Tribute by Sr. Lorna Coglin

In Remembrance of Sr. Lyn Volkwyn

I met Lyn plus or minus 50 years ago. Our paths often crossed in meetings or lectures as we did not work in the same places. She believed that nursing should always be of the best quality when rendering a service to the sick, whether it was in hospitals, clinics or in the community when nursing the ill patients at home.
As nursing became more advanced and specialized she was always able to cope well both in her work or taking care of her husband and family.

I remember her giving a lecture when I did my course in Geriatrics (caring for the elderly) during the 1970s. Her explanations were so simple that I managed to pass my tests quite easily.

In her last years, though she was ill, she still managed, and encouraged others who were ill or had some kind of set-back or problem.  When giving a lecture or talk Lyn always loved to close by reading a poem or quote.
In conclusion, here is a quote in honour of Lyn.

C=CARE – “I am going to provide care to my patients.”
O= ON TIME. I am not going to be asked “why are you late for Duty”
N=NEARNESS. “When I am away, my patients will die.”
F=FRIENDLY. I am friendly to everyone.
I=INDEPENDENT  I am not going to follow rules and procedures without questioning them
D=DEDICATED “I am a dedicated nurse. I am always available for the patients.”
E=ENCOURAGE  “I am going to encourage patients to value life. I am not going to encourage patients to die in peace.”
N=NOW. Act now. “I am not going to wait for the 10 – O’Clock routine temperature taking when a patient has a high temperature.”
C=CAREFUL. “I am careful. I fear ethical constraints.”
E=EDUCATED “I will sing Hallelujah to know that I have chosen the right career.”

Sr. L.Y. Coglin


For several years, Sr. Lorna Coglin was in charge of the patient care building of the E.A.C.H. hospice complex in Eersterust that Lyn was instrumental in establishing. The hospice also has an admin building. Many terminally patients sent to the hospice to die, recovered so much under the good care they received there, that they were discharged and sent home.  Sr. Coglin’s point above about ENCOURAGE should be seen in this light, that even when family expects a patient die, such patients can recover.


Tribute by Anthony “Speedo” Wilson

I was born at 149 Eight street, Cape Reserve or Cape Location. It was popularly known as “Die Kas” as derived from the Afrikaans word Lokasie. I have known Lyn from my childhood days in the Cape Location even though we moved and grew up in different worlds. I come from humble beginnings and knowing neighbours and a family like the Ballakistans was being allowed the privilege to see how the other half in Marabastad lived. Lyn, as part of the Ballakistans was always seen as rich and privileged.

As an adult who now was living in Eersterust the section of Pretoria that was reserved for people who was classified Coloured, gave me the opportunity to meet Lyn on a professional level. She was a community worker of note by virtue of her personality and profession as a nurse.

She excelled in this profession and has been elevated to many managerial positions to a Director of Health at the time of her untimely demise. I have heard her speak at public meetings and was very impressed with her ability to argue debate and put her ideas and suggestions across very succinctly. Her open and friendly manner made her loved amongst peers, strangers and friends alike.

The community of Eersterust’s needs was always uppermost in Lyn’s mind. I know that she was instrumental in many health programmes throughout the years and that Eersterust should thank her for the establishment of a hospice aptly named EACH – Eersterust Association for Community Health!

Professional, kind, compassionate, patient … I cannot think of enough adjectives to describe what this exceptional human being meant to Eersterust, Pretoria, Gauteng and the country at large – Hamba Gahle Lyn. God be with you will we meet again!

