Dr Elizabeth Derryan Paul d. 2021
Past members of the Mid & West Wales ME Group (MWWMEG) will be sorry to hear about the death of Derryan Paul on Monday 8th February 2021.
Derryan had ME for many years and was a very efficient secretary of MWWMEG until its closure in 2013. She had also been a lecturer at the College of Librarianship Wales in Aberystwyth, and an author of bibliographies and books and articles about the local history of both Cardiganshire and Herefordshire.
Derryan will be remembered for her quiet concern for people and her willingness to help. She was born in England, but learned Welsh and for some time was the ME group’s only Welsh speaker who was able and willing to be interviewed by the media, sometimes ‘live on air’. She earned many people’s admiration for that!
After retiring Derryan found her health had deteriorated further and eventually she moved to a care home in Meirionnydd where she had been living happily. Recently she became weaker and died peacefully. Many of us will continue to be grateful for her help and support over many years.
Poem by Derryan Paul: Words escape
Tribute from Mair Jones:
About Derryan, my memories of our committee meetings, at Frongog, are of her detailed work as secretary taking minutes and then writing them up regularly over many years, and I think we met at least three times a year, but there would be extra meetings sometimes, so possibly four or five times a year. Then there would be the Annual Report, and many letters to organisations to protest and raise the profile of ME as well as to MPs and MAs (Assembly then, Senedd now). During which she completed her PhD!
My more recent fond memory is of the way Derryan opened her home in Penrhyncoch for a group of us to be able to meet for therapeutic, restorative yoga classes run by experienced teacher Cathy Crick. We met there weekly on Thursday afternoons for almost 2 years from April 2012 to March 2014, before moving to a larger venue at Aberystwyth. Preparing her living room in advance meant moving furniture around and she would do this in advance a little at a time over the days before. Her unfailing welcome and hospitality was an added feature to the restorative quality of the afternoons.
Personally, I will always appreciate Derryan’s deep commitment to friendship through letter writing. As we were both French students, her grasp of the language at a much more advanced stage to mine, she would write to me in French, send me an occasional card, always stunningly beautiful cards, in solidarity, as we both battled the long fight against ME. Sometimes the language changed and she would practice her Welsh reaching to my heart in my mother tongue.
Her selfless service to others, despite her physical limitations due to ME, was an inspiration to all.