A good woman is hard to find and worth far more than diamonds. – my Mums Eulogy – not sure why I’m adding this to my research Blog… but I am.
In some translations the words used instead of diamond is jewels and in other’s it’s rubies but all of them describe a multifaceted – multicoloured gem of value. Rubies, deep red strong, diamonds, clear and sharp yet reflecting prisms of light, and Mavis in her life, shone out and today gathering some of her story together we can see different facets of this woman we knew as wife and mother, sister, aunt, colleague, and friend.
A good woman is hard to find – give her everything she deserves- Festoon her life with praises. And what a life Mavis led. Born on the 12th October 1931 at Fairholme Drive Mansfield. The family then moved to Mansfield Woodhouse where Mavis’s sister Janice was born. Mavis went to Oxclose Lane School and then Yorke Street. By the time Mavis left school the war was ending and the world was changing giving many more opportunities to women. Mavis went to the Millers Business College situated over Handley’s Arcade and studied shorthand and typing and then went on to work at Mansfield Hosiery Mills, where over the years she rose to Production Manager having also worked in personnel as well. Mavis met Bill at a dance at the Embassy Ballroom Warsop, where he proposed to her during their first dance. They courted for a year and were married on the 6th June 1953 here at St Edmunds. Mavis and Janice had been brownies and guides at St Catherine’s Church on Sherwood Street and later at the National School and Mavis carried on to become Brown Owl and Captain of Guides. I had the privilege to be one of Mavis’ brownies at St Martin’s Church near the Sunnydale in Woodhouse some years ago.
When Bill and Mavis were first married they like so many couples in those days lived with his parents for 2 years on Balmoral Drive before getting their own home on Park Hall Road. In the early 60’s Mavis and Janice joined the Pleasely Vale WI when it met at Hollin’s Mill down in the Vale. The WI was to be a big part of Mavis’ life – she was a member for almost 50 years including being Treasurer, Executive Member for Notts and Chair of International Relations committee.
Our reading speaks of a woman skilled in crafts of hearth and home and Mavis enjoyed learning the different crafts that the WI enabled. She and Janice became members of a canvas class at WI County House for 11 years and along with Janice and other members gained her ONC certificate for some of her work. She enjoyed decoupage and embroidery but there was always something new to learn. As some of you know Mavis wanted to learn to tap dance and also to wear red tap shoes –as the Wizard of Oz was one of Mavis’ favourite films. Mavis organised a class, which became a group performing at Group Meetings, the Palace Theatre where they were dubbed the Golden Girls and also at the Royal Show.
Our reading speaks of children who respect and bless their mother and after a sad time Mavis and Bill’s son Simon was born and their family was complete, a family that always included Janice and her family and Simon’s grandparents when they were alive. A family that had caravan holidays together all over England, a family that partied together and always at the heart was Mavis organising games, especially charades- a game that Mavis had her own unique way of playing. The family recalled a time when Mavis, took an apple and orange out of the fruit bowl to depict the musical Annie. If you can work it out please tell the family.
At the beginning I spoke of the facets of the jewels and Mavis was very much a multi faceted multi talented woman. She served as a magistrate for 30 years, she was a member of the Mental Health Committee she also organised a craft day at her home for her friend Gillian ill with cancer which went on to be Gillian’s group and she was also a member of triangle to name but few. A good woman is hard to find, she senses the worth of her work and is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. Mavis worked until she was 76, after the Hosiery Mills she worked for Interserve who built the London Eye, retiring from work 5 times, each time she had gone back to cover maternity leave or holidays and then just stayed on, the family said she only did it for the retirement gifts.
She speaks Wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue- Mavis enjoyed work, she was directed focused and organised but I’m, told could also be abrasive, emotional and caring for Mavis wanted the best for everyone.
Our reading speaks of the good woman’s husband having full confidence in her and she brings him good not harm, as we talked Bill laughingly said he was her slave, cooking and cleaning and looking after the home because she needed to get on with all the tasks she needed to do, such love and such grace and even when Mavis developed Alzheimer’s she was busy and happy and always getting into mischief. A good woman is hard to find and as she in the past reached out to help others the family would like to thank those who made these last year’s possible, the carers, the district nurses all the family and friends who made Bill and Mavis’s life easier.
The end of the reading speaks of the woman who lives in the fear/love of the Lord, today the church is still in the Easter season, the time of rejoicing that Christ conquered death and sin and rose again to give us the promise and hope of life eternal.
So as we remember Mavis now at peace, let us give thanks for all she was and all that she brought to our lives and let us Festoon her life with praises. Amen