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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

Dear Peter & Arlo I still remember the first time I met Maureen. We had been invited to Peter's place at Edgar Street, Chatswood for a lunch time BBQ. Of course we were very curious to see and meet, Maureen, Peter's new girlfriend. So there we were, Kester, myself and Peter sitting in the back garden awaiting Maureen, 10-15 minutes passed and we just couldn't wait any longer so we went inside looking for her. We found her in the bedroom sitting on the floor brushing her long blonde beautiful hair. "I'm nearly ready" she said. Outside we heard how Maureen and Peter had met and how she had arrived in Sydney to be with Peter, afternoon slipped into evening and so we got to know and love Maureen, Peter's new girlfriend. Bernie

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

this is Karl's song that he kindly sang at Maureen's farewell at my request. The words say all that I couldn't on the day and forever more Peter

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Leonie Crawshaw
13 years ago

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Leonie Crawshaw
13 years ago

Many moons ago when Bernie, Sue and I heard that a girl, who our friend Peter met in Melbourne, had come up to stay with him at his dad's place, we decided that we had better go and check this girl out. We liked this lovely girl immediately. Not long after she arrived Peter left for another overseas working tour, so we did lots of visiting, tucked her under our collective wings and managed to entice her out with us and we all became firm friends. Coming alone to a new city with new people must have been daunting, but, shy as was, Maureen had a quiet but steely determination to share her life with Peter. A few years later, in our early twenties, Maureen and I decided over a cup of tea that we should open a dressmaking/clothing shop. Maureen had studied and excelled in design and pattern making at RMIT and I had always loved sewing. Three months later after loads of hard work, organising, sewing and lots of help from friends we opened our shop called Penguin Orchard in Crows Nest. What we really loved, apart from sewing new creations, were the shopping expeditions to our favourite fabric outlets, coming out full of excitement with bag fulls of fabrics to create with. We even scored a spot on tele when our friend Carryl organised a little doco on us on Good Morning Australia. We also featured in our local paper and had a spread in a fashion magazine called Sheila. I remember one funny night we were invited to some fashion 'do' full of the who's who of fashion. We weren't there long before we looked at each other and cracked up laughing and said 'what are we doing here!" We weren't cut out for the fashion scene. We just loved sewing and creating. We certainly didn't make a fortune, but we did have fun and we gained valuable life experience. Maureen had a truly amazing and broad creative talent and it shone through in our shop and in all her artworks and creations throughout her life. She taught me so much and I hold myself fortunate to have been able to spend that time with her and to have known her as a friend. I will always remember her shy smile and her infectious giggly laugh. My heart goes out to Peter and Arlo for the sorrow of losing Maureen and to Maureen for losing the life she had with them that she so dearly cherished. The world has lost a very special person. Leonie.

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Annette
13 years ago

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Annette
13 years ago

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Annette
13 years ago

I first met Maureen when Arlo and my son, Conlan, commenced kindergarten at Kegworth Public in 2000. As we got to know each other over time I considered myself fortunate to call her a true friend . I have many memories of Maureen’s beautiful, yet stoic personality over the past 10 years, from school events & the boys soccer matches, as well as some decidedly fun times laughing and drinking too much together! A lasting memory comes from my 40th in 2003. I remember watching Skip & Maureen whilst they danced together that night and seeing her happy, smiling face Maureen told me later how happy she had been dancing with Skip to “Alone with You” by the Sunny Boys. My 40th photos are in print and somewhere in storage so I’ve popped a photo on here of Maureen, Skip and some friends at our place early last year. I dropped a tear in the ocean. The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you (Author Unknown) Love to Skip & Arlo from Annette, Craig and Conlan xxx

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Gordon and Anna
13 years ago

Recognise what is in your sight and what is hidden will become clear to you. Gospel of St. Thomas In Your Sight A doona cover: each patterned patch holding stitches of every dream in the fabric of her life. A collage: torn bits of orphaned paper, scattered marks of paint, stray pencil scratchings, all random thoughts from somewhere within her restless mind. Figured drawings of a childless mother: landscapes populated by floating forms yearning to be born. (What luck - one of them would become splendidly real!) Those perspex boxes: what fabulous, mysterious treasures hang there? Wispy trails of textiled ephemera, patches of wax, string like stiches in a wound, lozenges of longing or love? Ultimately the jewellery: colour, grace, shimmer; therein a level of acceptance, the kindest of gifts: her hands reaching towards another’s body. Like all artists she is saying “Here, take it all! the good bits and the bad. It’s just me. I want you to see me forever.” Written with love by Gordon Waters For Maureen Van der Giessen 1957-2010