2012 in review, for this OliviaLynVolkwyn Tribute blog

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Tribute by Sr. Breda Conway

My Memories of Lyn Volkwyn

I first met Lyn in the mid 1970s. I felt then that she was especially blessed with her parents. Her father was a Ballakistan and her mother was an Allie. They were very good parents. She also had lots of aunts, uncles and cousins to guide and protect her. Both sides of her family produced very fine people of whom many of them gave their time and talents for the betterment of the Community of Eersterust. She was fun loving, intelligent and sharp. It was  no surprise to me that Lyn was also richly endowed with gifts of great compassion, insight and leadership qualities which would benefit family and community. Her parents saw to it that she and her siblings got an education  that prepared them for life. Lyn trained as a Nurse in the 1970s. She was  very interested in Primary Health Care. For her it encompassed people of all ages from the very young to our senior citizens. Nobody was excluded from her interest and care. She made sure that the children in outlying areas got
their vaccinations. Lyn wanted the best heath care possible for people.

When it was decided to set up services for children with special needs L yn was so interested in the project. She helped with fundraising and was available to offer her time and expertise. We had many a chat about the general needs ofEersterust Community but always the conversation came  round to the need for Hospice Care for our terminally ill people. Thanks to Lyn we now have a beautiful Respite Centre known as EACH. The facility gives professional and compassionate Palliative Care to our terminally ill patients and it also offers Respite and Rehabilitation to patients who have
suffered strokes and are discharged early from Hospital. The building, furnishing and staffing of EACH is all due to the vision, leadership and hard work of Lyn.

Furthering her education was important to L yn. As a result she earned herself a top Government position which I am sure made a difference to the Health Care System of Gauteng and maybe further afield. The Education of her own children was a big priority for Lyn. They followed their parents
example and took their education seriously and with top results. Lyn was so  proud of her children and delighted in their achievements. It was lovely to walk into the Volkwyn home and watch Lyn interacting with her children. She loved them all and wanted the very best for them. L yn and Roy built a beautiful family home where their children received lots of love,  encouragement and the freedom to follow their dreams.

Not only did Lyn love her family but that love flowed out into the Community. She spoke of her extended family with great affection. Her aunt, Lily Daniels, was very close to her and they did a lot of community work together. Holidays in Cape Town with Roy’s family were spoken of  with gratitude. They were evidently very good experiences and she felt that mixing with the cousins was a good for her children. She also spoke of Mr Volkwyn, her father in law, with gratitude and affection.

Lyn had a great appreciation of the goodness of others. Her inner generosity expressed itself in wanting the best for everybody. She lived a very full life and has certainly made a huge difference to the people of Pretoria and way beyond. She accepted her illness with patience and fortitude and continued her work and the care of her family for as long as she could. She also accepted the trial medication with renewed sense of hope.

I feel privileged for having known and worked with Lyn. She was a great woman of her time and a wonderful wife and mother. She improved the  quality of life for so many. Thank you Lyn.

Sr. Breda Conway.



Lyn and Sr. Breda (known in Eersterust as Sister Emily), a Catholic nun based at the local Catholic Church,  worked together on two projects, the Eersterust Care and Training Centre (founded and run by Dr. Willie Hoods and his wife Gloria) and the NGO EACH. They may have worked together or collaborated on other projects, but these are two big ones I am aware of.  Lyn chose 3 persons to help her establish the non profit NGO EACH: Martie Schmidt, Gail Julies and Sister Emily. Lyn and Sister Emily worked together over a period of around 30 years, until Sister Emily was posted to Zimbabwe.  Sr. Breda is now back in Ireland, the land of her birth.


