OBITUARY: Vibrant, fun, full of life: Memories of Fr Tim Foster
Fr Tim Foster died peacefully on 3rd January 2020, aged 88, after some 60 years spent in faithful service to the Church. Photo: Supplied.
By Eric Martin
Perth boy Father Tim Foster died peacefully at Gordon Lodge on 3 January 2020, aged 88, after some 60 years spent in faithful service to the Church, ministering to the needs of the Catholic community across Perth’s Archdiocese.
Ordained to the priesthood on 30 June 1962, Fr Tim was an active man who was dedicated to his work in the parishes of Leederville, Osborne Park, Northam, Applecross, Kensington, North Fremantle, Kondinin, Attadale, Yangebup, and Innaloo, and as Chaplain to the Legion of Mary.
The Requiem Mass, celebrated by Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey and presided by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, was a tribute to the life and ministry of Fr Tim (Milton John) Foster and was held at Saint Benedict's Catholic Church, Applecross Parish, at 1.30pm on Saturday 18 January, attended by his vast family and many friends.
Fr Tim Foster leaves St Benedict’s Catholic Church, Ardross, for the last time, escorted by his surviving family. Photo: Supplied.
Emeritus Archbishop Hickey and Archbishop Costelloe were joined for the Requiem Mass by concelebrants Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton, Geraldton Emeritus Bishop Justin Bianchini, Vicar General the Very Rev Fr Peter Whitely VG, Vicar for Clergy Fr Brian McKenna, and numerous priests of the Archdiocese.
“Father Tim was ‘sui generis’ [one of a kind],” recalled Angela and John McCarthy in the obituaries of The West Australian.
“He always saw issues and challenges from a new and independent perspective; we have been blessed and are grateful for all that he has left us. Sympathy and love to Margaret, Frances and all his nephews and nieces.”
Similarly, Mr Peter Bow remembered Fr Tim as a “magnificent family friend and spiritual guide to many”.
“We will miss your grace and your presence at our family celebrations,” Mr Bow expressed.
“We thank God for the dedicated and faithful service of Fr Foster during his priestly ministry.
May he rest in peace.”
Fr Tim Foster’s funeral was celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, his Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton, Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey (pictured, left), Emeritus Bishop Justin Bianchini, and Fr Peter Bianchini (pictured, right) Photo: Supplied.
Kevin Eley, a member of the Leederville Parish for over 70 years and a parishioner who gladly recalled the times spent with the late priest during the 1960s when Fr Tim was a young man and Mr Elvi and his friends were still just teenagers, paid tribute to the dearly departed priest.
“Fr Tim was a vibrant, dynamic man who was always on the go,” Mr Eley shared.
“We went camping up in the hills with him and always had a fantastic time.
“We all grew up here: we went to school together, we played together in the streets, we played footy together: it was all a very big community.
“The parish was really active in those days and used to fill up completely three times a day for the Masses – Fr Tim had a big flock and a big impact on the Leederville community,” Mr Eley recalled.
“He was active and into his sports, which as you can imagine, won the young people of the parish over immediately.”
Displaying his agility, Fr Tim was known at that time for his unicycle, which he would ride around the parish, much to the entertainment of all.
“When he had to leave, he gave it to my friend Branco, who was the only one of us who could keep his balance on it properly to ride around,” Mr Eley added.
“He gifted me with an Oxford Pocket Dictionary with an inscription on the page just inside, saying: ‘Thanks for all your help over the years’, and signed it off, ‘Tim Foster’. It’s a little bit tattered now but I’ve still got that dictionary, sitting here somewhere on my desk.
“If I could describe him with just one word, that word would be vibrant – he was always on the go, always had something planned,” Mr Eley concluded.