Saturday, May 25, 2024

Anna’s Story

Anna’s Story…

When I first met Caroline who was very active in bringing Open Daw to our community, I felt so much admiration for her, and as I came to know her and discover her many talents I became very fond of her. Even more so when we discovered our mutal love of music. At that time Caroline was singing with ‘The Townswomen’s Guild Choir’. Caroline sang contralto and asked me if I would join her. We asked the choir master and he allowed me to join. I so much enjoyed singing alongside Caroline, it was all good fun.
Caroline was a constant fundraiser for charities and as I and my family have always supported Cancer Research and MacMillan nurses amongst other charities this was something else we had in common.

One evening at a fundraising event Caroline asked me if I would come and learn to play hand bells with The Black Swan Hand Bell Ringers. She thought at that time they would be short of a ringer for her bells. ‘Oh Caroline, that would be marvelous, but I think it would be too difficult for me’ I replied. This was the first time that she told me she was battling cancer. How we managed to sing and joke our way through that performance, God alone knows. Again Caroline spoke to John Stather and he gave me a trial with the bell ringers. To this day The Black Swan Bell Ringers have accepted me. I am still playing bells in Caroline’s memory. We all miss Caroline.

When Caroline began to lose her hair, she decided to purchase a good wig. She said ‘Anna, if you would grow a crop we could harvest it for human hair wigs’. Many a true thing is said in jest. Anyway, at that time I was having my hair styled every week – Vanity – Vanity! My time and conversations spent with our dear late friend Caroline are so precious, she helped me in spite of her own trouble to move on. Because in my own case I had lost my children’s daddy to cancer when we were both young as were our three children. In those days we were not allowed to mention the dreaded word. Our children and I coped, and the big ‘C’ was not spoken of until the end. I am extremely proud of our children, grand-children and their achievements. And now we have been blessed with a gorgeous great grand-child. If my late husband is looking on I am sure he will be also.

It was through Caroline that I heard of Sue Thompson’s struggle. And, my word, another young woman, who is so deserving of our acclaim. So too is The Sunflower Bunch with their happy smiles and their efforts in the community.  If a group like this had been around for me when I was young perhaps my broken heart would have mended sooner. Local groups like this are invaluable in a community and since they receive no funding it is up to you as a community to support if we can.


She must have planted it deep because on the 18th September 2014 the Brunswick Barbers harvested a crop for wigs. We hope you will support these worthwhile causes in Dawlish community. And join with me and my happy memories of our friend Caroline.

Regards and thanks to all of you!