A great loss

by barbznz

Yesterday, I got the news that my friend and colleague, Beverly Grammer had died, It was totally unexpected, on my part anyway, We were together a couple of weeks ago and had dinner with Shirley Anne and Peter. She was in fine form. Bev didn’t talk a lot but when she spoke everyone took notice.

We met a few years ago at a disability advisory group meeting. It was my first foray out of my comfort zone into the wider disability sector. Later we were at training for the Convention Coalition monitoring training. I was there as a member of the Convention Coalition and she was co-ordinator for the Whakatane site. They were short handed so I had the privilege of travelling to Gisborne to do interviews. Most of the interviews were in private home so Bev and I ended up staying at our base and interviewing the people who came in. It was serious work and a long day but still managed to have fun. It was her idea that I go onto the National Exec of DPA. At that stage she was president elect. I only stood for one term, other things got in the way but we still managed to met in all kinds of places. we both used to fly out of Rotorua and had to be careful because the planes would only take one power chair. I suggested that she could go from  Tauranga airport which was about the same distance from her home  but she said she had spend so much time training up Rotorua staff she didn’t want to have to start again. And she was right, the Rotorua staff were certainly well trained.

She was so passionate about her work, so committed to rights of persons with disability. She is such a huge loss to the sector,

But more than that, she is a huge loss to all the people who knew, loved and respected her

I will miss her.


© Barbara Hart 2014