SSi Forum

Funeral date [Er cof annwyl am Liz Corbett - in loving memory]


#1

[For those of you who might be able to be there, we’ve been told that the intention is for Liz’s funeral - in the Corris area - to take place towards the end of next week, possibly on the Thursday. I’ll update in here as soon as we have confirmation of date and location.]

I can’t really believe I’m typing this - we were hoping to see Liz in Caernarfon in the near future.

Last night, we were told that she had died suddenly in Corris - for those who would like to know more, her friend Veronica has written a moving piece here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2690726511015617 (you can read that without being logged in to Facebook - just click on ‘not now’ when the pop-up arrives).

It feels hard to imagine SSiW without Liz. She brought such passionate energy to everything she did, and reclaimed her Welsh heritage and her Welsh language with a joy that made it always a delight to be in her company. She went from wanting to use a few words in Welsh in her novel to falling in love with the language to becoming a creative and confident Welsh speaker, publishing her novel to widespread acclaim, giving interviews in Welsh for print media and radio and TV (you can see her terrific interview on Prynhawn Da here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=350041759073154).

And she always, always wanted to give back. She volunteered to teach Welsh in Melbourne, and brought SSiW into the classroom as the regular approach - she blogged about how that had worked, she helped run conversation groups, she even wrote an article in Welsh for Parallel.cymru (Liz Corbett: 15 of us in Melbourne are helping to reach a million speakers) - I can’t believe we’re never going to get to read that book about her Bootcamp friends.

She was one of the most enthusiastic Bootcampers we ever had, and her energy was a huge part of the wonderful group of Bootcamp friends whose company she loved so much. We know that all her friends will be hurting very badly today, and Catrin and I send you our love. I’ll never forget sitting on the beach at Pwllheli with her Bootcamp friends, and being quizzed rigorously about politics and language activism by Liz :heart:

I’ll also never forget her on top of the pillar on Twthill, where the troops of Owain Glyndŵr gathered in 1401 - she’d have fitted in just fine with them.

Oh, Liz. She was such a generous friend - she always saw the very best in people, and told them about it. I first met her sitting on a bench in Llanystumdwy - she was doing a course in Tŷ Newydd - I was hugely excited to meet our Australian author who was so passionate about Welsh, and she was so determined to make it clear that she was more excited to be meeting me. I don’t think I ever left Liz’s company without feeling inspired.

Our hearts go out to her family. They have already suffered the loss of a daughter, and Liz’s raw courage was central to helping them all find ways to survive that tragedy. It is heart-breaking that they should now have to lose Liz herself as well, and all her energy and light and grace.

I thought we had more time, Liz. I thought we had more conversations and laughter and refusals to discuss grammar ahead of us. I wanted to read your next book, damn it.

Catrin and I would like to do something to remember Liz - it might be something that SSiW could do. I’m not sure what yet - maybe some kind of writing prize. I’d love to hear ideas from anyone who knew Liz.

https://elizabethjanecorbett.com/

As one of her other friends has just said on Facebook: be grateful for every minute, folks :heart:


#2

Beautiful words Aran.


#3

Superb tribute, Aran. I may have something in my eye…

RIP, Liz. Such sad news.


#4

Aran, such lovely words about a wonderful woman. So hard to believe the news that Liz has died. She is/ was and will always be a true inspiration and role model for all of us in SSiW.


#5

Aran, probably the hardest post to write and also the hardest to read. Just heartbreaking. Rest in Peace Liz. Xxx


#6

This can’t be true
Liz was always there in the background for us Australian Welsh learners - she was “hanner Gymraeg” after all. Her energy and determination at being an author and eventually yn awdures was an inspiration for us all. Such a sad loss for SSiW and the entire Welsh community all over the world. I cannot believe this is true.


#7

This is such shocking news - I didn’t know Liz personally, but she has been such a presence in the world of SSiW and Welsh learning at large that I feel like I did know her. I am so very sorry to hear this. My condolences to everyone whose lives she touched, most especially to her family and close friends.


#8

As I said elsewhere, so many people, so many communities, will have lost a piece of their heart.


#9

I just am so heartbroken. Liz was a special friend, so inspiring kind and generous. We had some wo derful experiences at bootcamp and at the Eisteddfod and she even came to my Welsh group in Norfolk when she was visiting family nearby. She captivated the hearts of my Welsh ladies. Liz had a strong Christian faith and it shone out in all who met her. If you believe… She’s speaking yr iaith y nefoedd right now. We will miss you terribly xxx


#10

Aran, everything here seems to come back to bwtcamp, perhaps it could be a funded place? Or part of the literature award? Everything Liz seemed to be about was bringing people together, so I wonder if that could be a way we could stay with her?


