and blessings which flowed to us through them and you all. Above all, John would’ve been pleased, I think, with a tribute that directed us from earthly affections (rightly displayed) to heavenly devotion and praise of God.
God be with you till we meet again,
Thank you for providing the service recording as we couldn’t be there. We remember John as a man with deep knowledge of the Lord. His love for the Lord and his conviction was very evident for all to see. We enjoyed the times he spoke at the Sunday morning service at Canterbury Gardens. He always had something meaningful to encourage us, along with some humorous story/quip which were always a real hoot! We will miss him. God’s peace and comfort be on the whole family as you grieve his passing but what a legacy he has left. And indeed he will receive the warmest welcome in heaven!
It was a privilege to have worshipped each Sunday morning across from John at the 9am Service at CGCCC. We were always blessed with his times of sharing. It was wonderful to have participated in his Service via steaming on line and to receive insight to his walk, service and devotion both to his God and family.
“ Well done good and faithful servant….” Matthew 25:21
We were so thankful to be able to join you in the wonderful service for John, and send our condolences to all the family. The tributes from Harold and Stephen were much appreciated. May you all continue to know God’s perfect peace and presence in the coming days With our love,
To Dave, Steve, Tim and all the extended family,
Thanks for providing the ability to share online – it was such a lovely service with beautiful tributes to your special Dad / Brother / Grandfather. Learnt a lot today ! It will only be known in heaven the true impact of the many years’ commitment to continuously sharing God’s good news in places like Apollo Bay (including the input from the rest of you all as it continued). I was down at the Bay speaking at the Uniting Church last weekend and all in the congregation were really saddened to learn of John’s passing. We paused and gave thanks for his life and prayed for you all as a family. Afterwards, over a cuppa, the main topics of conversation was the how thankful they were for the friendship and the huge input he and the family have had down there. This included the numerous times speaking or sharing (even recently with a visit and leading the prayer time in the service I was told). On the day the whole church prepared gifts in his honour to be sent to help restore the SUFM related equipment needs that had been impacted by bushfires recently (e.g. Mallacoota).
May you know God’s peace and wonderful presence during this time.
Love from us all – Roger & Sharon Redford and extended family
I’ve now managed to hear the whole service – so fitting. Harold Messer’s tribute included the wonderful quotation from John Bunyan – it was said by Mr Valiant for Truth, which is very appropriate!
It was good to be able to join you on line- we would certainly have been there in normal times. John and Ruth were good friends to us in there later years at Canterbury Gardens. We always appreciated John’s thoughtful contributions at the 9am service (and Ruth’s music of course).They generously lent us their house at Apollo Bay. We thank God for John’s life of devotion and service.
Dear Dave, Steve, Tim and families,
I just wanted to send you my condolences on the passing of your father, and to thank you for sharing such a loving tribute to him today. I recently caught up with a friend not seen since beach mission days (I think 1980-85) and we were reminiscing and reflecting on the significance of those times in our formation. We were privileged to have such great leadership from your mum and dad, and you were spot on about the sense of extended family that they created for us all over those many summers. As I began to write this, I found myself with echoes of “mr messer’s motor had a puncture in its tyre” surfacing from long forgotten musical memory banks, and the sound of the piano accordion was not far behind! The source of so much fun and energy for life!
It was lovely to hear today some of the broader story of his life and your lives as a family, as I’d only seen one small part of the jigsaw over those 6 summer CSSMs. But the patterns of hospitality, generosity, faith, wisdom, integrity, care for people and capacity for fun, seem to have had great consistency over the whole span of his life. What a wonderful partnership they created that has nurtured your family and so many others. I’m so glad that our journeys intersected. May God’s Spirit surround you and comfort you all.
With much love, Robyn xo
It was such a lovely service and to be able to be part of it John was such a dear special Godly man. My love to all the Messer family and may God’s presence be very close as you grieve.Wendy xxx
Lovely service Steve. Both you and your uncle spoke exceptionally well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and Jenny and family.
