Family - Waddell Connection - Jane Waddell - Tribute by Dr Jack Krayenhoff

Tribute by Dr Jack Krayenhoff

[Jack, a medical man originally from Holland, had known Jane from quite early on in her new life in Victoria, and they were both staunch members of the Church of Our Lord congregation. Sadly the first page or two of his heartfelt tribute went missing, but fortunately this final page still has much to tell us.]

However, [despite her decreasing mobility], she still refused to give up on the [Cridge] Club's monthly classical hymn sing, even though it would take a taxi both ways. It was a major, exhausting effort for her to get there, and clearly said how dear to her heart these wonderful hymns were.

When the time came that she was no longer able to make independent expeditions from the rest home [Douglas House], I made it a habit to look her up there. So often visits to 'shut-ins' become a matter of duty, but because Jane had such a lively and refreshing mind, it was never that to me. It was a matter of visiting a friend.

From the moment I sat down with her, right away we had an interesting conversation going. She was quite knowledgeable in things English: customs, literature, history, geography, education, and what not, and I learned something new from her every time. When on occasion I was able to tell her something new, usually about the days of Cromwell and William of Orange, where the histories of England and Holland intersected, she in turn was quite interested and keen to learn. We both felt those visits sharpened the wits. Even when towards the end she was physically very disabled, she remained mentally sharp, with a memory that was better than mine.

Jane was a woman worth knowing. Though physically her decay was inexorable and there was not much left of life for her towards the end, she never indicated that she had had enough of it. Her vitality survived. And, if anything, vitality ought to be a typically Christian characteristic, for did not Jesus say, "I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly."?

Goodbye, Jane, and see you again.