Gone, but never forgotten – a remarkable woman passed away at the regal age of 98 on February 17.
Born and brought up in Walkerburn in a wee but and ben called the Kirnie, Chrissie fell for a Gala man, Adam Oliver and was married at 19. They set up home in the Fifth Ward at High Buckholmside, Galashiels, moving up to the heights of Glendinning Terrace where they raised their family – Bill, Dick and Kerry.
Chrissie lost her hearing and was deaf since she was a young woman. But this did not totally disable her as she had such an abundance of perseverance and high energy. By the aid of a hearing box she was plugged into a device to enable communication.
Her passion in life, apart from Adam, was being a woollen weaver from age 14, especially at Comelybank Mill where she worked and became a top-ranked weaver. Her speed and ability were second to none. Chrissie loved her job – but when she was 60 the mill shut.
As one door closed another opened for her. The High Mill weaving manager called to ask Chrissie to work on a high-quality cashmere cloth within the weaving department for 10 weeks. Her experience and expertise was what they required.
Possibly this rekindled Chrissie’s passion for weaving, for 10 weeks turned into 11 years and she worked at the Netherdale mill until she was 71. In that period, her husband Adam died before he was 65.
Chrissie was part of a large extended family which helped her to cope as a widow. Horse racing, studying form and travelling to various race tracks until she was in her nineties was amazing.
Taking Chrissie out was fun since she had a great zest for life. I feel privileged to have been part of Chrissie’s life as a great friend since my school days.
To see Chrissie being introduced to and holding her first great-great-grandson, Mack William Oliver, was a joyful blessing shortly before she passed away.
Fond farewell to a remarkable woman and friend.