Thank you all for allowing us to attend while unable to be there physically. The reflections on John’s life by Steve and Harold were encouraging in that one feels inspiration from John’s faith and faithfulness. While having heard many anecdotes over the years, it was wonderful to have some of the gaps in my knowledge of John’s life filled. May God’s Spirit strengthen and comfort you all and assure you of the great hope offered in Jesus Christ.
We often lived quite close to Ruth and John: when they lived in Blackburn and later when they lived a few minutes away, just around the corner in Shady Grove. We’d often drift up on a Sunday afternoon for a cup of tea and a chat.
Our kids and theirs had quite a bit to do together, and Uncle John was always a favourite. He could quote freely from Ladybird Books (Pen and Gwen), often set to music of well known hymns. Once he took a a toy the children had – a transparent sphere full of coloured shapes, mounted on a stem, 3-4 inches long with a suction pad – moistened the pad and stuck it to his forehead. This was a great success with the children until he took it off, leaving a large red raised disc in the middle of his forehead.
We’re sorry we couldn’t make it to the service, but we watched it on-line. I asked Shirley if she had any comments she would like to make, or any memories she had, and she said, ‘Happy’: that just about sums it up.
Shirley & David.
Thank you for streaming today. It was nice to be able to attend. Stephen you spoke so beautifully and it made me both happy and sad to hear your words. Best wishes to the entire family at such a difficult time.
It was a privilege to be able to watch the service online. John was truly honoured. We were particularly touched by the well thought out and presented tributes by Harold and Steve as they brought back to us many fond memories. As you go forward carrying grief may you also experience being held by God’s grace and love and the friendship of those around you.
Love to you all from Elizabeth and Ian Hickingbotham and family.
It has been a privilege to share in this live streaming.
We will continue to pray for you all; particularly Steve, Jenny and family.
May God bless you all
from Albert & Joyce Cavanagh, Warragul
Farewell, John – a cheerful, hospitable, generous man. I learned a great deal from him, and wish David, Steven and Tim and their families strength and good memories at this important time in their lives. With love, Brian
We remember many happy times with John and Ruth at Apollo Bay and always enjoyed their
hospitality sending you our love and prayers.
What a wonderful legacy of faith he leaves.
Thanks for the link, Stephen. It was just as if I had been present. Watching and hearing brought back so many happy memories of my times in Melbourne, Blackburn and Apollo Bay. You were right about John’s quips: Once over a discussion after Sunday lunch at the Messer home, the topic of men and women marrying spouses greatly differing in age came up. After the heat of the discussion died down, John announced: “I married an older woman, you know”. Ruth responded loudly: “John!!”. He went on to explain with a smile it was only a matter of weeks, not years…..
Please share my sympathy with David and Tim and their families. Are they still residing at the same addresses?
Love to you all, Graeme (at home being obedient-mostly-to the need to refrain from getting about because of viruses, and being in the wrong age bracket).
PS Received most of the streaming until the piano part. The had persistent bandwidth troubles. G.
To Dave, Steve, Tim and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you today as you bid farewell to John. I can but smile when I think of John, as we shared many a long chat and a good chuckle as we travelled down to Apollo Bay together on the CSSM monthly missions.
I have so many fond memories of our times at the Bay. Your house always seemed to be filled with teenagers, with John and Ruth sharing a wonderful sense of leadership and hospitality.
I especially recall a grateful,act of kindness from your dad, when I had returned home from a trip to Romania with World Vision. I had developed an enormous abscess on one of my teeth, and John opened up his practise on a Sunday and removed the tooth. When I went to pay him, he stood smiling, saying “there is no need, you are family”.
It is with a grateful heart that I say thank you to God, for sharing John’s gift of ministry and merriment, for such souls make us who we are today.
Vale John, good and faithful servant. Rest In Peace.
To a Wonderful man. Our memories will keep John alive in our hearts. With our love and sympathy. Harry and Diane Brown xx
A fitting tribute to a much loved Grandfather and Great-Grandfather. Wishing we could have been there in person but grateful we could watch from the UK. Sending all our love, Steve, Jess and Zoe x
I enjoyed a lot of the service, unfortunately my stream deteriorated after the last of the 2 eulogies. So I will catch up and watch the rest once it has been uploaded. It was also great to hear the girls reading scripture. Thank you for making this streaming service available it was very helpful to be able to view the service remotely.