Tribute by Dr. Monica Lindh

A tribute to Lyn Volkwyn

I met you Lyn and your family, your sister Tessa and your (late) brother with families some time in 1991 in Eersterust. Or maybe our very first meeting was in Mamelodi , you might have remembered. At that time I was living in Sweden but used to visit South Africa about once a Year. Since then we continued to keep contact. Your warm hospitality is a longstanding memory. When I moved to Pretoria in 1994 our relationship grew deeper. My daughter Moa and your daughter Liana became very close friends, attending the same school, Loreto Convent. Sometimes when I was on call at the hospital my daughter used to sleep over at your house, enjoying your hospitality. When my mother and brother visited South Africa in 1996 we were all invited for dinner at your lovely home. Your excellent cooking – I will never forget it, just delicious! But we also had a professional contact. We met at medical meetings and consultative workshops, as I was deeply involved as a task-team coordinator of the redevelopment of District Health Systems of Northern Pretoria Metro in 1997-1998. But our relationship was mainly of personal nature. And it continued all Years, also after I returned to Sweden in Year 2000. The last time we met was in December 2010 when I visited South Africa and a lovely braai at your house. We were also supposed to meet in December 2011 but at that time you were admitted in hospital. But we did chat over the phone although sometimes you were a bit too tired to speak. Our very last conversation over the phone was around the 8-9 December 2011. I was back in Sweden and you Lyn was at your dear home in Eersterust. You were still quite optimistic. As we had failed to meet you asked when I was going to come back to South Africa and you told me that we had to meet on my next visit. When I told you about the beautiful snow in Sweden you wanted me to send you a photo. I e-mailed a lovely Winter-picture of my yard on the 11th of December. Unfortunately you never managed to see the photo as you had got worse and was once again admitted to hospital. I miss you Lyn! How I wish we could continue discussing about primary care issues but also chatting about everyday life.


By Monica Lindh, Sweden

Lyn’s years as a Student Nurse

Lyn spent 3 years – 1969 to 1971 – at the Nico Malan Nursing College in Cape Town, doing her initial nursing training.  As was the case for many students from outside of Cape Town, Lyn stayed at the hostel at Nico Malan.

The following account, which deals with some aspects of Lyn’s social life outside of the nursing lectures and practical work in hospitals, was related to me by Asu Darmalingam.  Asu started her nursing training in Johannesburg, and went to Nico Malan for her 2nd and 3rd year of training.

Asu grew up in Claremont, which is a few km from Marabastad, Pretoria. Her family was the direct neighbours of the Dewrance family, Aunty Evelyn and Uncle James. Lyn’s aunt Rae (her actual name was Rachel) was close to Asu’s mother, and Rae looked after Asu’s brother from birth. He was named Raymond, after Rae.  Asu’s father visited Rae’s husband, Uncle Cook on a daily basis. Despite these family ties, Asu was not close to Lyn during their school years, and they only really met at the Nico Malan Nursing College hostel. Also at the hostel were Monica and Louise Dewrance, and Barbara Stakes, the later having been in Lyn’s class at Little Flower School.

Charles Earnest was dating Lyn’s sister Tessa at the time – they were both students at the University of the Western Cape, and they married a few years later. Charlie, as he is commonly known, was the only male among the group of nursing students and UWC students that spent much time together.  He was only a few years older than Lyn, but he was protective of Lyn and the other females in the group  – he warned them about Cape Town men, told them never to go out with Capetonians, told them not to even look at Cape Town men, and did not want men from Cape Town looking at the women in this group.  I found this account highly unusual, so I asked Charlie about this when he and Tessa visited my home recently.   I asked him if it was true, and he acknowledged that it was.  I asked him why he did that, and he merely responded that he “was very young” at the time.

Lyn and Tessa knew Kader Amod and his siblings who had relocated to Cape Town from Pretoria. Kader would sometimes take Lyn and others out, and other times he would provide a microbus and a driver, Ebrahim.  Ebrahim would take them to places like the seaside resort Strandfontein and fetch them hours later.  Lyn and others in their group would give money to Aunty Dinkey, a clerk at Nico Malan, to buy alcoholic drinks for them, drinks such as Old Brown Sherry and wine. The nurses would have a party in one of the rooms. Lyn was on the Nico Malan Advisory Committee. In her capacity as a committee member she responded to a certain Jacky Heyns who wrote a column a local tabloid, in which he made disparaging remarks about Nico Malan nursing students. Lyn wrote a letter in which the Advisory Committee threatened to sue Jacky Heyns.

