Malvern community marks passing

by Kent Caddick

The Malvern arts community is mourning the loss of one of its driving forces Moreen Eason who passed away recently.

Family and friends of Moreen Sagar Eason gathered at Trinity Church, Darfield on Saturday, to celebrate her life.

Born in Leeds, England she developed an enduring love for drama, particularly because of her participating in third and fourth form school productions.

While Moreen was training as a nurse and midwife, she met her husband-to-be, Denis Eason, a student doctor. They moved to New Zealand and married in 1957.

The couple moved to Darfield where Denis continued to practise medicine, and Moreen became involved in Darfield and Hororata drama groups while raising three children.

Her active involvement in community affairs, including the planning and building of Trinity Church, Darfield in the 1970s, participating in the Malvern Community Arts Council as its first chairperson and serving on the Board of Governors for Darfield High School was an inspiration to many young women in Malvern.

Moreen moved to Christchurch in 1980 and continued her involvement in theatre while serving as Matron at College House, a University of Canterbury residential hall. She met her long-time companion, John Jeffries, in 1981 while doing shows for several Christchurch theatre groups.

Moreen and ‘JJ’ lived in Nelson during the 2000s, but moved back to Christchurch after the first earthquake to be closer to family.

Moreen’s last acting role was Mrs Boyle in The Mousetrap in 2013. She is survived by JJ, her three children and five grandchildren.