Note: Birth registerd as melinda leigh, changed by deed poll (1975) to Melinda Elizabeth Leigh Eulogy from Kathryn Bruce for her niece Melinda Elizabeth Leigh on Thursday the 9th November, 2000 At the age of 21,Melinda was visiting Brisbane on a brief sojourn from where she had been working and studying in China. Melinda lamented to her mother that many of her friends had moved away from Brisbane and Gaele’s response was to call upon her friend Jenny from her early childhood years. Gaele gently reminded Melinda of how her imaginary soul mate Jenny had received such preferential treatment in the Arnott household from the added space at the dining table to an extra car seat in the already crowded EH Holden station wagon. As further support to Melinda, Gaele wrote the poem An Angel called Jenny, a message which will resonate with many of you here today. More importantly, through this poem, Gaele reflected on the wonderful gifts that Melinda already possessed: the love she shared for all those around her, the burning spirit within her, the spark of life she ignited in everyone, the inquisitive mind of hers that meant that Melinda met more people and crammed more into her life than most of us here have ever accomplished. The flame which burns brightly within was a reflection of who Melinda really was: Here is your poem Melinda: The pulse of my heart Equals the beat of my soul. The tune of my memory IS the beat of my heart. The cycle of life is complete. The child of this cycle is, an Angel called Jenny. Jenny, is my soul mate. The mate of my soul, understands and loves me. There is no judgement. There is no pain. There is no sorrow. Jenny is the flame which burns brightly within. I am Jenny. She is Me. Eulogy from Neil Arnott for his sister Melinda Elizabeth Leigh on Thursday the 9th November, 2000 As Melinda’s brother, to even begin to describe the depth of our love and the multi-faceted nature of our relationship is of course impossible. I am not going to attempt to bring to you all the fullness of our relationship, as it is too deep within me. Our bond was forged from laughter, tears and love, that is as much a part of me as my own blood and bone. What I do wish to share with you are some of her qualities which are dear to me and memories spent together over 25 years. Known to us all by different names, Mel, Lindy, Lin, Magilacutty, Loonus and the many others, her nicknames were outnumbered only by the many, many people who have been affected by her. I have over the years spoken with various people who were moved in great ways by Lin within minutes of them meeting. I am of course fortunate to have spent a lifetime with her. The profoundly personal and individual bonds she had with each of her family members, seemingly spilled over into her desire and ability to build special relationships with all people she came into contact with. Lindy had an outer shield of confidence, a striking strength of character and her quirky sense of humour, which maintained her buoyancy in life. Never taking a backward step, particularly if she perceived an injustice or social injury. She stepped out into the world, full of purpose. Underlying this was a tenderness of heart and a gifted ability to appreciate other peoples point of view, their situation in life and a palpable sense of their pain. She seemed to sense and seek out the pain of others, to share in it with them ever, with the hope of healing it together. Her care and concern for others; individuals through the entire societies throughout the world was very real and at times very painful. It was a burden she was unwilling to relinquish. If anyone was capable of carrying such a burden it was Melinda. She had a remarkable poise and presence felt by all of us. Lin had worked hard to earn her confidence in her own identity. She knew who she was and importantly where she came from. She took this into the world and demanded satisfaction. Darling beautiful little Lin. The rage of losing you sears my soul, tempered only by knowing that you are finally at rest, truly at peace. You will always be in my heart and thoughts. You unfailingly brought so much joy and happiness to me, my wife and 2 boys. The most cherished and powerful gifts you gave me were to laugh at nothing, laugh at myself and to see joy in the world. Goodbye my baby sister, our bond will never break. Eulogy from Susan Elizabeth for her sister Melinda Elizabeth Leigh on Thursday the 9th November, 2000 Beautiful Melinda. My little sister, my best friend. Loved by so many Melinda’s baby and little girl years were such a delight to our whole family. She was so funny and cute. She gave so much joy, always. I would like to share some personal childhood memories. Being, 7 years younger than me, we did have a few trying times as little girls. When I was 10 my prized possessions were my Barbie dolls. They were off limits to Lin, aged 3. Once Lindy decided to re-do the hairstyle of my newest Barbie, with perming solution. Not having much success she then had to chop of all of new Barbie’s hair. I think Mum had to restrain me afterwards. Later on……. When I became a teenager, I would spend hours in my room beautifying at my dressing table. My constant companion, sitting on my bed was of course little Melinda. Watching, watching asking a million questions. Occasionally I became impatient and banished her, only to then find her peeking through a crack in the door. We had many, many fantastic times together as young women. Mum, Dad and Lindy were the first people to come to the hospital and see David and my first baby, little Eliza. Lize was about three hours old. Melinda was with me when I found out I was pregnant with Will. We hugged and laughed. Lin was my bridesmaid and Godmother to David’s and my son. She was a complete replacement of me to the children when I wasn’t there. I could never get over the way she approached things