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Sue Calnan
13 years ago

I remember contemplating the removal of paint from a front bedroom with Maureen. The many layers of cracked & crazed paint high up, a daunting and tedious task. "i'll get there she said" and we looked at each other like heck thats a big job but has to be done whole heartedly , tenacious may be the word. I have dropped back in on Peter and Maureen's life, often at short notice about every ten years sometimes. She always welcomed me for a catch up. which was nice as I felt a bit of stray somtimes coming back to city from Darwin. Even putting up with me having a drunken emotional one night i think. As one of Peter's girl mates from school its hard to pinpoint when I first met Maureen, maybe after Wagga, I was impressed with not only her elegance but also her shared passion for art , fabric, and later craft, She adopted us Leonie, Bernie, Carol etc, as part of her shared life easily. I have a photo of the above lot at her place in eighties hair and all, and so slim, back in Australia.. We also went out sometimes when I was still in Sydney, one night , we arrived back at my shared house at a badly calculated time where some blokes party in progress, was very debauched. We went in kitchen had tea and left. Last time I saw her she mentioned it and said I was cool, I said I thought she was even cooler, funny we had both been shocked but too cool to freak. Last time I saw her and enjoyed dinner at pasta place with her lovely family unit, who all comunicate so well. I was there for my final treatment of Breast cancer in 2008 and feel weird I have been lucky enough not to exit so soon as the lovely Maureen. I am enjoying every minute more. I relished and envied her travel stories of India , and elsewhere and have the good fortune to be in Vietnam now, heading for the Citadel town of Hue today where I will light some incense to her spirit by the river. Even the tailors and patchwork, and leather workers, here remind me of her fine crafts. It was clever to see how she merged from the fine art medium to the Art and Craft Society of NSW at the rocks smoothly and adaptably with exquisite combinations of materials. even the design and renovation of her house was an architectutral phenomenon. Bugger she has not got more time to create in her space overlooking the family, of perhaps she will. Farewell Maureen may you have a good send off at the Boat Club , and not get too coy about everyone talking about you. Sue Calnan

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Gordon and Anna
13 years ago

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Gordon and Anna
13 years ago

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Malcolm Russell
13 years ago

My memory is one of patience, love, and support. A gentle women who so beautifully expressed herself through her creativity, and so comfortably expressed her love for those around her. I will remember her at our wedding, in our home, always at Skip’s side and the most loving darling mother of Arlo. Thankyou Maureen. With love, Malcolm & the Russell Family Travelling Circus XXxxx

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Paul Guthrie
13 years ago

My favorite Maureen moment came the night before I was departing Australia for good. The Van der Giessen Beaumont-Edmunds's were letting me crash for the night and we were hanging out, and somehow the discussion turned to my prized pair of shorts that had lost the drawstring in the washing machine the day before, this was a dilemna of dire proportions. We're talking the best pair of Stussy long shorts (very fashionable in the day) and pockets full of keys, wallets, change, what have you - there was no way these things were staying up without assistance. She very calmly told me to go fetch the garment in question and the loose cord as this was something that she could easily fix (being young and naive I thought she was taking pity on me and just being nice since I was convinced the drawstring got sewn into the hem and was unrethreadable) but she very patiently and expertly sorted them out with a combination of equal parts safety pin and calm demeanor. It had a profound effect on me with her deliverance of just the right combination of some stellar motherly instincts, craftily crafty skills, patience and humour. I still think of her every time I tie my shorts. Big Arlo.

