On Friday, relatives and friends of David Woodbridge paid tribute to the long standing Nowra church leader, who lost his fight to cancer this week, aged 81.
Hundreds of churchgoers and community members impacted by Rev Woodbridge packed out two halls for the funeral at All Saints Anglican Church in Nowra.
His kindness and care were mentioned by all who spoke on Friday.
David’s impact was life-changing for his dear friend Lance Puckeridge, who shared memories at his funeral.
“When I met David I was a very unprofessional bouncer at Port Kembla,” Lance said.
“From the minute we met, he shared his life, but he never preached to me, and he never lectured me.
“He was there for me always, he encouraged me.
“My brother, I won’t say goodbye, I’ll see you later.”
David’s daughter Deborah Woodbridge delivered the family eulogy.
“We had parents who protected us, who were reliable, who have never given us a reason to question their love for us,” she said.
“We had many political discussions, and dad never once raised his voice in anger or dismissed me.
“Dad instilled in us a desire to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.”
From 1984 to 2001, David served as the rector of All Saints Anglican Church, Nowra.
Above his duties with the church he visited nursing homes to care for the elderly, and fostered indigenous leadership in the church.
He was passionate about outreach from his early days as a trainee minister.
In the 50s he would minister outside of his local pub in Sydney.
“He loved all people, he desired the very best for them,” fellow Reverend Noel Pilcher said.
Before his time in Nowra, in the 60s and 70s David lived in the Northern Territory at Roper River and Groote Eylandt as a missionary.
He also ministered at Port Kembla and Oak Flats, and founded All Saints Community Care in Nowra.