How can one possibly do justice, in a few lines, to the huge contribution Anthea made to GAOS since joining the Society in 1974? I guess the simple answer is you can’t – so for now - you will be so terribly missed Anthea in so many ways. We will do our best to continue to protect and nourish the Society to whom you gave so much over the years with such devotion and pride.
You yourself said that GAOS was like an extended family; that members supported one another through difficult times. This made GAOS so endearing for you. You expressed the hope that this sentiment would be carried forward by future generations.
Well – your passing now is a difficult time for us. We will support one another across our many generations of members, and equally we will do our utmost to ensure that your love for the Society has not been in vain. The legacy you have left us will live on in our productions, musical evenings, choral group concerts, youth group productions, committee meetings, and every time your name is mentioned.
It is almost impossible to imagine GAOS without Anthea. She embodied the very best of the Society: welcoming, sociable, dedicated ... and immensely talented. We have lost a very dear friend.
I remember Anthea as a lovely, friendly, welcoming and busy person who enjoyed life with enthusiasm. Very sad she won't be there for the next show.
Forty years of friendship cannot be summed up in a short tribute here, but I would mention just a couple of ways in which Anthea contributed to the quality of life of the GAOS community over the years. Firstly, there were the summer barbecues which she offered to all, along with her dear late husband Robbie, in their beautiful garden at Chavannes-de-Bogis, which were for many years a highlight of the GAOS social calendar; then, for GAOS itself, as well as her other involvement both on-stage in the earlier years and then later behind the scenes, she was for over 30 years our principal Orchestra co-ordinator, making sure that we lived up to our name as an “Operatic” society of high quality. Many will no doubt do their best to take her place, but it will be a tough act to follow.
It’s hard to say goodbye, dear Anthea, and it helps me to revisit so many happy recollections with you.
I remember, ages ago, as GAOS’ Vice-chair, I organised a car rally. The secret arrival spot was our old barn in Vandoeuvres, where a BBQ was supposed to welcome all the participants.
My initial aim was to show the premises and attract as many members as possible: in those days, we were in desperate need of help to build our sets…
Two days before D-day, everything was ready. Members’ inscription was high, the weather was promising and happy times were in prospect.
The evening before the event, I received a phone call: the owner of the barn was suddenly taken ill. All his family from far away gathered in emergency, to assist the old man in his last moments.
I no longer could take a noisy group of merry fellows to the barn! A real problem!
Although you were not yet working in our Committee, dear Anthea, you immediately found a solution. And what a solution! A solution that would soon become an Institution!
“Let’s meet at my place!”
It was a marvellous day! Tennis court, swimming pool, green grass, buffet held in your dining room: a truly happy GAOS’ invasion.
Not only did we have an open house, we were welcomed with an open heart, as only you and your family could do.
That day was such a success, that everybody longed for more.
Since then, you and your family hosted what became the Famous Summer BBQ at the Roths’: the GAOS’ event that gathers the biggest number of people.
This testimony is only a single example of your generosity. The charities you organised, and the support you brought to so many of us, are others…
You have a big heart, dear Anthea, and made it cosy enough for lots of us to fit.
Many thanks for all the good memories. Repose en paix, mon amie.
Submitted by Sanda Freeman with a heavy heart - which goes out to Benjamin & Michael, who have barely had time to recover from losing their Dad.
Of Anthea, the commitee said it well "Above all, she was a woman of great generosity and kindness, and a very dear friend. We will miss her terribly."
Picture supplied of Anthea as "Diana, goddess of the Hunt", in the GAOS Spring show 1984 , Orpheus in the Underworld.
I didn't know Anthea very well, but was always made to feel very welcome whenever we met, at shows and in Geneva. I know she will be very much missed, and am sure that following her example will be the best tribute I can make for her. Till the next time.
Anthea was the first person in GAOS I ever spoke to and she encouraged me to audition for the 1979 pantomime. Since then we worked together in other pantomimes and in The Sound of Music (2010). She did almost every job it is possible to do for the Society and was omnipresent at events. Anthea was the personification of all that is best about GAOS, a wonderful, encouraging, conciliatory person and will be terribly missed by GAOS members of all ages who knew her. My thoughts are with her two dear sons.
Maggie Sutton has kindly supplied these photos, taken at Morgins.
Maggie Sutton IMG_1050 2.jpg IMG_1045.jpg
Those are lovely pictures, Maggie, thank you so much for posting them. They are Anthea as I will always remember her.
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