May 03 - 09, 2002


 Coastweek   Kenya

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Coastweek - - It was with sorrow that we heard of the death of Barbara Simpson that occurred on Saturday, 30th. March, 2002.

Barbara was a friend to many and had been a Friend of Fort Jesus for many years.

Until the last year or so, when she began to have trouble walking, she hardly ever missed a meeting, despite the long drive to and from Watamu.

She would stay with me when I lived in the Old Town, but when I moved to Tudor she found the steps rather daunting and as by this time she was no longer driving herself, her driver would take her back to Watamu after a hearty dinner at the Club.

Barbara was interested in everything and everyone.

Many are the times the 'Friends of Fort Jesus' had trips from her house into Sokoke, round the mangroves and round Mida Creek.

Her book on seaweed together with Shakuntala Moorjani carried an acknowledgement of the contributions by FFJ.

To Barbara life was very much for living.

At the celebration of her life, held at her house on Sunday 7th. April, I said that she was probably the most intrepid member we ever had.

Despite a horrendous biking accident when she was 18, which broke many bones, and gave her a permanently bent arm and a rebuilt face, nothing daunted her.

A solo flight to the U.K. in the early days of aviation and a mad trip across the Sahara, which she was lucky to survive.

An outing with Barbara always had an adventure somewhere round the corner.

She would carefully get a map and then leave it behind.

One time she did this was on a FFJ trip to Ziwani when she and Zanda Ashe arrived about midnight having driven in circles round Tsavo East, missing the road to the camp completely and having to stop to feed a baby monkey Zanda was carrying around.

Towards the end of her life, Barbara became very frail in body but her mind, despite having lost it's short-term memory, still held onto the things that mattered to her.

In the past few days of her life she chose to make a donation of K.Shs. 10,000.00 to help protect the forests.

Barbara lived with panache, she even managed to die on the same day as the Queen Mother, whom she had met in the '50s.

We shall miss her and are grateful that we knew her for so many years.

She enriched our lives.

A small body with a big heart. We thank God for her life.

- Marlene Reid, Mombasa.





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