The Advisory Committee arranged dances and had other fundraising activities. Funds raised were used to buy hockey and netball sports equipment. They started raising funds for a swimming pool but had completed their nursing training before the swimming pool project could be started. They got a Mr Gomez to give them ballroom dancing lessons. They arranged for Jazz musician Dollar Brand as he was known then (he later changed his name to Abdulla Ebrahim) to give them a show. Asu thinks Dollar was disgusted that his music as not appreciated by the students, and said that they were probably too young at the time to appreciate such music.

One night in April 1970, strong tremors caused the buildings at Nico Malan to shake. (these were probably the tremors of 14th April, which had their epicentre in the Tulbach/Ceres area and had a magnitude of 5.7 on the Richter Scale).  The nursing students all went outside, almost all the of them crying, and saying they wanted to go home. Lyn went around reassuring everyone, saying things would be OK. Asu and the Vice Principal Mrs Arckel went to every student’s room to check if anyone had remained in her room.

Lyn, Asu and a few other nursing students decided to climb Table Mountain. It was supposed to be a highlight of their stay in Cape Town.  They spent too long on top, and in a hurry to get to the base before dark, they decided to use a shorter but steeper route for the descent.  Their descent was a combination of climbing down and sliding down.  They grabbed onto bushes while sliding down, and the bushes got torn out by their roots, so this had only a limited effect in slowing them down. When they reached the base of the path down, they looked up and they then realized that their descent had been very dangerous and they were lucky not to have been seriously injured. As it was, they all had sore buttocks from sliding and bumping down. They looked awful, with their clothes muddied and their jeans torn.  They all felt very embarrassed travelling back to Nico Malan in that state by a public bus.

Asu believed she was being troubled by a ghost or spirit at night. Lyn did not believe in spirits, so she said she would sleep in Asu’s room. That night, Asu said she slept like a baby. Lyn saw a spirit, and wanted to screen, but she was unable to utter a sound. Lyn saw s short white woman with a milk bucket. Speaking in Afrikaans, the spirit said to Lyn “Come with me”. Lyn found the experience very scary and never slept in Asu’s room again. The Nico Malan Nursing College had apparently been built on the site of a farm.

Lyn, Asu and two other students one night decided to experience a séance. They used a glass turned upside down on a table. There were letters and numerals on a table. This type of séance was called “glasie glasie” in Afrikaans, which translated into English is “glass glass”. (variations of this have been used for centuries in Europe. In the late 19th century, a version was patented in America and was branded as the Ouija Board” in the USA.)   They invoked a spirit, and the glass moved to letters and numerals, indicating that the spirit was a 25-year-old black woman who had died in a motor car accident. She said Asu would have two children. Asu, trying to be bold, then replied, saying  “You are talking crap”. No sooner had Asu said this, when the two bedside lamps immediately burst into flames. All 4 students fled out of the room, and went to another block, with hearts pounding. When they later went back to the room much later, there was no evidence of a fire.

Asu described Lyn as being very shy, very, very modest and soft-spoken. She did not speak unnecessarily. She possessed all the good qualities that a lady should have. She demonstrated leadership qualities, and in fact, her leadership qualities stood out. She was ambitious. Yet no-one could have imagined that Lyn would have such a senior position later. Lyn politically motivated her group of friends.  They attended political meetings at the home of a female university student who lived in Athlone.


I had asked a few other persons who were fellow student nurses with Lyn for inputs about her life as a student nurse, but for various reasons none other than Asu have provided a detailed account of their years as nursing students. Hopefully some of them will still add to what Asu has related.

In addition to her basic nursing training, Lyn also did a one year Midwifery Course while based at Nico Malan.  In 1974 she did a one year course in Community Health at Peninsula Technikon in Bellville.  Asu did not do either of these courses with Lyn.

