A sad goodbye to Wendy

Wendy, who had been a member of Oxford Phab for over 20 years, died on the morning of Monday 5th June 2023.

She was keen on craft activities, Zumba and Phab Discos, and our regular club nights where we get together and chat.

George and Wendy at a Club Night

She also performed, as a backing Chicken in ‘We are poultry’ – part of our Phabulous Evening of Entertainment in June 2003, and as part of the hairy bunch of Ishmaelites in a Wesley Memorial Church production of Joseph, in October 2003.

We are Poultry singers and chorus
Wendy in white tee-shirt in the chorus

She came on holiday with us to Alton Towers and enjoyed the more sedate rides there.

She will be missed, particularly for her concern for others and her bursts of enthusiasm for the simple pleasures in life – often shared in the car on the way to or from Phab.

Fairer World

Adam was a member of Oxford Phab in its early days, and despite being Deaf – he communicated mainly via a Light Writer – and in a wheelchair, he was very sociable, finding friends wherever he went. He died, suddenly and much too young in 2007, but I am publishing this poem, which he wrote, in celebration of his memory and the times we spent chatting on Phab holidays.

Fairer World

In my fairer world
Everybody will help everyone else
In my fairer world nobody would have to bully anybody
In my fairer world
All the parents would go round evenly
In my fairer world everybody would eat ice cream once a week.

Everybody could have a job
Everybody could have a bath when they wanted
Everybody could spell and read and write
Everybody would have enough to eat
In my fairer world

In my fairer world
There is no war, no drought and nobody minds
Giving things to other people
In my fairer world
Nobody minds if you are black or white or thin or fat
Nobody minds if you are clever or not
In my fairer world

In my fairer world everybody's got something to say
And everybody wants to listen
In my fairer world
Nobody whacks anybody about or does nasty things
In my fairer world
It doesn't matter whether you are rich or poor or old or young
Or where you live
Or what you wear
Or how you talk
Of if you are in a wheelchair
Like me.

We miss you, Kelly

Kelly, who has been coming to Oxford Phab since 2001, died on Monday 27th April 2020, after a short illness. We will miss her very much, as she was not only a keen participant in the activities of the club, but an embodiment of ‘Making More of Life Together’

Making – she certainly did, enjoying all sorts of craft activities.

Another favourite activity was Zumba, where she not only joined in sessions with Oxford Phab, but was part of the wider Zumba community, where she is also greatly missed.

She had strong connections with the wider Phab, keeping in touch with people she met at sponsored walks, Phab Southeast fun weekends and other Phab events. She was nominated for the Louis Goldberg Award in 2006, and went to the House of Lords to receive a certificate of nomination.

She was also a great ambassador for Phab in the community, getting to know people when we went on holiday, to Hinksey Heights Golf Club, Carol singing or anywhere we were out and about.

Everywhere we went as a group there seemed to be people coming along to say ‘Hi Kelly’, for example at Cowley Road Carnival, where she was helping on our stall.

We miss you, Kelly


Goede Reis, Ans

Our friend Ans, who lived in Oxford for longer than Oxford Phab has been running,  has returned to her native Holland.
Her daughter came with us to Holland in 1992, and was a great help, particularly as a Dutch speaker.
Ans herself would drop in to Phab from time to time, and chat with our members. As a social club we love to chat, and new – and returning – faces are always welcome. When I was on dialysis she would also take me home early as, although Phab is always enjoyable, my stamina was not always up to a late night.
When she moved to Holland there were some pieces of furniture and other items which she did not wish to take with her, and Phab has received some very welcome donations from the new owners of these pieces. We are grateful to Ans, and to them for this.
Thanks to the Internet Ans is still in touch with several of our members, and we like to think that rather than losing a friend in Oxford we have gained a friend in Holland.