Thursday, 9 June 2011
Pauline Allan 1954 -2011
Pauline was one of the founder members of Northumbrian Scribes back in 1988. She was a very active and enthusiastic member, and contributed greatly to the early development of the group. Long-standing Scribes will remember that in those days she often brought her son Matthew along to the meetings. The above photograph shows Pauline with her son at his graduation.
With the help of visiting Canadian calligrapher Suzanne Cannon, Pauline started the newsletter which soon became an essential way for us to keep in touch, as well as being informative and entertaining. She was also a committee member, and hosted meetings at her Wallsend home. For a number of years Pauline came to the Monday classes for Scribes. I recall a fellow class-member, an ardent recent convert, asking Pauline if she was a born-again Christian, and Pauline replying drily, "No, I'm an original Christian."
Pauline's spirituality was very important in her life, and I'll always be grateful to her for persuading me to go on a calligraphy retreat with Robert Cooper and Ewan Clayton in 1992. I remember her huge enthusiasm for Lindisfarne: she could hardly wait to show me the island. We both enjoyed returning for many other retreats.
Pauline contributed to The Book of Escomb in the mid Nineties, and it was after the freezing weekend spent in Escomb Church that her serious health problems began to appear.
She eventually had to retire from her job with the police force, but determinedly kept active in her church and worked for charity, including the Samaritans. Sadly, Pauline's health problems also meant that she was able to be less and less active in the Scribes, and attended less regularly. She was pleased to be able to contribute to Building Bridges, even though it was a considerable effort for her. When she was no longer able to do calligraphy, she continued her creativity with card-making and planning her church's flower festival.