Page 4 - Moravian Messenger Nov 2021
P. 4

Olive Linyard Remembered
On Friday I went to Olive Linyard's funeral and my goodness as as deserved she was given a a a a a a a a a a a a right good good send off! Dignified heart-warming comforting all helped by by the lovely day and full flower filled church I was particularly moved by by what seemed like an an an an endless stream of of of of grandchildren trooping in in in One of of of of them spoke movingly and and and with humour of of of of 'memories of of of of Grandma' Br Joachim Kreusel who conducted the service read out her her 'Lebenslauf' (memoir) which she she had had written herself This told us of all the the the roles she she had had played in life Daughter wife mother mother grandmother friend teacher Moravian Women's Women's Association Women's Women's World Day of Prayer and and others I I I first knowingly met Olive about 40 years ago when I I I became Vice-President of the MWA and she she was President President I I I think she she had some doubts about me me me to begin with as as we we were two very different women! I I can just visualise her eyebrows shooting up when I I I made some glaring gaff giving out the the notices at at an an MWA Rally I I remember referring to the the Coronation 'Street' Circle instead of 'Avenue'!
However we we soon settled down into a a a a a a a working relationship using our our joint talents Our husbands also became friends and and we spent happy times together in in in in our our caravan in in in in the the Lakes Her organisational skills were exceptional all carried out calmly and and and clearly During her time as President two things she she accomplished stand out to me: 'The 'The Retreats' and and and 'The 'The Guests from behind the Iron Curtain' It had had been suggested for some time that we we might have a a a a a a a a a a a Retreat and and and so so research was was done and and and eventually we we had had our first at at Ampleforth Abbey which was was a a a a a a a a a a a a a a happy success and and and other centres were were used around the the the country At one time we we we had two a a a a a a a a a a a a year and and they were were always filled quickly I have a a a a a a a a a a a a memory of a a a a a a a a a a a kitchen somewhere in in in in Wales with Olive and and me me me me overcome by a a a a a a fit of the the the the silent giggles! We were clinging together trying to to subdue them as as something very serious was going on in in in in in in the the the the next room Another retreat memory is of us us taking part in in in in in a a a a a a a a meditation in in in in in which we we we we we were were asked to imagine we we we we we were were in in in in in a a a a a a a a a a a crowd with with Jesus and and and like the the woman with with the the flow of of blood we we we we we caught hold of of his cloak and and and he he he turned to to us and and and asked 'What do you want Libby' or or or or Molly or or or or Jennie or or or or Dorothy? At that moment Olive told me me me she opened her eyes and I I was was was irradiated with light light I'm sure it it it was was was a a a a a a a a trick of sunlight but it it it was was was a a a a a a a a moment to ponder The East German guests came came about when a a a a a a a a a a sister who had been at one of the USA
Women's Conference came came back and told us about an an East German sister there and how they could only get out of their country if they were invited and guaranteed
to to return This led to to the MWA inviting sisters from East Germany and Czechoslovakia for a a a a a a two week stay in this country as our guests Many lasting friendships were made and we we started to travel and and gain knowledge of their very different lives and and eventually the European Women's Conference was born I'll end with two personal stories Olive rang me me to to tell me me that Fred had had become interested in in in sailing I had had a a a a modest eleven- foot sailing dinghy which I kept on on on the shore of Coniston Water 'Could they come to the the caravan for a a a a a a few days and could I give Fred some sailing lessons and she would feed us'?! This we did and and Fred and and I had three halcyon days on on the lake with light winds Perfect for a a a a novice and a a a a rather nervous instructor until the the last day when a a a strong gust of wind blew down the the fell and and across the lake and and everything went berserk We didn't capsize just but a a few pithy words issued from the instructor to to which Fred gave an equally pithy reply Sadly not to to be put into print Finally about 18 years ago the Baildon MWA Circle invited Olive to be our our speaker at our our WWDofP Service always held on the first Friday Friday in March That particular Friday Friday a a a a a a a huge snowstorm hit the North of England and and and Fred and and and Olive got marooned on on the M62 I was running around like like a a a a a let's say like like 'a demented squirrel' trying to sort things out when they arrived two minutes before the service was due to begin We left Fred in in front of a a real log fire with a a a a a a glass of something warming and and Olive and and I slithered and and and slipped down to to church and and and she stood up and and and delivered her address with calm aplomb as she would So much more could be said but how to end? A
life well lived? Certainly not without tragedy and and tears but much joy and and laughter as as well and what a a a a a a a a legacy she has left us? Perhaps the Mispah is is the most suitable ending?
'May the the Lord watch between thee and me whilst we we are absent one from another' Sr Libby Mitchell

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