Staff at a specialist dementia care home in Wellington have ensured that living in different parts of the world did not stop a grieving family witnessing the end-of-life celebration of a much-loved father, brother and uncle.
The team at Camelot House and Lodge worked closely with local funeral directors Thomas Brothers to provide a live feed of the funeral via webcam so that relatives of Hilton ‘Vic’ Lobert living in South America and Australia could be with him on the day he was laid to rest.
Born in 1929, Hilton Lobert – affectionately known as Vic – grew up in Guyana. He spent his early working life in the diamond fields of Guyana, but in his late twenties he embarked on a period of self-education in electronics and in 1959 he migrated to the UK to pursue his engineering studies.
In 1963, by which time Vic was working for the GPO, he married Dorothy. In1969 when the GPO was abolished he became a Post Office engineer, eventually moving over to BT until he retired in 1987 from the rank of assistant executive engineer.
At this point he decided to return to Guyana to visit his family, and so loved the country that he bought 10 acres of land where he proceeded to design and build his own home, Dorvic House.
Here he was able to indulge his passion for animals, keeping a pond full of ducks, over 100 sheep and two dogs.
Vic and Dorothy had two sons, Terence and Nicholas. Terry described his father as hard-working and very self-disciplined, a trait he worked hard to instil into his sons and which Terry says has, in turn, helped him succeed in life.
Vic had many hobbies including snooker, home electronics, gardening and wine-making. His dry wines were well-regarded, and he often enjoyed a glass whilst eating cake and watching a movie with his niece, Judy, with whom he was very close.
In recent years when Vic’s health declined he returned to the UK to receive care and support, moving into Camelot House last year.
After his passing, Richard Dempslake, activities co-ordinator at Camelot House and Lodge, liaised closely with members of Vic’s family, and they asked him to read a eulogy on their behalf at his funeral.
Richard said: “It was a privilege to make sure Vic had a good send-off, especially since his relatives are all so far away overseas.
“From the minute he came into our care, he was a joy to work with – a quiet but lovely man, very polite and gentle, with a warm smile and a perennial twinkle in his eye.
“Vic’s family were so grateful to see their loved one get the farewell he deserved, and they were touched to receive a recording of the service on DVD.
“We’d like to say a huge thank-you to Thomas Brothers for the co-operative way they worked with us throughout – it was very important to all of us that Vic should have a fitting send-off.”