#11

That is such sad news. I didn’t know Liz personally, but I knew her online and read her posts. I think I first “met” her on G+ some years ago when she was writing her first book and later on other forums. She has left us far too soon and will be greatly missed.


#12

Anthony, I had a similar thought. I think this is a great idea.


#13

I am completely devestated, I can’t really believe we have lost such a vibrant advocate for Welsh. She was probably my first SSIW friend. Having spent two years learning by myself listening to Aran and Catrin as I drove up and down to work, I plucked up the courage to go on a bootcamp. The one in Caernarfon. I was terrified, I knew no one, I didn’t even know what Aran and Catrin looked like! What on earth was I doing taking a week off work to spend it with 10 strangers in Caernarfon in a language that I was decidedly dodgy in. And…I ended up sharing a room with Liz. She was so supported and so caring. When we went to find our rooms she could see that I was worried and just threw her arms round me and said ‘paid a phoeni, bydd popeth yn iawn’ and of course it was. She never once turned to English even though no one would have know. When I woke in the night she asked in Welsh if I was ok.
She didn’t realise to start with how close we live to Sycharth and Pennant Melangell so when she came back to following year to do research she stayed for a week. We had lots of adventures and lots of misunderstandings because she would only speak to me in Welsh. I remember going to the local flower and produce show with her. A friend who heard us saying to me afterwards, ‘oh I see now, you were trying to practice speaking Welsh to each other’ no I said we were speaking Welsh because that is how we speak to each other. I met her speaking Welsh and it seems perfectly natural to carry on.’ I was so looking forward to meeting up again and in fact she was booked to come and talk to our WI in November. She came over from Corris last time to speak in Welsh to our Clwb Gwawr about her journey into Welsh. I think her whole SSIW family have lost a very special person.


#14

What ever it is it needs to be red and black :slight_smile:


#15

I’m so sorry to hear this news - Liz, who had reasons to be otherwise, was one of the most positive and enthusiastic people I’ve ever met.

I had checked her blog not too long ago, wondering how her book about Marged, wife of Owain Glyndwr, was coming along. I see from her most recent blog that she had completed two thirds of it, and had just taken up a writer’s residency in Corris, intending to finish it this month. I know it’s too early to be thinking about this right now, but I hope there may be enough in writing for her family to consider having the book completed by someone, and that friends here would then look into having it translated into Welsh. It would be a lovely tribute to Elizabeth, and her enthusiasm for Wales and the Welsh language.


#16

I could not believe this when I first read it. Jane and I linked via FB and were intending to catch up either here in Wales or when I was next in Oz. I am deeply shocked by such terrible news as she had become a good friend. She was an inspiration often telling me to get on with learning Welsh (I’m from Yorkshire but live in Cardiff). I kept promising we would converse in the language the next time we met. My husbands and my own thoughts are sent to her family here in the UK and and in Melbourne and all those who knew this truly wonderful lady.


#17

Lovely words Aran, but such sad and shocking news. I had the pleasure to meet Liz on a couple of occasions. She has been an inspiration with her passion for the Welsh language, her Welsh heritage and through her writing. Colled enfawr xxx


#18

I’m very sorry to hear this, and thank you Aran for composing such a heartfelt tribute, and shouldering the responsibility of telling so many of her friends here about such devastating news.

My memories of Liz are corresponding with her by email while she was in Australia to create the Parallel.cymru article Liz Corbett: 15 of us in Melbourne are helping to reach a million speakers and then meeting her a few times at the 2018 Cardiff Bay Eisteddfod. Her passion for the language came through in all her interactions with people, and seeing her on stage speaking in the Shwmae Su’mae learners tent (a repurposed Pierhead building) was inspiring. She had a remarkable ability to publicise her work, and through that show to many people that if someone on the other side of the world can learn our language and contribute to it’s culture, then anyone can.

I’m sure that a large proportion of the SSIW community will have interacted with her or read her words at some point. Not many people are so full of life that they get to be so well known in such a short space of time.

Liz, you will be sorely missed, and our condolences to her family and many friends Down Under who knew the librararian side of her.


#19

I’m so sorry to read this. I met Liz on Bootcamp in Tresaith, and I was impressed because was speaking Welsh fluently and because she was so supporting and caring for everyone. I loved reading her novel and was looking forward to the next one. I can’t believe that she’s gone now.
Thank you Aran for your warm and lovely words.
Rest in piece, Liz.


#20

I really don’t know what to say other than to echo all the lovely things already said. I only met Liz a few times but spent most of the parti 2017 weekend with her and Caroline after hitting it off immediately with the pair of them. Liz was very eager to talk about everything and anything, and a true pleasure to spend time with. Our community was lucky to have known her.