with them. When Dave and I were in America, I didn’t have to worry once. Will loved her dearly, and her relationship with Eliza was beautiful. We also had lots of really fun nights together, occasionally having a glass of wine. When we were alone, we sometimes confided that we loved each others company better than anyone else’s. I think she is great. Last Friday…., Melinda and I spent a wonderful day together. I rang her about 8.30 and announced I would pick her up in an hour, that we were going shopping at the coast. She told me I was a bossy pain, but agreed to be ready. We talked all the way, except for the interruptions of Lindy’s many phone calls on her mobile. We had so much fun shopping, vowing to hide everything from David upon our return. We walked around for several hours, arms linked, laughing and gossiping. We had lunch at an Italian café. I was ordering at the counter, looked over, saw her sitting at the table, looking away, and I felt very proud of her. She was so lovely. Lindy, Thankyou for the happy, funny and even sad times. Thank you mostly for the gift of yourself. You are pure, good and at peace now. Our souls will be together again, although not for some time yet. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll wait to see your face again. I love you sweetheart. EULOGY FROM CRAIG GEOFFREY FOR HIS SISTER MELINDA ELIZABETH LEIGH ON 9TH NOVEMBER 2000 MELINDA The world is so hard sometimes. Lindy - is the light of my life and always filled me with more joy and pride than anyone else has done. The remarkable thing is how each of us felt we had such a special relationship. The hardest thing now is to know how to deal with unfathomable emotions on this day, in this long week, in the time ahead, when they feel sometimes like they will break me in two. But they won’t - because Lind wouldn’t want me, or any of us, to fall into despair. I remember how often we spoke about how we would struggle against that, and struggle against that in the world, and build a great life while we can. What I want to tell you, tell all the world, is all that Lindy built in her life - and the part I knew of a wonderfully complex life. Lindy is my littlest sister and the littlest of the four kids; but while I thought that, she always roused at me for saying it because she wanted to be a resolute, independent woman in the world and not the littlest kid at all. And she was a resolute independent woman -with her searing personality -with her vivacious love of life that was so boundless it captivated all drawn to her -and led by her curiosity to experience all experiences about who men and women are, what makes them up and who she was -with her stamina to travel the world and fill her life with knowledge of as many cultures as she could, especially the Chinese culture. It was a stamina to take the hard road. When she threw herself into the world it was full of expectation that it would be beautiful and easy just because she thought it should be - and this made her so frustrated that the world was not as it should be and would be too slow and ordinary for her sometimes, too many times. She was a woman who thought deeply about how to be in the world and how to treat people kindly, and when she thought she hadn’t done that, nothing bothered her more and she would invariably seek to put it right. She aspired to the extraordinary, for her and for all of us to be extraordinary. She was the sort of person who thought we could all be extraordinary together. When the world was not as it should be she would rail against it; as all of you would know who had any discussions with her. She would rail against the way women are treated and regarded; against racism and homophobia (thank you Lindy) and poverty. These were her touchstone social issues. They were not just a list of things for her but reflected a disposition that you should stand against prejudice and what hurts people. Underneath her strength was a tenderness. She sought out gentle people to care for. And the hurt in the world bore deeply upon her - and that is the great sorrow Lind that you of all people had to feel it so keenly. None of us really know the struggle you had against the pain - and to not show us how much you felt it. I wish I had held you more. What made Lindy’s life so special and so stunning and made me forever so proud was that despite feeling all that she would say, no, I’m seeking out the enjoyment there can be and the laughter and would always - however trying - reach out to people she cared for. So Lind, I’ll always remember you as the little girl who, when we lived at Dargie St would bounce a ball against my bedroom door if I studied too much and say come out and play - because she loved playfulness. And as the young woman who when I wasn’t here would visit me wherever I was in the world and tell me and amaze me about her incredible adventures in China, Mongolia, Tibet, Peru or playing characters on Chinese TV shows, or advertising Chinese women’s clothes with a black wig on to look more authentic. And as the woman who came to live with me in Sydney to see if there you could find the wonderful life you craved but who wouldn’t let me carry you. The thought that for me captures Lindy, that reveals Lindy the most, and that she taught me, was that she would say, Craig, there should be more music in our lives, it will lift us and it will stir us. She wanted people to understand themselves better and share their feelings and for the music to play all the time. A remarkable woman has passed amongst us, who my Mother and Father brought into the world. Lind, the world is more wonderful for you having been here. I wish like I’ve never wished for anything you still were. But I’ll always carry you with me and we’ll have lots of conversations yet. It was my privilege to have known you. It was our privilege.
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