Vale, Angela Gehrig

A Tribute to Angela Gehrig (1966-2016),angela-gehrig a champion of Irish Studies at Newman College by Dianne Hall

I last saw Angela at a meeting a few months ago at a routine meeting for the O’Donnell Fellowship committee. It was typical of so many meetings about Irish studies I attended with her over the years. She was quietly organised, prepared and deeply interested with the topics discussed. These were qualities that many others also saw and valued in Angela. At her funeral, the chapel at Newman was overflowing. Many seemed to share my own feelings of disbelief that such a kind, intelligent and caring woman was gone. In his sermon, Bill Uren spoke with feeling of her work at Newman and her graceful acceptance of her final illness. The eulogies were by one of her brothers, Joseph Gehrig and two of her many friends, Gabrielle Brodie and Lisa Clarke. They told us about Angela’s life, her childhood in a large and happy family, lively school days and of her many adventures when she travelled widely, sang often and was very much loved. Through all these stories of a life well lived, Angela’s calmness, warmth and determination shone through. Everyone spoke of a woman of keen intellect and learning, lightly worn and gladly shared. As the choir’s singing soared over the crowded chapel, we said our goodbyes and I am sure I was not alone in thinking how fortunate I was to have known her, however briefly that turned out to be.

Dianne Hall

Dianne teaches Irish Studies at Victoria University