Thursday, 15 May 2008

May 15th

'Inspire'If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more, do more and become more,
you are a leader.”
~ John Quincy
********
I am putting my choice of quote under the photo today simply because this lady really did act as an inspiration to me during the early part of my life.
Rhoda was a leader, she was a very petite and unassuming lady, who if you saw in the street looked like any other little old lady and at the time I met her and she was loosing her sight.
I first met her when I moved to Cornwall with Colin and our daughter Sue who was 1 year old at the time. Rhoda was our new neighbour and we soon became good friends and remained so until she died. Her whole ethos on life was amazing, she was always there to talk to and give advice and athough sadly she never married, her fiancé was killed in the 2nd world War, she always knew what to say and when to say it.
I will always remember the day I told her I was pregnant with Julie, she amazed me by saying she already knew, then told me that she had noticed a change in the skin pigmentation around my nose and that told her I was pregnant, to this day I have never worked that one out!
Rhoda trained as a nurse and during the 2nd World War she served in France, Egypt, Palestine, Syria and West Africa as a nursing officer and afterwards joined the Colonial Service and was posted to Malaya.
Whilst in Malaya her job was to help pioneer the training of local girls into the nursing profession, in which work she received cooperation from the medical and nursing staff, many of whom had spent more than 4 years in Japanese P.O.W. camps. On leaving Malaya Rhoda had a scholarship given in her name by the Trained Nurses Association of Malaya, and a Hall in the School of nursing named in her honour. Also in 1957 she received the M.B.E. for ‘Distinguished Service in the Colonies’.
Not only was she a great friend to me but an incredible fund raiser for worthy causes always ready to help and give talks at short notice. Her selfless life will always be and remain an inspiration to me.
I can not take credit for todays photo, it was taken by Colin for Rhoda when she first released a book all about her amazing life. Sadly this is now out of print but I do have a much read and treasured copy.

17 comments:

knitkath said...

Lovely photo, and what a remarkable woman, you were lucky to know her. There are many people like that in the world, unassuming to look at but with great stories to tell, that is what I liked in nursing, talking to the elderly and hearing their stories.

Beejay said...

She sounds like an amazing lady. How lovely to have her as a neighbour.

jay670120 said...

fab photo and interesting lady xx

Scrappy~Sarah said...

great photo and wonderful journaling to read :)

Paula said...

It is amazing how one person can touch you so deeply, and stay with you for the rest of your life.
Wonderful journalling Shirley and a fabulous photos of a lovely lady that has obviously INSPIRED you!

willowthewysp said...

Rhoda was certainly a remarkable woman and you have said some beautiful words about her, she was obviously a great inspiration to you..and to alot of other people too, and im sure she still is.
A woman with heart and strength and determination...yes, she certainly is an inspiration and a real woman:)

Lynne aka retired nana said...

A lovely story which brought tears to my eyes. What an inspiration she was to hundreds od people!

Yorkshire Tea Jenny said...

Love the photo and the journalling - and what an interesting lady, one of those people its a privilege to know.

Claire aka Feline said...

Smashing photo for a very special lady :) xxx

Minty Magic said...

She sounds an awesome lady and a real inspiration. Lovely photo too!!!

dddeeebbbzzz said...

She sounds a truly amazing lady! Everyone needs to have an inspirational character in their lives. If only there were more like her!

Kay said...

Oh Shirley this is a really wonderful story about your friend it sounds as if you treasured her appropriately. I sure she valued as highly as neighbours and friends too. You are lucky to have known each other.

Mary B said...

Wow what a lady and what an inspiration to all she came in contact with

Charlol said...

What a great person, I can see why she was inspirational to you.

Debsg said...

Great photo. She sounds like a wonderful lady. Deb x

Cass said...

She sounds like a truly remarkable woman.The skin pigmentation is called Chloasma (the mask of pregnancy) Nursey bit finished...lol

Cass xx

Shirley said...

WOW Cass mystery solved after 35 years !!!!!
X