Farewell Liz – What a Colourful life.
Last Friday I attended the funeral to farewell Liz – a wonderfully colourful lady. She was quite amazing, and though I didn’t know all about her, I knew much of her story. We had several connections – my daughter attended the same school where she had been a student for most of her studies and later was the art teacher and Deputy Principal. They were not at the school together.
She was also a member of Zonta International from 1982 to her death a few weeks ago. But it was her art that initially connected us. I write for an online magazine, and someone asked me to write about Liz and an upcoming art exhibition where several artists had their works on sale for a fundraiser.
Buddy – her companion.
She lived alone for much of her life, after a short marriage. Buddy was a cute little dog that loved Liz and when one visited her, Buddy had to be part of the visit. You’d be welcomed by her little furry friend, and on departure had a farewell with Buddy. Sadly Buddy was not well and was euthanized just before Christmas 2020. I didn’t know that until after Liz departed this world, but I am sure she would not have wanted to continue life without him.
Liz was an only child and was born with a severe cleft palate – deformity of the mouth, which made it difficult or impossible to eat and speak. But Liz kept trying and after surgery learned how to do both. However, all her life she struggled with related health issues. It didn’t stop her.
With so much time she taught her self to draw – coloured pencils and paper were her friends in early days, and eventually, she started school – two years behind her peers but quickly caught up and surpassed them. She won many awards for her studies, art, and music. She learned to play the piano, organ and violin, and was the regular organist for a cathedral in Brisbane city – and of course, won some amazing musical awards.
Science or Art?
When she finished high school, she won several scholarships but chose to study science. At the end of her university days, she worked in the health industry as a microbiologist and later studied teaching before going on to be an art teacher at a variety of high schools around Brisbane and Thursday Island. In many places, she became Deputy Principal – though at TI she was School Principal.
In 1996 she retired from teaching and focused on art – silk art in particular. To see some of her work visit here.
It was at Beachmere that I met Liz. I was asked to write an article for Weekend Notes abut an Art Exhibition. She and her friends often held art exhibitions with profits going to charities. She raised an awful lot of money. She was a wonderful crazy lady – so much fun and so much colour in our lives.
Beachmere is a little seaside village north of Brisbane. It’s beautiful, on the edge of the Caboolture River, on Moreton Bay not far from Bribie Island. There were many talented artists living in the region and the local group BANG held several art exhibitions, and of course, Liz took part too.
I used to call in to see her and Buddy from time to time. She drove a little car and seemed to have a wonderful life – living mostly on the waterfront.
She really was an inspiration, and I was so sad to hear of her passing, but glad I was able to farewell colourful Liz at St John’s Cathedral last week. I was sad that I learned more about her after she died.
You are a great inspiration to all women.