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Annabel
13 years ago

We first met Maureen at Kate and Tom’s place when Nina and Arlo were about three years old. A couple of years later we moved into the same street and the kids started kindy together. Over the years we watched the kids grow up, exchanging news on the way up and down from Kegworth (over the bridge, through the tunnel and up the hill…) and saw each other at school and local functions as well as at Maureen’s exhibitions of artwork and jewellery. We’re fortunate to have one of Maureen’s artworks in our lounge room to enjoy every day. Maureen had such a talent for visual design and she could always make the mundane beautiful. When we had to ‘bring a plate to sell’ to school the tables would pile up with the usual muffins and sandwiches on paper plates. Then Maureen would arrive with an exquisitely displayed selection of hand made sushi or other delicacy! Nina remembers the great care Maureen took helping her and Arlo make ‘stain glass’ designs for the windows when they were little and I’ve always loved the Santa that hangs on their door every Christmas (made by Arlo a long time ago I think). Maureen – your creativity, generosity and sense of beauty will be greatly missed. Love Annabel, Peter, Nina and Liam xo

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Annette
13 years ago

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Annette
13 years ago

Maureen will be sadly missed by anyone who knew her. She was a wonderful, positive and creative person. I don't think that I have ever seen her not smile! We have been to many BBQs at Skip and Marueens' house and we ended up buying the Womens' Weekly cook books (magazines) after Maureen shared her secret recipes with us :) Every time I use one of these, i have to think of Maureen. She really was an easy and incredible person to be with. I admire her creativity and her expertise at everything she tried. Being and artsy-craftsy person myself, it always inspired me to try something new. We have known Arlo since he was a little boy and how lucky he is to have had such a wonderful mother. He was always surrounded by creativity and lots and lots of love. What a beautiful family! What a beautiful person who went much, much too soon. Lots of love and hugs from Annette, Michael and Alessa

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Annette
13 years ago

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Annette
13 years ago

Maureen was a wonderful, quiet achiever and a very positive person. BBQ's at Skip and Maureens' were always wonderful, relaxing events with great company and the food was always an inspiration. Michael and I even went out and bought the Womens' Weekly cookbooks after Maureen shared her secret with us of where she got the recipes from. Every time I use these cookbooks, I have to think of Maureen and those BBQ's. Being a crafty person myself, I have loved seeing all her different explorations into different artforms and how good she was at everything she put her hands to. It has always inspired my own creativity and my own artsy-craftsy pursuits (although not nearly as good or varied as Maureens). Arlo is very lucky to have such a wonderful mother. Watching him grow-up over the years has been a pleasure. When we had our daughter she came with a bag full of clothes and other 'baby essential' items that we borrowed for the first few months before leaving for the US. The pictures are from our farewell party in 1999, just before we went to the US for 5 years. I know that Maureen enjoyed fishing when they were on holidays and on the houseboat. We will miss you! Lots of love to Skip and Arlo and we are here if you need anything at all. Annette, Michael and Alessa xoxoxo

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It's hard to know how to start these things, but we have many memories of Maureen, mainly just snippets of time spanning over decades. Maureen's personality was a constant over this time. From our early memories of when we met in London in the 70's. Initially Skip was the outgoing personality, and I used to admire Maureen's patience and peacefulness at going along with Skips flow. Always tollerant and accepting of things. A gentle soul. We had our first instight into other aspects when one night after going out for the evening we were talking about impersonations, and Maureen said that she could impersonate a Kookaburra, and then proceeded to burst into a loud, infectious kookaburra cackle which astonished all of us. This told me in no uncertain terms that there was more to her than met the eye! Tony and I have remained friends of both Skip and Maureen for years now, which is an achievement given that we live in different states - it a mark of the value of the friendship. Over that time we have seen Maureen as a budding fashion designer (I wish I still had my jacket), very talented artist and jeweller (I will now treasure my earings even more), wonderful and devoted mother and partner. Of all the things that Maureen was, she was not a self promoter, which at times was to her detrement. Tony and I enjoyed going to an early exhibition and seeing her work acknowledged, and I know that Skip was ever supportive of her talents, it's a pity that not more people saw them. Arlo, your Mum was a true quiet achiever, and her legacy is that all of us will remember her and treasure those memories. Love form Tony and Pam xx Amy and Elliot xx

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Anonymous
13 years ago

A couple of months ago we took Arlo ice skating. Maureen did not let her illness stop her from coming to watch him. She made a huge effort to be there, and she and Skip walked in while Arlo and Gordon were on the ice. She looked, as usual, very beautiful. I will always remember the look of love and pride on her face as she glimpsed Arlo on the ice. She moved forward, stood carefully, and watched him as he swirled in front of her. As their eyes met and their faces lit up I witnessed a moment of such love and tenderness between the two of them and felt profoundly privileged to be a part of her life. Skip and Arlo, your loss is immeasurable and we share your pain at losing such an amazing partner, mother, friend. Tomorrow we will celebrate with you her creativity, her loyalty, her humour and her humanity. With our love, Anna and Gordon xxx

