It was with great sadness that the Odenwald Association members heard of the sudden death of Sheila Simpson who was Secretary to the Association for many years and without doubt, the mainstay of the Association with the development of relationships, the maintenance of links with our sister organisation The Schottland Vereinigung and the many personal friendships made over the years. The undernoted tribute has been received from Gertud and Werner Geidel.
The Wonderful Contribution made by Sheila Simpson to the Falkirk-Odenwald Twinning
The news that Sheila Simpson has died has taken us completely by surprise. A few days before her death we spoke on the phone. She spoke of her illness, but was very cheerful as usual. Nothing gave us any indication that we would soon say goodbye for ever.
Sheila was the one who linked us to the Twinning in the Central region. Without Sheila we may have come to Scotland some time, but perhaps not to the Dunblane, Stirling, Falkirk area. We would not have all the wonderful friends we have now in Scotland.
We met Sheila for the first time during a visit she made to the Odenwald in 1998. We knew a family (Hans-Peter and Ruth Lismann) who had been to Scotland several times. We spoke to them to ask for tips for our trip to Scotland. Then all went very fast. The Lismanns invited us to a meeting of the Twinning association in Erbach and told us that their guest from Falkirk would help us. This guest was Sheila.
Sheila immediately invited us to stay at her house. She booked an Urquhart tour for us and arranged for us to be picked up at Edinburgh airport. Everything went very well .Because Sheila was going away for a few days she gave us her keys to stay at her house on our return from the trip. That was how our trust in one another began. From that time on Sheila stayed with us often when she came to the Odenwald. She also came at times other than the official Twinning visits. She also went by train from Bad-Koenig to visit other friends.
Sheila told us about her life and about day-to-day events in Dunblane. She told us about her reciprocal visits to the Odenwald, about many good meetings but also about many disappointments.
Our relationship was from the beginning a personal one. Yes, we were part of a Twinning group but that was less important. In the end a good twinning group can only work well as a result of personal friendships.
If it was not for Sheila we would not really be such fans of Scotland and we may not have become friends with Christine and Joe, and with the main members of the Odenwald association, and now with Fiona and Rod.
Sheila understood how to make close friends in the Odenwald and maintain long term friendships.
Gertud and Werner Geidel.