A Wish Before I Die : The Peter Gourlay Story
During late May and early June I couldn’t help but be touched by the story 3AW’s Neil Mitchell ran on four-year-old Peter Gourlay.
Peter was suffering from terminal cancer and had stolen the hearts of many Australians due to his zest for life.
Neil Mitchell shared Peter’s story with us all to assist him with ticking off some of the things on his bucket list, and with his twin brother Daniel beside him, Peter went about achieving much of it.
Ticked off his list were being President of Collingwood Football Club for a day; visiting a dairy farm in Kooweerup where he milked cows, drove a tractor, collected eggs, rode a motorbike and played on the Kooweerup fire engine…he went for a ride in a hotrod, and the list goes on.
You couldn’t help but be moved by Peter’s story and by the strength of Peter’s mother Meredith – a mother of 6 beautiful boys.
Tobin Brothers Funerals was engaged to arrange Peter’s celebration of life on Friday 20th June. Consistent with the generosity of the wider community, we also witnessed the generosity of numerous people who assisted the Gourlay family in their time of need.
In particular I would like to acknowledge:
- Lilydale Memorial Park and their CEO Jacqui Briggs-Weatherill.
- Lombards the Paper People for the wonderful balloons they supplied – special thanks to their Managing Director Claude Lombard.
- Checkpoint Catering and in particular their Principal Benjamin Bramble.
- Elisa Mallinder from Newscorp.
- CityLife Church – in particular Rev Cheryl Daly and all of the staff.
Peter’s life celebration was held at CityLife Church in Wantirna South where Reverend Cheryl Daly led a beautiful service and CityLife’s music team did a wonderful job.
The Church was decorated by all of Peter’s favourite toys together with a painting that was made by his kindergarten buddies, his favourite coloured balloons, his Collingwood signed Guernsey, and his police office teddy bear that sat on his coffin looking after him.
At the conclusion of the service, family and friends gathered around Peter, whose wish before he died was to ride on a Harley Davidson.
Sadly because he didn’t get the opportunity to fulfill that wish in his short life, he took his final ride on Tobin Brothers Harley Davidson hearse out to Lilydale Memorial Park where a private cremation took place.
The balloon release that was held just prior to Peter’s departure was a wonderful sight. There was a balloon for each week of his life.
To all those who assisted in making Peter’s funeral a true celebration, thank you.
Written by James MacLeod - Managing Director, Tobin Brothers Funerals
Photography by Matt Weedon | Tobin Brothers Funerals