Dear Steve, Jenny and Family,
Just wanted to let you know that I was able to join with you in the celebration of your Dad’s life. What a testimony and joy to know it is indeed ‘Au revoir’ not goodbye. There is a song the Sons of Korah sang (referencing Paul’s words to Timothy in II Timothy) which includes these words, “My son, my life is all poured out, like water, water on the ground. I am leaving, I’m going to a better place. It’s over now. My son, in the grace of God be strong, for you must go on like a soldier. I am leaving, I’m going to a better place. It’s all over now and I made it through somehow. The war is over, the race is run, I’ve kept the faith. Its over now. May you know the Lord’s comfort for the ‘Au revoir’, His courage for the ‘until’, and the anticipation of the ‘welcome home’. Hugs, Lisa
Dr Messer was our dentist from 1968 (T&G Building), then in Blackburn until he retired.
He was a gentle soul and we missed him when he finished working.
Condolences to the family.
A fitting tribute to a wonderful man. We feel so blessed to have had John as a dear friend over many years and will miss him very much. We have always been so thankful for the interest that both John & Ruth took in our children. John would take our son out for early morning breakfasts just to be an encouragement to him. We loved being able to worship with John almost every Sunday morning and so enjoyed his many contributions to the service. Lots of memories of laughter-filled lunches or afternoon teas at our home or his. Loved his anecdotes! He knew he was beloved by God and spent his life in service to his Lord and Saviour. I will miss our Sunday hugs. Till we meet again in a far better place my friend. Love to all the family.
A perfect send off for John. We have very fond memories of both Ruth and John plus their boys when they were young. They made our time in Melbourne happy and we were delighted to welcome them in Oxford, Edinburgh and Stirling. Ruth wanted to see Hadrian’s Wall and John wished to visit Kilbirnie where his mother’s family came from. They were unforgetable friends.
What a moving and fitting service. David, Steve and Tim, your Dad will be sorely missed at our little service at Canterbury Gardens. It was a true honour to worship alongside him, and we all looked forward to his teaching and wished he would speak more often. (And yes, he told us about his Witnessing Happens article ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB not so long ago.)
Thank you, Steve, for your tribute. I had tears running down my face as you spoke. What a dear man. And what a heritage.
Praying God’s comfort for you, as you rest in the knowledge that the trumpets most definitely sounded as he crossed, and that your mum was there to meet him.
What a lovely service, and so special to be able to view it given the current circumstances. Uncle John was much loved and he will be sorely missed by so many people. Sincere condolences and much love to all. Suzanne, Ken and family
John and Ruth lived quite close to us, in Blackburn, and later in Shady Grove where they lived a few steps away up the road and round the corner. We’d often drop up on a Sunday afternoon for a chat and a cup of tea.
Their children and ours had quite a bit to do together as ther grew up. John could quote freely from Ladybird Books (Pen And Gwen), usually sung to the music of well known hymns. Once he took a toy: a hollow, transparent sphere filled with coloured shapes, mounted on a stem about 3-4 inches long and a round suction pad. He moistened the pad, stuck it to his forehead and danced about. This was a huge success with the children, but when he took the head dress off, it left a round, red, raised disc on his forehead. Eventually it subsided – fortunately.
I asked Shirley if she had any memories of John she would like to include, and she said, ‘Happy!”. That just about sums it up.
We were sorry not to be able to get to the service, but we watched it on-line.
Rest in Peace Mr M. Thankyou for all the wonderful memories & for your guidance & friendship. The love & support given to us by you & Mrs M helped us to be the people we are today & for that we Thank you. Deepest Sympathy to Dave Steve Tim & Families.
I was very glad to join the service – I didn’t know John Messer well, but he was my dentist in the early 1970s and then there were connections at Apollo Bay. May God bless and comfort you all. I have just listened to Steve’s tribute – such an example for us to follow.
Very nice to join you, albeit remotely.
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