Tribute by Prof. Eric Buch


In the mid 1990’s, at the dawn of our democracy, the newly established Gauteng Health Department was seeking to appoint Directors for its 6 Health Districts.  This was a highly competitive process that attracted a large number of applicants.  Lyn stood out as an obvious choice as a Director and was appointed to lead the Pretoria district – her roots and her love, which she then led with distinction. She showed that she was a true leader and strategic thinker and also an effective manager. Lyn successfully led the transition from an apartheid based system into an integrated programme of primary health care for all.  She integrated her team into a unified force committed to public service. But, most important of all, Lyn was committed to equitable, quality health care for the poor. Even as her own health challenges took hold, these remained her priority. Her passion and vision is there to see in the legacy that remains today.

Professor Eric Buch
Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria
Formerly Deputy Director General: Health Care, Gauteng Health Department

Tribute by Maureen Mabena


I knew Lyn before but got to know her better towards the end of 2002 when I was acting CEO of Weskoppies Hospital and working closely with the Region. Lyn was then the Director in the Region. Lyn became a mentor and a friend. My experience of her was that of a developer, she saw potential in others and encouraged me to grow by challenging and stretching me to encourage me to grow. Over time I often sought her encouragement because I knew she was genuine.

We often travelled together to Gauteng Management and Development Program sessions which were quite useful and informative. Soon we became used to travel together and would arrange for me to go to the Regional Office to get a lift from Lyn. How we enjoyed the sessions after the official sessions. We would relax and enjoy drinks as if we were not going to travel back to Pretoria. Makgabo, Lyn and I would laugh our lungs out when reflecting on those occasions. On coming back Lyn would arrange with Roy to accompany us to Mamelodi so as she did not have to drive back alone. Lyn liked having fun just as much as she loved her work. She was focused in her work and never missed any detail. She was well read and very knowledgeable.

When I took ill with breast cancer in 2007, Lyn was the first person I called outside my family. She could sense emotions around her. She could intuitively see the world through the eyes of those around her and share their perspective. She became a pillar of strength and my role model. I was able to fight the battle bravely and could even support my family emotionally since they were devastated by the condition. When I came back from sick leave and Lyn was my supervisor, she did not treat me like a patient. She continued to push me and made the same demands that were expected from the person in my position which made me appreciate her even more.

What about those occasions when we went for lunch with Laeticia?  We would enjoy our meals and little talks. Those were some of the quality times we enjoyed together. We were even planning to go on holiday together. Those remained plans which were never executed how I regret that!!

Lyn was fun to be with; there is so much to say about the good times we share with Lyn, the sad times we shared and the not so bad times we shared. Her caring nature made her to include other people and make them feel part of the group, she was always stretching the circle wider, did not want to see someone on the outside looking in she wanted people to be included so that they also benefit from being part of the group.

Just before she took ill, she reminded me that we still need to do coffee, this sentiment she repeated each time we spoke over the phone. On 10 October 2010, she was responding to the email I send her earlier and I quote her “Thanks for the message. Let’s not go through life without stopping to give our self the opportunity to appreciate the good things in life, like loyal friends. I often think about the good times we spent together when we attended the GMDP sessions. Please let me know when you will be free to go for coffee.”

Lyn my dear friend, you have run your race and have achieved your purpose in life. You loved your husband Roy and all your children. You had a big heart and loved us too. We loved you too and we miss your wisdom. You fought the battle against cancer bravely and we will always remember to keep the candle of hope burning in our hearts.

Maureen Mabena.

A little more information about Lyn’s early life

About a month ago I visited Lucille and Errol Niken, to get some information about Lyn’s early childhood.   Lyn was born on 17th July 1950 in the home of Alfreda  and Paul Keiller, Lucille’s parents, who lived at No. 85, Jerusalem Street in an area called Cape Location or Cape Reserve.  On the other side of the road from Cape Location is the area called Asiatic Bazaar.  The two areas, Cape Location and Asiatic Bazaar are collectively called Marabastad.  These place names are used interchangeably.

