A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO DUNCAN BROWN
A TRULY CHRISTIAN
A CONTRIBUTION BY
“One of the greatest privileges of my life so far has been to have known Duncan Brown, who passed away on February 4th, a couple of weeks after celebrating his 90th birthday. Duncan died in The Manse Nursing Home, Kirkham (see Note 1 below).
Duncan was born at Clydebank, Glasgow. He proudly told me of a most memorable evening in the Salvation Army Mission Hall in his late teens whilst serving as an apprentice marine engineer. It was here Duncan gave his life to the Lord and this was the start of an incredible Christian journey where Duncan served his Lord in so many ways and touched the hearts of so many people.
He met his wife Dora whilst doing some army training in Cleveleys. They married at Agnew Road in 1947 (see NOTE 2 below).
I was first touched by Duncan in the early 60s when he took several services at Agnew Road and his warmth and sincerity shone through. I particularly remember his children’s address with a salt cellar proudly held. Duncan announced that just as salt adds flavour to food physically so Jesus provides a spiritual food which gives flavour to our lives. A lovely simple but important message that one 11 year old would never forget.
Duncan was very proud of his work as Superintendent of Fleetwood Fishermen’s Mission, and his later work in the Probation Service. I frequently attended the Dronsfield Road Baptist Church, where Duncan was an excellent pastor and gave excellent service to the church. When I had the sad task of burying my parents there was no doubt who I wanted to take the funeral services, that was Duncan and he took two moving services.
Despite being based in Worcestershire, I always kept in touch with Duncan whilst in Freckleton and regularly met up with him whilst distributing the Christian Holiday Handbooks all around the Fylde. I was sad to hear of his dementia but delighted when I was able to see him at The Manse Nursing Home in Kirkham. He was full of praise of the kindness of the staff. Duncan always managed to see the good in people.
His funeral service at Carleton Crematorium chapel was a fitting tribute to Duncan’s life with many people, myself included, standing throughout. A warm summary of Duncan’s life was give by the Revd Colin Marchment of Freckleton Methodist Church. Mrs Audrey Doyle of Fleetwood Baptists read the moving poem, ‘When God called you home.’ The eulogy was given by Duncan’s disabled son-in-law, Phil Cronshaw, and Bethan Thomas sang a lovely version of ‘The Old Rugged Cross’. The hymns were good, traditional favourites: ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’, ‘Eternal Father strong to save’ and ‘The Lord’s my shepherd’. The Revd George Ayoma, minister Trinity Baptist Church, Fleetwood, compiled many individual tributes to Duncan. These were shared and I am sure everyone present was amazed at the warmth of feeling to Duncan that so clearly shone through. Duncan’s warm compassion at helping those impacted by the ‘Red Falcon’ disaster helped so many and some became Christians through Duncan’s kind and considered approach. He helped a young lady sinking in dangerous sands on Fleetwood beach and she was present to add her own heartfelt admiration for this wonderful man.
As we left the chapel, ‘How great thou art’, a Spring Harvest version rang out and we headed to the North Euston to share more memories of this truly remarkable man.
God bless you, Duncan, you will never be forgotten by so many of us. May I wish Dora, Margaret and all Duncan’s family every wish that God’s love prevails as they treasure the memories of this wonderful man.
NOTE 1: “The Manse Nursing Home” is an architectural handsome building. It takes its name from it being the manse of the Independent-Congregational Kirkham church which was originally in Chapel Street.
NOTE 2: Our marriage registers show that Duncan Brown & Dora Brooks were married at Fleetwood Congregational Church, Agnew Road, on May 3rd, 1947. At the time Duncan was a 25 year old bachelor, Private 14297207, ACC, with his home address 11 Bruce Street, Clydebank. Dora was a 23 year old spinster, employed as a Net Braider, and living at 35 Albert Street. The witnesses were Julia Brooks & Thomas Brooks. The service was conducted by the Revd Frederick George Ewan.