A Memorial Service of Loving Reminiscences for Gillian Bridgwood - video link provided
Somerville House Chapel was filled with family, friends, former students and colleagues to farewell long time staff member Gillian Bridgwood held on Saturday 12th June, 2021.
The service was one of loving reminiscences of a life well-spent. Gill's son Tim, and daughter-in-law, Ruth, gave moving reflections on Gillian’s colourful childhood and rich life. Literature was Gillian’s passion and she shared her love of literature with her Somerville students for 34 years. The beautiful order of service included prose written by Gillian and a piece titled ‘Inheritance of Acquired Teaching Characteristics’ was read by Old Girl Justice Anthe Philipdes.
A reflection of her Somerville years, written by her close friend and long-time colleague, Pamela Davenport, was touching and witty. Sadly Pamela was admitted into hospital the day before, and therefore was unable to attend in person. Fellow Old Girl, Barbara Merefield kindly stepped in to read Pamela’s parting words to her friend.
The service was attended by past Principals Dr Murray Evans, Dr Ness Goodwin and Dr Noel Davis officiated with current Somerville Chaplin Pastor Chris O’Gorman. Many former teaching colleagues were also in attendance.
Mrs Kim Kiepe and Somerville House hosted morning tea after the Memorial Service outside VPAC, and many memories were shared and enjoyed by those who had travelled to the School to remember Gill.
For those who were unable to join on the day we share with you the below link to the service. We have also shared some lovely memories contributed by an Old Girl and Teacher.
"I would have loved to attend the memorial service for Mrs Bridgwood but will be away in North Queensland on 12 June. I just wanted to share my memories and express my thanks to a truely great teacher. Wonderful Mrs Bridgwood ‘Bridge’ - my all time favourite teacher who taught me English - my favourite subject. Her love of and enthusiasm for English was infectious and her knowledge inspirational. From the first day of Year 8 she stretched us to read way beyond our years and brought literature alive in every lesson. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! ‘ Bridge’ for the gift of a life-long love of literature."
Margie Rackemann (Gunn) (Class of 1981)
"Yes, she was amazing! And such a terrific mentor for my first year out. I remember being so impressed that 'her girls' wrote to her years later to stay in touch. She bought books for me, to improve my knowledge, and then later, for my kids. Every Friday Gill and Pam and I would walk down Mater Hill to the Bank of NSW, and bank our pay cheques. On the way back, after buying our yoghurts, Gill would go to the newsagent and buy a magazine - in those days they often had short stories. While Pam and I chatted, Gill would read as she walked and say, Oh, this is rather good! I'll read it to my Twelves and then send it in to you and your Twelves can hear it, too. Or, Oh dear,nothing good this week! She took some girls out of the two other yr 12 class, so I could have one, too - 17 in my first year 12 class - pretty trusting of her!
We had a shared wariness of the redoubtable Miss Taylor .. 'Mrs Greenwood! I can see your knees! Oh no, Mrs Ryan! Not you, too!' Alas yes, we were like naughty schoolgirls! "
"It will be lovely to see others and catch up a bit!"