The Federation if saddened by the loss of Isobel Rewell, Soroptimist and friend. Isobel was a member of SI Goulburn and later a member of SI Hornsby. She held the position of Federation Treasurer and was also a life member of the Federation. She was much loved around the Federation and the world.
Her work and achievements as a Soroptimist, making a difference to the lives of women and girls, will be remembered.
Please read a tribute for Isobel Rewell from Anne Sheehan of SI Hornsby.
Vale, Isobel Rewell
53 years ago, when Isobel and her husband Lloyd were living in Goulburn, bringing up their 3 children and running their carpet and furniture business, Isobel Joined SI Goulburn. Margaret Hall remembers Isobel as a loved member of Goulburn club for over 25 years, mentoring younger members and opening her home regularly for large fundraising events. In 1976 she became President of the then region of Monaro.
It was during that time that she worked closely with Maris King and Margaret Chisolm to set up the fourth Soroptimist Federation, that of the South West Pacific. Many weekends were spent driving to Canberra and Sydney, and there were flights to Nauru (20 Km from the equator), where Maris was Australian High Commissioner, and to Fiji, where Maris had previously been posted and had helped to form SI Suva. Now that three countries had Soroptimist clubs the new Federation could go ahead. When it was formed in 1978, Maris was its inaugural President, and Isobel, with her clear mind and good business brain, became its first Treasurer, from 1978 to 1980. During this time the Federation Headquarters were set up in Sydney.
In 1993, Isobel and Lloyd retired and moved to the Queensland Sunshine Coast, where Isobel remained active in SI Sunshine Coast, SI Caboolture and SI Brisbane City. Some years after Lloyd died in 1998, Isobel moved to Sydney to be close to her daughters Robyn and Kim.
She joined SI Hornsby, where she became a much loved and valued member. She was the voice of wisdom, kindness and practicality. All of our members appreciated her quiet humour, and the fact that an unkind word was never spoken. She worked in all our club activities (often with Robyn) and almost never missed a Club or Region meeting. She and Margaret Hall remained great friends, and travelled together regularly to conferences (where they worked non-stop running the Federation Headquarters shop) and international conventions.
At the 2018 Conference of Clubs in Melbourne, as many will recall, Isobel was awarded the great honour of life membership of the Federation.
Farewell, Isobel. Your life was well lived, your contribution to Soroptimist International was enormous, and you will be greatly missed.