Lois Williams was an Honorary Member of SPELD NSW and we join with the whole SPELD NSW community in remembering her remarkable achievements and sending our condolences to her family.
There will be a funeral service for Lois held on Monday, 31 August at 2.30pm. Details of the service and a live stream of the service will be available through this website: https://www.valeloiswilliams.com.au/
Thank you to Carolyn Washburn for preparing this tribute to Lois.
Lois Williams – Honorary Member of SPELD NSW
It is with a sad heart that I wish to inform the SPELD NSW community of the passing of Lois Williams. Lois was a High School Principal in the Newcastle area before retiring to Mosman. She had a great love of children and was devoted to their welfare. Lois was especially passionate about helping those with specific learning difficulties and wanted to help Primary School children, as she had seen, as a Principal, too many children in High School fall through the cracks. This is when she started her journey and became a SPELD NSW tutor in the mid-nineties.
Ken and I met Lois and Bob Williams as she was a volunteer at our daughter’s school – Beauty Point Public School for many years. Over the years we learnt about SPELD NSW – she was the back bone of the organisation, becoming a member of the SPELD NSW Management Committee in 1998, and Vice President from 2009 – 2011 – never wanting to be President, but effectively filling the role of Executive Officer during a difficult period in SPELD NSW’s history.
From around 2005 the Tutor Luncheon Club (TLC) was formed. The Willliams’ home became one of the venues for the monthly informal meetings which provided the opportunity for tutors and professionals on the database to meet and network.
Lois found out that Professor Maggie Snowling was in Queensland and somehow convinced her to fly to NSW to give a presentation. There were just under 400 attendees – I believe the largest gathering ever for a SPELD NSW Professional Development. In the background, Bob had sourced the names and addresses of over 3,000 schools in NSW – Lois then organised a large number of helpers who hand wrote each envelope to send information to each school. It was a mammoth task – one of many she was involved in behind the scenes.
She was instrumental in getting many committee members on to the SPELD NSW Management Committee of the time – Vernon Winley, Carole Hopper and Ken Washburn. Lin Meeks, Ian Luscombe and probably many more presenters were talked into donating their time to give presentations. Lois first met the Honorable Dame Marie Bashir in the local supermarket and was delighted that the Governor agreed to become SPELD NSW’s Patron.
SPELD NSW is indebted to the enthusiasm and perseverance Lois Williams gave so that the organisation was able to continue to the thriving organisation it is today. Upon her retirement she continued to tutor, helping children of all ages.
Past Executive Officer 2012-17