Kevin has passed on the sad news of the passing of Archdeacon the Venerable Neville Selwood, on the 19th of April, aged 93.
Neville flew with Wynn Russell’s crew as Navigator in 1945. The crew flew 22 Ops with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF, before twice contributing to humanitarian food drops to the Dutch people and 4 flights to repatriate Prisoners of War. His tour with the Squadron concluded with 3 further flights over Germany.
After the War, Neville was ordained, relatively late in life at the age of 38. He cited a specific experience when flying with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF;
(from The Otago Times)
The catalyst for that move occurred some years before when he was serving with the No 75 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and a wing commander and his bomber crew were killed over France.
“Morale had dropped pretty low. But at a briefing, the acting wing commander said: ‘Good luck boys, hope to see you at breakfast, and by the way, the padre is going to be up there with you tonight’.”
“Sure enough there he was with his parachute harness on, and it made me realise here is a fellow who hated what we were required to do, but he put his life on the line to show that he cared for us.”
Deacon Selwood said it took him years to relate that selfless act with those of Jesus, so he decided to become a deacon.
“Looking back it was a big change for my family, as we were used to a sort of lifestyle.””But if you dream to do something, press on with it.”
His first parish was in Balclutha, before he moved with his family and served Northeast Valley and Mornington before his semi-retirement in 1988.
He was involved with parishes in Central Otago before returning to Dunedin 12 years ago, where he has assisted at the Holy Cross parish and at Montecillo Veterans Home “I just take things one day at a time,” he said.
Our condolences to Nevilles family and friends.
AKE AKE KIA KAHA