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P.P.
13 years ago

I first met Maureen the same day Peter did ... at a little pub called the Oxford opposite the RMIT in Melbourne...over 30 years ago. He was in Melbourne visiting and we had done a tour of the city and stopped in for a drink. She was sitting talking with friends and she really caught Peter's eye. I'm not sure if it was her classic dutch looks,her beautiful smile or perhaps the army shorts she was wearing at the time but something made him go over to talk to her and ask for her number. Well that was the end of him........he was smitten..she was all he talked about that night. After a short courtship and a long distance romance, she moved to Sydney to be with Peter. While Pete carved a career for himself and became a good provider, Maureen was his loving partner and homemaker whilst working and developing her Art. Maureen endeared herself to all Peter's friends because she was so nice always smiling and friendly to all. She was Strong,down to earth and Real. She was good company,very intelligent and great to have a conversation / debate with. About 15 years ago along came Arlo and then she became a loving Mother and Devoted most of her time to giving him a wonderful upbringing, keeping just enough time for Pete and to partake in her other passion Art and Craft . Maureen will be sadly missed by all that got to know her and as one of the founding members of " The Lunch Club " she will be irreplaceable. My heart goes out to Pete and Arlo at this time...it must be devastating..chin up. Well Maur we will all miss you terribly ..you left way too soon... Love P.P.

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Gareth Williams
13 years ago

Skip and Arlo. I wish we could be there in person at The Rowing Club but it's a hell of a long way from the frozen north - which is where we last saw you all over New Year a couple of years ago. I'm pleased Rebecca had a chance to meet Mo that hogmanay. I won't bang on, but we all loved Maureen. She was just such a comfortable person to be around. That is a very rare gift. A very difficult time for you guys I know but we'll be thinking of you tomorrow night (here) and hopefully, we'll get to see you soon. Much love Gareth and Rebecca XX

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago

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Jose
13 years ago

I remember you Maureen, as faithful to your family. - The smell of hot food just recently created in the kitchen whenever coming to your home; the many images I have of you trailing your trolley to and from the shops with provisions - walking quietly; you standing and watching Arlow playing on the monkey-bars each afternoon after pre-school until he was ready to go home..always quietly, and patiently. Time was something you knew how to savour.....something most of us find difficult to learn. I remember you Maureen as an artist, quietly working, developing and honing your craft; - That fantasic solo exhibition of yours : "Wax Works" in 2003 at the A-Space on Cleveland Gallery which Christian and myself attended......such a success! - Everyone shared in your happiness that night of its premiere - surrounded by red dots - as we scrambled to find works, yet unsold. Our family is so happy that we own one of these works to always remember you by. Thank you. Maureen, you did smell the roses... With love from, Jose, Jedrek, Christian and Ashley

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Inara
13 years ago

It seems only yesterday i met Skip and Maureen when our boys were in kindy together and yet that means we've known each other for a decade. I really feel so lucky to have had Maureen as my friend. Knowing what a private person she was, it feels extra special. I've so enjoyed all the things we've done together with the boys, various sporting and school activities, the dinners, parties and holidays together. What great memories. I’ve uploaded here a group shot I took on a camping trip at Hawkes Nest in 2003. It’s no surprise to see Maureen in that picture sitting by a little stove grinning with her spatula at the ready. What gourmet cooking we had on that camping trip! It was the first time I’d ever encountered grilled Haloumi. Trust Maureen to know about the latest culinary craze and introduce it to the rest of us before we’d even heard of it …(frying cheese I asked? Why would you do that... but of course it was delicious). I consider Maureen the ultimate quiet achiever - never blowing her own trumpet, just getting on with doing her best in caring for her family and working away at her passions. I've always been in awe of her many talents - as an artist, a wonderful cook, an adoring mother and wife. And of course, she was always ever so stylish. What's more I never heard her say a bad word about anyone. What a gal! Love and miss you Maureen. Lots of love to you too Skip and Arlo from Inara Gil and Max xxoo

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Inara
13 years ago

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Peter and Arlo
13 years ago