Alfreda was the sister of Olga, Lyn’s mother.  Both Alfeda and Olga worked at the time at a Hotel called Lockley’s.  It had an annex called Lyn’s Court.  Alfreda liked the name Lyn, so she proposed it as the first name for Olga’s newly born baby.  Olga chose the name Olivia, and registered the names as Olivia Lyn.  Family and old friends always addressed Olivia Lyn by her second name.  Many of the people who got to know Olivia Lyn after she became a director, addressed her by her first name.

Apparently  Lyn’s Court is still exists today, very close the Pretoria’s landmark Union Buildings. I saw what seemed to be a block of flats named  Lockley’s but could not see an annex, while driving past on Friday.  I will take a walk in the area, and see if I can locate Lyn’s Court.

Lucille was in her teens when Lyn was born, and she helped to look after Lyn as a baby.  She said Lyn was a lovable, likeable baby. She added that Lyn was very pleasant as a child.  Lyn and her family stayed with the Keillers for more than a year, after which Lyn’s parents moved to their own home (or maybe back to their own home, I still need to check on this) also in Jerusalem Street.

Before then end of the 1950s, Lucille Keiller and Errol Niken got married. Errol and Lucille then both described Lyn as a child, teenager and young woman.  They described Lyn as having a good sense of humour and being fun loving. They also said she was a caring person, towards her own family and her quite large extended family.

Lyn’s older Tessa was raised not by her parents Aubrey and Olga, but by foster parents Hoosain and Rachel Dawwod, who lived at No.1 Barber street, around 200-300M from Lyn’s home in Jerusalem Street.  Here is a recent photo of  the building at No.1 Barber Street.   Rachel was a sister of Olga and Alfreda.   Hoosain, known as Uncle Cook, was a South African of Memon Indian descent. Persons of several  Allie and Ballakistan families  used to met at No. 1 Barber Street on Sundays, and have lunch together.  Uncle Cook was involved in politics, and Nelson Mandela visited no. 1 Barber Street sometime before the Rivonia Trial. The cricketer Basil D’Oliveria had a farewell party at No. 1 Barber Street before he emigrated to England in the mid 1960s.    Another sister of Olga, Beatrice, was married to Joosub  Hassim, who was of Cockney Indian descent.  Lucille mentioned that Olga and Alfreda learnt, among others, the cooking styles or cuisine of the Memons and the Cockneys, both of these groups being originally from North India, and that Lyn had learnt both these cooking styles too..  Most restaurants in South Africa service North Indian dishes only.   Although Lyn’s paternal the Ballakistans were Tamils or descendants of Tamils who are originally from South India, Lyn only learnt to cook some South Indian dishes after our trip to South India in 2004.

Errol remarked that Lyn had dogged determination, for example in persisting with her studies, and he also remembers Lyn as being daring or bold, for example when she conceived the idea of an Allie Family reunion.  Lyn played a key role in identifying and contacting family members, who were dispersed all over Gauteng and beyond. Several planning meetings were held at our home, and also the homes of other members of the Allie family or persons married to descendants of the Allies.  Including children, around a thousand members and descendants  of the Allie family were invited, and around six hundred pitched up for the reunion held at the Eersterust Cricket Ground hall.

Lucille recalled that she had always wanted her daughter Collette to be a Flower Girl or Bridesmaid at a wedding.  For some reason Collette never got invited to be a Flower Girl, as family members married over the years.  Lyn agreed that Collette would be one of the two bridesmaids at our wedding on 8th August 1980. Lyn designed Collette’s dress and made various sketches of it, and was very specific about how the dress was to look.   Errol’s mother made the dress.

Errol concluded by saying that Lyn as an adult was a person of the highest integrity.  Unfortunately Errol had not taken out the box of old photos prior to my visit, so I will have to pay him and his wife another visit to have a look at photos of Lyn as a young child, as they believe they have some of those  photos of Lyn.

