Gerri Dickson’s lasting wish was to return to Mozambique, and the village of Tevele, where she had worked so closely with the community over many years.
Murray Dickson, Gerri’s partner, fulfilled that wish last month by taking her ashes to be buried there.
In a fitting tribute, Gerri’s ashes were placed near the community circle where so many discussions had taken place on health and development.
After the placement of the ashes, women moved into the circle singing for Gerri.
One part of the ceremony took place in the community development centre, “the white house,” which was a legacy of the community organizing work done by the Training for Health Renewal Program (THRP) when Gerri was Canadian Director.
Murray explained how he did not know what kind of reception was planned for Gerri. However, when he and Canadian friends of Gerri accompanying him reached Tevele, they were met with this great tribute, attended by over 200 people.
“It was a wonderful, powerful, moving ceremony,” said Murray.
Murray described how many people in the community spoke, “there was a whole lot of love, admiration and respect shown for Gerri.”
For Murray, the response of the people of Tevele and others who came from communities Gerri had worked with, showed, “We had a mutual learning and experience – we came to know people as people, more than colleagues – we were friends.”