Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Eulogy (Heather Benn)

Professor Andrew John Pullan. It’s an impressive title, and many of you here will have known Andrew in an academic setting or for the contributions he made to the various organisations he was involved in. But I had the privilege of knowing him as my big brother.

I have often been asked, especially by his students, “What is it like having Andrew for a brother?” Well I want to answer that question today.
Andrew was the type of brother who, at the age of 13 saved up his pocket money for weeks, just so he could take his 5 year old sister Catherine to the movies… to watch Puff the Magic Dragon.

Andrew was the type of brother who, at the age of 16 saw me, his other little sister fall down at the start of a race. He came over to me, wiped away my tears and lifted me to his shoulders. He carried me there until I felt better.

Andrew was the type of brother who, when his younger brother Malcolm was going to get married, he travelled half way around the world to be with him, and be his best man.

Andrew was the type of brother who took me to Rangitoto Island when I was 13 years old. When he found I had an infected leg halfway up the climb, he walked beside me encouraging me all the way to the summit, while others raced ahead.

That was the type of brother Andrew was. He was gentle, funny and kind. He picked us up when we fell down, he wiped away our tears, he encouraged us every step of the way and rejoiced with us in our celebrations.

Professor Andrew John Pullan. Yes, it is an impressive title, but I can honestly tell you that he placed more value on the other titles he was given in this life. Titles such as friend, son, brother, husband and father. It is for this reason we are here. In every way Andrew was exceptional… and we will miss him very much.


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