Remembering Isabel Grace Hynd


November 30 2013

Isabel Grace Hynd born in Glasgow Scotland on 20 September, 1919, the first born daughter of Dr David and Kanema Hynd as they were preparing themselves for a lifetime service to God as missionaries in Swaziland Africa.  Four years later, after her brother Samuel was born in December 1924, she left with her parents, her brother, her Aunt Isabel Rose and grandparents to a life on an empty hilltop in Africa.  There she grew up learning SiSwati and English, playing with her brother and other children.  She started her schooling riding on a donkey each day to the Government school in the little town called Bremersdor, later it became the commercial hub of the country with a new name, Manzini. She later went to school in Glasgow Scotland and lived with her grandparents the Sharpes.  When the family returned to Swaziland after their first furlough she returned with them and went to St Marks School in Mbabane, the capital city, with her brother Samuel until she went to Johannesburg General Hospital to train as a Registered Nurse, then to Boksburg-Benoni Hospital to complete her midwifery training. World War II was raging at the time and travel was restricted so Isabel worked along side her father and mother at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital for three years in Bremersdorp.

She went back to Glasgow Scotland with the family after the War II  for their second furlough.  Upon her parents return to the mission field in Swaziland she and her brother Samuel remained in Scotland and the youngest daughter, Margaret, returned to complete her schooling in South Africa. Isabel became the Director of Children’s home for orphans, while her brother was in Glasgow University school of medicine.  They both moved to London after a few years.  Isabel trained in Industrial Nursing and  was employed as an industrial nurse in the Glaxo Pharmaceutical Company  in London supervising the health care of employees, researchers and scientists until her retirement to Barton on Sea, a village near New Milton on the South Coast of England.

She celebrated her 94th birthday in September this year and was walking on Lymington beach with her niece Elizabeth while Dr Samuel waited in the car for them after having lunch together.  She was doing well until the last two weeks when she rapidly lost her appetite and strength.

She has been a tremendous blessing to her friends and family. Always faithful especially when called upon for help or for wisdom.

My knowledge of her, as her niece, has been one of honour and respect, thoughtfulness and kindness.  Whenever we were in the UK she would drop everything to join us in whatever we were doing.  She would fly up to Glasgow for the weekend in order to be with us even briefly before she returned to work.  She drove us for miles around the country, in her little ”mini” taking her annual leave to be with us as our parents had to preach or visit churches or colleges around the country. She always opened her home to us and as children or teenagers we turned the place upside down camping in her lounge on the floor of her small house or  in her small guest room.  Over many years she has shown patience and generosity of time and money as well.  She took me as a young girl to the Royal Opera House in London, introduced me to the love of Symphonies and classical music at the Royal Albert Hall, shared her love of classical ballet with visits to watch Swan Lake, the Nutcracker Suite and the like.  Shared the wonders of London in Museums and Parks, the glories of England in the Castles, palaces and country parks.  As an adult niece she has been a friend, and wise counselor.  We have spent many hours driving in the New Forest, walking and kicking stones along the beaches of the South Coast, celebrating spring in the fields of daffodils around Whitsable and sipping delicious cups of tea with scrumptious cream scones in all sorts of tea houses and country places. She has always been at the end of a phone call when I have been in far away places like Hong Kong, Japan, the United States and Africa. One year she found the perfect English house for me to buy and I needed to come from Hong Kong to “seal the deal” as they say but we could not get a seat on the planes as they were full with folks returning to the UK for the Christmas celebrations.  So we did the opposite.  She jumped on a plane and came and spent 5 weeks with me in Repulse Bay, sharing Christmas Carols and Christmas Eucharist in St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, while feasting on rice and turkey Chinese style on Christmas day with hundreds of street people, and former drug addicts at Hang Fook Camp  in the St Stephens Society on the mainland, and baptizing friends on a chilly blistering windy rainy beach on New Years Day, when Isabel held the clothes under her umbrella  on the beach, as we did the baptisms in the South China Sea.

As a child I was so delighted to know her playfulness.  The highlight was the year my Grandparents celebrated their 50th Golden Wedding anniversary.  Dr David was working relief for a doctor in Mhlambanyathi, Swaziland at the time when Isabel together with her aunt Isabel came to surprise the parents.  She dressed up in Father Christmas outfit and had her aunt Isabel in a big box in the back of my Dad’s station wagon wrapped with Christmas wrapping and bows.  So the car drove up to Mhlambanyati and Isabel jumped out to greet her parents and opened the surprise Christmas package, Isabel Rose, her mother’s younger sister from England.

Isabel from the time she knelt down on a windy hilltop in Bremersdorp with her parents, her baby brother and grandparents to bless the land where the Nazarene Mission station is today overlooking the bustling city of Manzini, she has always been courageous, adventurous, and steadfast.  She has been compassionate to people whatever walk of life. She has demonstrated excellence in her nursing career, excellence in her friendships with people, she has been a wonderful niece and friend to her mother’s younger sister, Isabel and her father’s younger sister Grace until they also passed on to glory. She has been a great big sister and precious friend  to both her siblings, coming to their side in times of need, keeping in touch faithfully by phone, letters and cards.  She was a good daughter and came to celebrate Christmas in Africa with her parents and the family every other Christmas for all these years.

As she leaves life on earth I am forever thankful to God for the privilege and joy of having her with us all these many years.  She left at 7 am 28th November 2013 UK time on the day of American Thanksgiving, the start of Jewish Hannakah celebration and in the very week of the start of the Christian season of Advent, a once off combination of special events in history.  A special occasion.

I am mindful of a matriarch she- elephant in a herd of elephants, for this she has been to me, wise, strong and ever present shade.  I so longed for her to come and be with us in Swaziland for her last days but that was not to be.  Now I rejoice with the angels and heavenly hosts that she has crossed over into Beulah land, sweet Beulah land as the song goes. Isaiah 62: 4b “You shall be called Hephzibah (Gods delight) and your land Beulah (betrothed) for the Lord delights in you.”

May my beloved aunt forever enjoy her position in glory.

Humbly and thankfully submitted by her niece, Elizabeth Rose Hynd, 30th November 2013
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