WoW – for all women who identify as lesbian and bisexual in Norwich, Norfolk.

Memories of Rhea Anthony

Rhea Anthony, a founding member of WoW, sadly passed away 30th April 2012.We send our heartfelt condolences to her wife Edith. Rhea was a dear friend,and is very missed. One of her friends Lucy has written these words in her memory:

Rhea was a unique, strong, kind, wonderful woman who was one of the founding members of WOW and a very dear friend to many of us. I first met Rhea some 18 years ago when she was a popular volunteer at The Arts Centre in Norwich. long before WOW Rhea was busy planning many exciting, invoative events for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. I remember a wonderful Arts week including comedy, music and literature, which was well attended and appreciated by many, gay and straight alike.( Springfest ’95 )

When WOW was in it’s infancy Rhea was a key member of the team, always invaluable for her technical skills, lack of fear of paperwork as well as her calming presence and warm personality. Always reliable and steadfast her huge amount of life experience making her an unshockable and comforting presence to many who visited the drop in. In her previous incarnation as a mental health nurse Rhea had spent time serving her colleagues as a union rep and this experience came in very handy indeed during our many meetings both at our first venue in St. Giles Street and then at Jordan House.

During this exciting, happy time Rhea met her beloved wife Edith. I believe it was during one of our regular Friday nights out at “The Talk”! I vividly recall Edith telling me that the friend she was with had asked her “So…what is your type of woman”. Edith looked across the room, pointed to Rhea and said “She is my type of woman”. As it turned out Rhea felt the same!

Soon after that the two were inseperable. I remember many happy times shared with the two of them at their little flat in Ten Bell Court. Rhea’s wonderful chip dinners, Edith’s delicious Austrian specialities, their delightful little cat Ferdy making frequent appearances! Their wedding a few years later (before the days of Civil Partnerships) was beautiful and the lively party afterwards was enjoyed by many happy friends…..I’m sure there was an arm wrestling contest too!!

I must admit that as I lost touch with WOW, once my daughter Ruby came along I also lost touch with Edith and Rhea. I knew that they were happily esconsed in their lovely house in Wroxham but didn’t catch up with them for several years until I saw them at the wonderful Norwich Pride. They had not changed, it was fantastic to see them and to be in touch again. I was so very sorry to hear of Rhea’s illness soon after that. I was so glad to be able to catch up a little with Rhea when she was ill. She had not changed, still the straightforward stoicism and the cheeky smile! She and Edith were the strongest of teams as always. I love the way they were together, devoted to one another, caring for one another even in the most painful and challenging of circumstances.

Seeing them this way just emphasised the way I had always felt about Rhea. She was, quite simply, one of the most courageous women I had ever met. Inspiring others with her quiet but steely determination to live HER life HER way regardless of what other people thought. A caring, kind, thoughtful, intelligent friend to us and clearly a devoted wife to her beloved Edith. We were so lucky to know you Rhea, we will miss you so very much.

Leave a comment for: "Memories of Rhea Anthony"

Tag Cloud