In Loving Memory - Dorothy Phipps OAM
It is with great regret and the deepest sadness that we at Richmond Players wish to inform the membership of the passing of our beloved Director, Dorothy Phipps OAM.
Dorothy has been our guiding light, inspiration, greatest supporter, benefactor and overall treasure for decades now. She began her association with Players in 1954, after being introduced to the company by her brother, John. She joined the cast of Little Lambs Eat Ivy, and from there began a love affair that only ended this morning.
2022 was Richmond Players’ 70th year, and in that time, Dorothy had some 280 or so roles to her name. They included acting, directing, producing, set building and painting, teaching, mentoring, front of house and back-stage roles aplenty. She held almost every possible position on Committee over many years, including Secretary, Vice President, President and as our Director since 2011.
She had a special love for fostering talent within the youth of the community, and she almost single-handedly ran the Junior Players for decades. Many of her former students still visited her and all spoke fondly of their time with her. There are many patrons too, who have come along to Players shows and remember being served tea and coffee by Dorothy as she masterfully employed the most enormously oversized teapot.
Dorothy was awarded life membership of Players in 2007; she is a life member of the CWA; a recipient of an Australia Day Award, and most notably the Order of Australia medal, in 2012, for services to a community for which she gave so much of herself. Without this devotion, Players would not be here now celebrating its 70th anniversary.
Her generous support, the depths of which no-one will ever truly know, enabled Players to navigate its darkest times and emerge as it is now; a healthy and vibrant place whereby anyone can come and try their hand with all things theatrical.
Anyone who met Dorothy will have a lasting memory of her; for that is the kind of lady she was. Always smiling, always happy, always generous with her time, support and genuine interest of those with whom she met. A truly unforgettable and decent person in times where those qualities are becoming increasingly rare.
For the last few years of his life, Dorothy cared for her brother John as his health declined. So as Dorothy now takes her final bow, we are sure she will be reunited with John, resting comfortably in God’s care; and both perhaps keeping a careful eye on proceedings to make sure we all still aim to get things right. Richmond Players extends its warmest love, sincerest gratitude and deepest sympathy to Dorothy’s family in this most difficult time of loss for them.
Richmond Players thanks Dorothy for her near lifetime of service and generosity. Her legacy cannot be overstated and will always be remembered with the regard in which she herself will be. Our loss is immeasurable and our grief profound, but we find solace in the smile and optimism Dorothy always exhibited as she remains our beacon forever.
Rest peacefully now, Dorothy; content in the knowledge you were one of the community’s and God’s great servants. We will miss you.