School’s out Friday – this one’s for Jill

No funny video this week. It’s been a tough one. This weeks School’s out Friday is a tribute to a fine lady.


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When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other peoples’ gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickles for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

by Jenny Joseph

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The world lost a very special person this week. Jill Vines, a friend and former colleague of mine, sadly passed away unexpectedly. Jill was a woman who packed more into her time here on earth than most of us will ever do in a lifetime. One of the former schools she worked at paid tribute to her by saying, ‘Jill could fill a room even when there was no-one else in it.’  And it was true. She could.

Jill loved the colour purple, and would read the above poem to our Yr 12 students at their Valedictory Dinner. It was read today in tribute to her at our school assembly. Emily, our literary prefect, who was inspired by Jill to pursue her love of reading and writing, did an exemplary  job delivering the poem that Jill loved so much.

Jill was a devoted and loving mother and wife and a warm and effusive friend to so many. She was a brilliant teacher and role model to all of the many students she had contact with in the schools who were fortunate enough to be graced with her presence. Those who knew her are struggling to understand her passing; just how is it, that she, who was so full of life, is gone from us?

Thank goodness Jill didn’t wait to wear purple. She embraced the message of this poem with the way she lived her life. There’s a lesson in that for all of us.

We will miss you Jill, but we will never forget your passion and your kindness. You were one out of the box.

6 Replies to “School’s out Friday – this one’s for Jill”

  1. I knew Jill as a teacher at Toorak College where she taught my two daughters. We are all devastated to hear of her passing, but deeply grateful to have known Jill. She enriched our lives immeasurably, and her lagacy will live on in all the students, parents & colleagues whose lives she touched.

  2. I like the way you said Jill didn’t wait to wear purple. Sounds like she lived every day to the fullest. A wonderful example, and a little sad we don’t often hear about remarkable people until they’re gone.

    1. For those who didn’t know Jill, she did wear purple a lot of the time and was known for it. Her office, when she worked at Toorak, was called “The Purple Palace” and it cheered me up every time I walked down that corridor. When you were with Jill, there was always a laugh to be had, even if you were sharing a tear or two at the same time. She was remarkable; I’m glad you were able to recognise that Tania even though you never had the pleasure of meeting her.

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