4 months ago

March Newsletter -Spring Issue 2018

OBITUARY Many members

OBITUARY Many members will have read in Sheppard’s Newsletter of January 5th of the death of Gina Dolan, and read the obituary two weeks later. Gina died just before Christmas and, as was her wish, she was buried in a memorial woodland near Bristol, after a short family service. Gina joined us as our first Administrator in 1986 when the workload for our National Officers had become so great that it was obvious that we needed the help of employed staff. She set about establishing our first small office in Cambridge and she had to acquire all the furniture, necessary stationery, and our first small computer. She was very quickly immersed in processing the 7000 fair bookings we used to receive for the 180 plus fairs that we ran at that time, and it became obvious that she possessed great organisational abilities, and a willingness to work far longer hours than she was required to do. But we were very soon involved in more than book fairs. A seminar in 1986; a new Book Prize in 1987; the Opie Appeal on behalf of the Bodleian Library, with radio and TV coverage, all in addition to the book fairs. By 1990 we had clearly outgrown the small Cambridge office and after extensive searches we bought our present headquarters in Royston, and then Gina set about creating a new office, this time in more convenient and congenial surroundings. She ‘masterminded’ the logistics of the move, maintained the smooth flow of PBFA activities and ensured that we were soon accepted as an effective members’ trade association. Members who visited either office will no doubt remember being welcomed, not just by Gina, but by one or more of her ‘black and white’ dogs who were 20

almost always present. Her love of her dogs, and of her horses, I suspect helped her to cope with the long hours, and the stresses and strains of ‘administering’ a busy and complex organisation. And when she retired from the PBFA she bought a smallholding in the Portuguese mountains which she set about restoring from a state of dereliction with a view to becoming self-supporting. It was little surprise that she took on such a demanding challenge and her letters reported both challenges and a large degree of success. Gina returned to the UK in 2015, a second retirement, to live close to her daughter Melanie in the Cotswolds and passed away after a short dementia related illness. Peter Moore Chairman PBFA, 16 Melbourn Street, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 7BZ, T: 01763 248400, E:, 21