Rosie Gilbert

I met Rosie as a colleague at Notre Dame: her calm approach to English teaching and her incredible earring collection were admired in near equal measure, and I always felt comforted if I managed to exchange even a few words with Rosie in the middle of a busy teaching day.

A few years ago a member of my form, who was in Year 11 at the time, told me that he “didn’t really get English” until he was taught by Ms Gilbert: not only was he now enjoying it, he told me in awed tones that “Miss Gilbert just really gets me”.

Six years ago, I was amongst a few members of NDHS staff who entered the Norwich Half Marathon, as was Rosie. I hoped naively that I would be able to at least keep Rosie in sight for some of the race. As it was, Rosie took off at such a rate that I didn’t even catch a glimpse of her, and I would not have been surprised to learn that she had lapped me at least once. Rosie was far too kind to tell me her time…

It was in her retirement that I got to know Rosie as a friend: a few of us travelled on holiday to Switzerland, and although Rosie was in the very early stages of the illness, she relished every moment. She was the first to swim in the glacial waters of the lake, the first up the near vertical path to go anywhere, and was as happy and relaxed as I’d ever seen her. I know that we will all treasure the time that we had with Rosie on that trip and the photos that we have as mementos.

In the last couple of years, Rosie was an early adopter of WhatsApp voice messages, and was always interested in what was going on in our lives at school and at home. She was so wise on a such a wide variety of subjects, from teenage angst to her most recent book recommendation. Rosie was so proud and brave in her illness, and I miss her terribly. Much love to all of her family.

 

Harriet Griffiths

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