I remember fondly a December Merrymakers Tea Group meeting at Priscilla’s house, beautifully decorated for the holidays. The sumptuous array of Swedish cakes on her elegant Christmas china would have been enough for the twenty international guests and hostesses. But the best part was yet to come. Smiling and enthusiastic, Priscilla gathered us around her Christmas tree and piano, first giving us a lovely concert and then leading us all into song. By the end, we were all ringing her color coded bells to color coded charts to make music and having a wonderful time.
Years ago the Merrymakers Tea Group used to perform at every December International Day. There was Priscilla at the piano, a string quartet and a sing-a-long. This love of music and “merry making” with others is what gave the Merrymakers Tea Group its name. And Priscilla, always warm and welcoming, was a wonderful leader.
Sadly in October Priscilla lost her battle with cancer, a battle that we were all convinced she was going to win. Anyone who saw her enjoying the “Incredible India” Day last March was sure she was going to get better. She was 82 years old and her wonderful life included the chance to explore 57 countries.
Joining International Neighbors in 1985, everyone she met became her friend. Mamiko says “I still remember my first visit to her Tea Group. She was a generous but powerful lady and that is what impressed me!” Aruna remembers Priscilla as a very cheerful and loving person who taught her a lot personally, “Thank you for including us in your life Priscilla, you will live forever in our hearts.”
At this year’s International Neighbors Open House we put many of Priscilla’s Merrymaker photos around the Tea Groups table, making it easy to show interested newcomers the friendship and fun in a Tea Group. December is here again, and it is hard to imagine that Priscilla isn’t gathering her Tea Group beneath her Christmas tree once again for a group photo. We will miss her always.