ROSL is lucky enough to often have several generations of the same family as members. Stories of parents meeting at the clubhouse and signing up their children as members years later makes us thankful that so many of you choose ROSL as your home from home for so many years. New Zealand member Marian Elder similarly found love at the club. After she recently passed away, her son David tells her story.
"I found Mum’s membership card in her wallet today – she carried it with pride.
I’m not exactly sure of when she joined the ROSL, but believe it was either during the Second World War, or just afterwards, under her maiden name of Darby.
From many many conversations over the years, I understand that she joined the headquarters of the Over-Seas League in St James directly, and that, having been born and raised in Mitcham in Surrey, she used ROSL as her haven when working in the city. She was heavily involved in the club at the time, and loved her time there with copious friends. I gather she was involved in the Rambling Club.
It was there in 1956 that she first met our father Hugh - a tall gentle Kiwi bloke on secondment from New Zealand Rail. I gather it was love at first site as their eyes locked as he walked into the room for the first time, and they both spent many hours together, and often went away with the club rambling.
They got married in Mitcham Church only three months after they had met, and I suspect there were several ROSL members present to witness the ceremony. Dad then whisked her off on a six week voyage to far away New Zealand, the land that she learned quickly to love and call home.
In 1986, my wife and I went to live in London for a couple of years, and Mum gifted us ROSL membership as our farewell present. Subsequently, we too learnt to appreciate the quiet sanity of the club in the middle of London. Mum and Dad came to visit us in the UK 1987 and had a small reunion with many friends at in the club there (pictured above)."
Marian Elder is pictured sitting in the Drawing Room by the lamp in the centre of the picture wearing a dark dress. Her husband Hugh is on the right of frame.