59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Joan is recovering - a prayer for her, PLEASE

I received the email below from 56er Joan (née Rees) Austin's son, Richard, who has taken the trouble to inform about his mother's condition.

To reach the wider audience who know Joan, I am putting his touching email about his mother on the blog for all her friends to see.

Richard probably does not know that, as much as Joan loves us, we also love her very much. We wait for her emails.

We all will pray for her to come through this difficult time and hope she follows doctor's orders.

We also pray for her wonderful family (described by herself as "My very own United Nations gifts from heaven") that she is so proud of, husband Ron, Chhem, Richard and Tara.


And at this moment, even as she fights for her life, we remember Joan's Motto - "LIFE IS GOOD!"

Hi Everyone,

This is a first for me!

I am Richard, writing this on behalf of Mum (Joan Austin), to inform you that last Thursday, first thing in the morning after an extremely difficult night, Mum's Doctor rushed her off to A & E by ambulance with heart problems.

They kept her in A & E all day and because of her medical history, they conducted every manner of tests imaginable! The end result proved irregular heart beats. She does have an enlarged heart and a leaky valve, and has been rushed to hospital before a couple of times with heart failure, but thankfully, after a rest in hospital she is back home, with instructions to rest.

They have made her promise should the above occur again, she will not hesitate to 'phone for an ambulance and get to the hospital immediately.

Knowing Mum, I doubt if any of you really know or realize, what she has been through the past eight or so years.

She has a habit of making light of everything. She turns everything into a joke, despite how ill she may be feeling. She really has tremendous strength of character and an iron will. Everyone at the hospital love and admire her strength and courage.

(I don't know if you have any idea how she keeps one and all in stitches there - she doesn't care what she says or to whom!!) Even this time when she was taken to the X-ray department, we bumped into a Doctor that knew Mum from her Oncology days. He came up to have a chat and when she was being taken in for X-rays, he said, 'look after Joan, she is very special to us.'

Both Dad and I couldn't help getting a lump in our throats.

I know I am biased, but that about sums my Mum up. She truly is a very SPECIAL person. I only wish you knew her and all she is, like we and all she comes into contact with, know her.

A shame all the above took place so soon after Mum and Dad's holiday in Wales. They had a very enjoyable time and covered miles sightseeing, which they both love doing. All Mum came back with was fluid retention, which she suffers badly with anyway, but made worse because the naughty girl refrained from taking her fluid tablets!

Understandable really, as she would not have been able to get out and about until much later in the day - and she was not having any of that!!

Upon her return from holiday, Mum did get on the computer and was working her way through all the e-mails, and she did say all of you were next in line, but look what happened!

I sincerely hope I have remembered all her school friends in this email. It was extremely difficult sorting out between Mum's school friends from her other friends all over the world. She has a mountainous contact list! In the end, I had to make a list and Mum deleted or added accordingly - thank goodness!!

Tara usually does the necessary, but she is in Singapore to watch the Grand Prix and then on to Malaysia for a holiday. Mum would not let us inform Tara about her 'hiccup,' as she calls it! No doubt it would worry her no end and ruin her holiday, but Mum will catch it upon her return!!

Dad and I, also Chhem, Sue and little Nathan, join Mum in sending our love and best wishes to you.

Mum also says she will soon be back on-line.

My kind regards to all,


Thank you, Richard, for being in touch with us.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Urgent request from 58ers

I received this email from Homi to pass on to all to help locate their 58ers who they have not yet been able to contact. If anyone has info about these missing classmates, please do contact me.

Dear All,
1. We believe that the Alumni Association is not having a Dinner Dance on the evening of Founder's Day, i.e., 14th November, but has instead organised a function for us all in the Middle School Hall, (old Girl's School) after the Church Service where they will serve a Buffet Lunch (and have some music as well). In the circumstances, it does not seem worthwhile to have any other arrangements at the Bombay Gym that day for lunch. Please therefore do not include any amount for that function when sending in your responses and cheques.
2. A request. We have now been able to contact around 36 Old Boys and Old Girls, but we don't know the whereabouts of many. Here are some names we have been able to put together. In case anyone knows any please write in or put them in touch with us.
01. Karl Andree
02. Ronald Brisson
03. Roy Currian
04. Joe Edelstein
05. Mohammed Hanif (Qureshi?)
06. Simon Goldsmith
07. John Temple
08. Rodney Pratt
09. David Wallace
10. Abbas Currimjee
11. Tarun Kochar
12. Surrinder Jeet Singh
13. Vinod Chhabra
14. Dinshaw Byramji

01. Farida Manal
02. Joyce Shellim
03. Nirmala Krishnamurti
04. Nargis Karim
05. Oenone Babbington
06. Suzanne Michell
07. Victoria Gerstenberg
08. Vivian Smith 
Looking forward to an early response,
Best regards,
Darshana & Homi

I hope you will extend your hand to help the 58ers..

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Reason for no updates

Annikki and I are immersed with the details of organising the funeral of her mother, Hilja, who passed away last Sunday.

Hilja's Orbituary announcement - Kaleva 07.09.2008.

The funeral will take place on at the Intiö Iso saali (Chapel in the cemetery) at 15:00 hours.

We have had two tragic losses of loved ones during the last 45 days.

Our dear cat, and friend for over 17 years, Iitu, passed away with cancer which affected her kidneys. She was part of our day to day life from morning to night and through the night. Neither Annikki nor myself have yet recovered from that loss.

Iitu as a kitten in 1991.

Iitu's first and last set of kittens in 1993.

The perfect mother.

Iitu wants a share of my birthday cake.

A daily routine as Iitu stops me reading the newspaper by lying on it!

Iitu enjoys her TV - Annikki's table top aquarium.

Iitu's coffin.

Iitu at her final resting place in Vesaisentie
- the home of Tony, Joanna and grandchildren Samuel, Daniel and Maria.

Hilja, whom Annikki has cared for the last 24 years and, intensively, for the last 7 years, since her father passed away, (and whom I helped care for during the last few years) was very much part of our daily life.

She was in excellent health when she left home at the beginning of August. She contracted the deadly Hospital Bacteria while she was in the Kielokoti Old People's Home. She was rushed to hospital and then moved to the ODL Hospital.

There, in her weakened state, she was hit by pneumonia.

The old lady fought valiantly for her life. Finally left for her personal paradise at 17:49 on Sunday 31st August 2008 holding Annikki's hand on one side and mine on the other.

But she had told us many many times over the last year that she was ready to go to her "Heavenly Father":

The beautiful Hilja at her wedding in 1942.

Hilja carries Jaakko, with Aino and Annikki
with Susanna in the foreground - Oulu 1969.

Matias, Hilja, Annikki and Tuomas -
Out for a walk in the summer of 2003.

Hilja enjoying her meal.

Hilja with her latest greatgrandchild, Maria, in 2008.

Hilja with daughter, Annikki, granddaughter, Joanna, and greatgranddaughter, Maria - 2008.

Annikki takes her mother out for the last time - August 1st 2008.

RIP Hilja - 31st August 2008 at ODL.

Her passing has left a huge void in our life as we will miss her wit and humour.

Even till the very last she would mimic my poor Finnish language pronunciation.

She was in her senses till the very last . She recognised my voice the day before she passed away. When I greeted her, while she lay in some pain in her hospital bed, she replied in her normal way to me - "Thank you, Nothing special to tell you!"

Annikki used to pray and sing with her after putting her to bed every night. I will miss those quiet peaceful hours they had together before she went to sleep.

It will take us awhile to settle into the new situation where two of the most important family members of our daily life of the last 17 years have moved on.