Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Rest in Peace Ollie
Our dear internet friend Olive Riley passed away peacefully on Saturday 12th July in the morning. For those who didn't discover Ollie's "blob" (as she called it) until after she passed, you'll need to wait a few days to access her official blog, because it appears to be down due to the overwhelming volume of traffic.
Update As of 19th July, you have limited access to recent posts
Olive was 108 in October 2007, yes that's not a typing error. 108 years old and very with it till almost the very end. Her "biographer" Mike Rubbo helped Ollie to record some of her memories, video taped her for YouTube and even made a movie about her. "All about Olive" has been screened on Australian television several times. When Ollie was 104 she decided she'd like to visit her home town of Broken Hill in far outback New South Wales Australia. This was no mean feat for a frail older lady, as they travelled by train with Mike and their entourage. Broken Hill is pretty remote, only small planes fly in, and Ollie needed a wheelchair. Actors approved by Ollie took the parts of her school friends, herself and her family to show what it was like growing up in country Australia. The movie is very poignant, especially when Ollie went to the cemetery to visit her beloved sister Emma's grave. The family couldn't afford a headstone, but on that trip it was finally resolved. I'm sure Ollie will join Emma there soon.
I could fill pages of posts about Ollie, I've been enjoying her blob since I discovered it about 18 months ago. I can't remember where from exactly, but I think it was linked from one of my textile friends' blogs. Mike felt sometimes that he was pushing Ollie to recount her stories which were sometimes painful and upset her. He didn't know if he should continue, having found her himself through Eric Shackle, another older blogger. Recently Mike took his daughter on an overseas trip, and Eric set up a temporary blog for Ollie here
There are several elderly bloggers around the world, including a lady in Spain, but Ollie was certainly The World's Oldest Blogger, VBG. We assured Mike that Ollie's story was fascinating and very worthwhile to tell, and I'm so glad he managed to film her and record her so often. It's prompted many subscribers to think about doing the same with their own family elders. After all we need to learn from the past as well as look towards the future, don't we.
In a few days, I hope Ollie's "blob" will be up and running, and that people will go back to the beginning and read all about this Most Remarkable Lady. In the meantime, pop over to YouTube if you'd like to see our dear girl.