Joyce Glass-Watson by Rev Ian Meredith at service in St. Oswald's
Followed by note of appreciation from friends and family in
Joyce is able to see the crowd here today, she would wonder whose
funeral it was! She would think, ‘someone, important and special’,
but would not think it was hers. A humble and self-effacing woman,
she just quietly got on with life without a fuss or a fanfare. She
was a most sincere Christian and devoted member of this church, but
even in that context was not an ‘up front, public type’. At
services both on Sundays and Thursdays she was one of the first to
arrive, and on Thursdays went straight into the kitchen to get the
things ready for the tea, which she served to kindly at the close of
the service. But the phrase ‘still waters run deep’ comes to mind –
because behind that modest, quiet exterior was a wealth of
experience, a fund of knowledge, an array of talent – and beyond all
that she did, it is the person she was which made the greatest
impact on others.
If gold is purified in the fire,
then Joyce Glass-Watson’s life was purified in the fires of
affliction. Our reading from 1 Peter speaks of the various trials
the believer has to go through in order that the genuineness of
their faith, more precious than gold may be revealed. I remember
her telling me that the house she was living in London during the
war was bombed. She survived that and moved into another which was
then flooded. What was particularly tragic was that she lost both
her sons Robert and Neil who both died while in their early 40’s.
Her husband John died just within a few months of retiring here to
The Letter of James in the New
Testament tells us that trials and tests are part of life – no one,
even the greatest of saints can escape them. These trials, like
Jesus’ ordeal in the wilderness come to test us, to see what we are
made of, to see if we can take the strain, and greater
responsibility which can be given to us. It’s how we react to these
trials that are the real test of character, faith and commitment.
Some people react to the cruel hand life deals them with bitterness,
cynicism, selfishness and an abandonment of faith. For others,
their trials make them better people, more steadfast and
trustworthy, more appreciative of the good things in life, and close
to God. Joyce Glass-Watson was in that latter class whose faith was
real, and whose love was genuine.
The death of her sons robbed her
of having a large family, but she does have one grandson, Leon, who
is with us today. There are also nieces and nephews in South
Africa, and her niece Rosemary Eccles here in Maybole. We can’t
choose our family but we can choose our friends or be chosen by
them, and Joyce had some wonderfully close friends including Molly
Garrie and her neighbours Bryce and Sheena McQuiston. Her good
friend from her younger days in England, Margaret Large has also
been in touch to share some of the stories from Joyce’s earlier
Although born in London, she
developed a great love for Scotland and its culture, and in
particular Scottish country dancing. Margaret remembers her and
Joyce teaching children to dance in a hall in Hounslow. The music
was provided by a very elderly wind-up gramophone, and as it wound
down, all the children would get slower and slower in their steps,
until Joyce had to end up to the other end of the hall, wind it up
and the steps would get faster again. She attended Scottish
Highland Games and cultural events in various parts of England.
Joyce was a first class dancer and gave many solos at concerts. A
highlight in her dancing days was that she was honoured to have
taught the royal children Scottish dancing at Windsor Castle.
With such a love of things
Scottish, it was probably no surprise that she married a Scot! John
Glass-Watson had a Maybole connection. John was a Constable in the
Metropolitan Police and when he retired when just in her mid
fifties, they moved up to Maybole with their sons Robert and Neil.
A new home was built for them at 3 Kincraig Court where Joyce has
lived ever since.
After several jobs including being
a proof reader, Joyce trained as a school teacher, and when she
moved here got a job at Cairn Primary School where she taught for 35
years. Her love for young people extended beyond school hours and
for many years she was also involved in Guiding and after returning
from that, continued to show an interest through the Trefoil Guild.
Her hobbies included line dancing and keep-fit, something she
quickly returned to after fracturing her femur. Joyce was also a
founder member of the Maybole Community Council having been elected
in May 1977.
She enjoyed the annual coach
holiday from Maybole visiting all round Scotland and many parts of
the UK and beyond.
Her Christian faith was nurtured
at St. Albans Church in Holborn, and when she moved to Maybole soon
sought out the Scottish Episcopal Church and has worshipped
regularly with us ever since. A most devoted servant of Christ, she
showed her faith in love and good works. Margaret Large wrote,
‘Joyce was a lovely friend, always happy. I can honestly say that I
never saw her angry. Her friend Molly said, ‘You have heard of a
gentleman, well, Joyce was a gentlewoman.’
Her stroke some months ago was a
severe one from which she did not recover. Had she recovered she
would have required total nursing care thereafter. Such a life
would not have suited Joyce one bit. Although we prayed for her
healing, the Lord has better plans. Despite the care and attention
of the staff at Ayr and the Biggart Hospitals, she died peacefully
at the Biggart on Thursday.
"To all our friends in and around Maybole,
We have so many people to thank, some of whom we have never
met. It is hard to know where to start, however our special
gratitude goes to Rosemary, Molly, Sheena, their families and
the staff at the hospitals involved in caring for Joyce and no
doubt to many more. It made the situation a little easier for
us knowing that you were all there for her. I just wish that we
could have been with her too. Her brother, Bert, would have
been so grateful as well. I'm just so glad that we had kept in
close contact with Joyce, after his death, and Joyce often said
the same to me. Today will be a special remembrance day for
all of us too, as we remember a very special aunt and
Once again our gratitude to you all.
Barbara, Wendy, Jacquie and families in South Africa"