Two weeks ago Tessa and I went to Newclare, Johannesburg, to visit Mrs. Olga Marks.  Mrs. Marks was an office based colleague of Lyn’s from the time Lyn was still studying, but was being funded by the then Transvaal Provincial Administration.   This was prior to Lyn being appointed as an employee, which was in 1975, after she had completed her studies in Nursing, Midwifery and Community Health.  Mrs. Marks is 87 years old, and had a leg amputated a few years ago.  Being thus incapacitated,  she was unable to attend Lyn’s funeral, but her son did.   We did not have a valid contact number for Mrs. Marks, so I decided that it would be simplest just to drive to her home.

Mrs. Marks did not initially say anything about Lyn, maybe she was surprised by our unexpected visit. She mentioned a few points after we had been there for a while, that Lyn was a hard worker, very friendly, very dedicated. Lyn used to phone her ,  that is, long after Lyn left the Johannesburg office for School Medical Service s. She also mentioned that Lyn chose the name Myra for Mrs. Marks daughter.  Lyn apparently had a friend in Cape Town by that name.  I did a quick calculation and determined that Lyn choose that name when she was 21 years old.

Apart from wishing to pay Mrs. Marks a visit for find out how she was, I was hoping to get from her the contact details of the School Nurses who worked with Lyn from around 1975 to 1980, these being Cathy Wesson, Bella Pinto and Terri.  Cathy and Terri are around Lyn’s age, and Bella a little older.  These nurses and Lyn drove many thousands of km to schools across the Transvaal, sometimes alone, sometimes with one or more of their team.  I would very much like to get inputs from these former School Nurses, for the biography.  Lyn’s cousin Merle Allie told me that many children who got spectacles in Coloured and Indian townships in country areas of the Transvaal only got them through Lyn.  The office for these nurses was in Johannesburg, and Lyn usually used to visit the Johannesburg office on Fridays.

It was probably on one of those Friday afternoons that Lyn fetched Myra  to arrange for her confirmation dress to be made.  Myra spent the weekend with us.  Lyn sorted out everything for the dress, getting the material, getting the measurements taken at the dressmaker and so forth.    Myra now prefers to be addressed by her second name Marcelle, but she is addressed by her first name at work.  Myra said she has the phone numbers of Cathy, Bella and Terri, and I am eagerly awaiting getting these.

Last year Lyn had planned to arrange a reunion of these former School Nurses, to be held around the end of the year. That reunion never took place, due to Lyn’s mortal illness and death.  Now I’m trying to arrange a get together of these former School Nurses , to get inputs on Lyn’s life covering a period over 3 decades ago.

Tribute by Charmaine Gideon

The first thing that always comes to mind when I think of Lyn was the time with my father’s illness (Walla). How she always made time for him and taking care of him.  How she use to rub his hand. That really touched me.

Also, Rose always used to mention how Lyn had to go for check-ups and always mentioned that Lyn was very sick, but whenever I saw Lyn, she looked so well, not a sign of sickness nor pain. Lyn was always concerned about the next person.  I also remembered a time when there was an incident with my brother, and how she tried to keep him calm.

I too was diagnosed with cancer, at the age of 5, but fully recovered long ago. So I know the pain Lyn went through, and the ordeal of Chemotherapy. My dad went through that too, and then passed on because of cancer.

Miss her dearly.


Charmaine is the daughter of Lyn’s first cousin, Walla Botes.  His mother, Aunty Joan, was the sister of Lyn’s mother Olga, and she was the last of the surviving Allie’s who were Olga’s siblings, until she died last year.   Walla was his nickname. No-one addressed him by his first name, which was Melvin.

Yes, Lyn hid her illness and pain very well, maybe too well.  She did that do doubt because she did not want people to feel sorry for her, and she did not want people around her to be saddened by her illness.  Sometimes at home she needed to remind us that she was very ill, at times when we needed to make allowance for the fact that she was ill.