Friday, 7 December 2007

Farewell to Alysoun Ryves

Karen Fail.
I can't remember the first time I met Alysoun. I think it was a Quilters' Guild of NSW function or maybe at the Hunters’ Hill quilt shows. It seems that she was always about. Her distinctive blue and white dresses and lavish silver jewellery matched her vibrant personality as she busied herself with whatever needed doing.
Her energy seemed boundless as she involved herself with many community projects and local protests. Her no nonsense approach meant that she led many of the committees she joined. Because of her ability to think clearly and quickly, she was able to cut through extraneous and irrelevant thinking and find solutions to problems others less able might struggle with. But she never flaunted these innate abilities, but always offered her services and solutions with quiet modesty.
I had the privilege of working with Alysoun on the QUILTS 2000 committee. Ten quilters from Sydney raised funds for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games with this community project. The group worked together for 18 months, setting up the structure to sell 650 plus quilts through its website and were able to raise $500,000 for the Games. Input from Alysoun was vital to the success of this venture and it was always such a pleasure to watch her in action when there were complex issues to decide. She was able to identify the issues quickly and make such sensible recommendations that everyone held her ideas in high esteem.
When the committee was commissioned to produce several special quilts to mark the countdown of days to go to the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, Alysoun was the first to volunteer, making 500 Days to Go which was purchased for $3000 by Pinworkx in the Rocks.
It was always evident that she was not only a wonderful organiser but also a fine and generous quilter.
More recently, Alysoun held the role of Treasurer for the Sydney Quilt Study Group when Sydney took over the management of the Quilt Study Group of Australia. Working closely with the then Convenor, Annette Gero, she effortlessly managed the financial side of the change in management, always providing clear guidelines for decision making on money matters and of course, continued to have valuable input on all matters relating to the group.
It seems that we always migrated to Alysoun’s home for the AGM of the Sydney Quilt Study Group. It was so much part of Alysoun’s nature to be hospitable to her friends. Even though we never really knew how many people we would get on the day, this never seemed to bother Alysoun who managed to welcome any number of people graciously and provide afternoon tea in style on her wide verandah overlooking the water.
Alysoun died peacefully in the arms of her husband, Carl on Saturday, 10th November 2007.
Farewell Alysoun.

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