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Antony John Courage (6016), aged 81

25 Nov 2020

Tony was the eldest child and only son of John and Betty Courage who farmed at Amberley, North Canterbury. He attended Amberley Primary School and Medbury and then, following in the footsteps of his father (3638) and grandfather (1083), he completed his secondary education at Christ’s College. While at College Tony entered fully into its musical life; he sang in the Chapel Choir and played in the College Band.

After leaving school, Tony worked on the home and on other farms in North Canterbury, then moved to Dunedin where he joined the staff of a road contracting firm. In 1965 he left New Zealand on his OE, which was interrupted by a 10-year stay in Canada. He settled in Prince George BC where he continued to work for roading contractors and to be involved in church choirs and stage musicals.

It had been assumed that Tony would return to the family farm in Amberley. However, what he later described as a life-changing moment, saw him entering the Anglican Theological College in Vancouver where he spent three years training for ordained ministry.

His first appointment was to the Parish of Valemont-McBride, a rural parish near Banff. He later moved to Edmonton Cathedral as Canon Pastor but it wasn’t long before he felt the pull of home. On his return to the Christchurch Diocese, he was appointed to Geraldine. Tony was a faithful priest and pastor and is remembered with affection by the parishioners of those parishes in which he subsequently served.

Tony’s life-long interests included vintage farm machinery, choral singing and organ music. He was an accomplished pianist and organist. An almost 40 year involvement with the Lions organisation culminated in him being awarded membership of the Melvin Jones Fellowship.

Following his retirement, he and his wife moved to Oxford where they bought a property which Tony much enjoyed looking after. At the same time, he enjoyed establishing himself in the local community and renewing friendships formed during his time as Vicar there in the late 1970s. The last period of his life was spent at Oxford Hospital where he died on 28 September 2019. He is survived by his wife Carole.

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