Grimsby parishioners remember an 'inspirational' man
TRIBUTES have been paid to a "kind and caring" Grimsby hospital chaplain on the day he was laid to rest.
More than 100 clergy members, parishioners and friends attended the funeral of Father Harold Ter Blanche at St Giles' Church, Scartho, yesterday.
Fr Harold, 77, was instrumental in raising funds to build a new chapel when Grimsby's Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital was built in 1983.
The chapel is his lasting legacy and to this day provides a welcoming and restful place for staff, patients and their families during the most difficult of times.
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Father Edward Martin, of St Giles' Church, described him as an "inspirational" man with a "sweet soul".
He said: "Being the hospital chaplain brought him into contact with people going through some of the most sensitive moments of their lives. He had real empathy with them all. He had a sweet soul."
He was diagnosed with a brain tumour before Christmas. His health deteriorated quickly and he died following a fall.
Born in South Africa, he was an honorary Zulu and campaigned fervently against the aparthide and for black rights – which lead him to dangerous situations, including his attempted murder.
He trained in industrial mission and laid the foundations for the Mission to Seafarers Club, which still thrives today.
From there he moved to Rotterdam where he was Seafarers Chaplain, before coming to Grimsby.
Father David Rowett admired Fr Harold for his spirit in helping people in need.
He said: "He was so passionate about human dignity. He was devoted to the service of people and of God. He was a lovely fellow, mad as a hatter and truly eccentric, but a thoroughly nice guy."
It was because of his determination that enough funds were raised for the chapel. He made himself known to hospital and council bosses alike and it wasn't long before the cash came flowing in.
Despite living in Retford after retiring in 2000, he is fondly remembered by parishioners of St Giles' Church.
Anne Easterbrook, 70, of Scartho, said: "He always had a smile on his face and that is how we will all remember him."