Tell a story about Vivian




Your Story:
I can't begin tell you how sorry I am about Vivian. Wuhan has felt a little darker the past few days. She was an amazing woman that touched so many people's lives. Please know that I'm sending all my love and prayers to you and the family.

Added: April 15, 2011
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Your Story:
The death of Vivian has saddened us all. At times like this words are difficult to find that can bring comfort to those who loved her so dearly including us here.
She will be remembered for her smile, kindness, witty remarks and the concern she has for others.

I was just remembering the recent good times we spent together in Boston in August 2010 and all those pictures, which seem to make it impossible that she is dead!

Remember though that our thoughts are with you and the rest of the family during these difficult times.

May She rest in Perfect Peace.

Sincere regards.
Mumuni


Added: April 15, 2011
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Your Story:
Our families have been inextricably linked with the Cummins since we first met in Jos, Nigeria over 30 years ago - a chance meeting in a hotel while waiting for our Government postings and the beginning of a long, wonderful and supportive friendship. In many ways Vivian became our family as well as our friend.

Through shared experiences this friendship deepened. For instance the time we were all arrested in Niger after a picnic watching the sun go down over the Niger River because we didn't have the correct papers, camping in a game park on the Cameroonian border, sharing chickens and ducks, growing vegetables, our children playing together and mutual help in difficult times. Over the years since, we have continued to share many meals, holidays and much laughter as Patrick and Vivian passed through on their way to various parts of the world.

We especially remember Vivian's sharp intellect, her wicked sense of humour and her no nonsense, practical and positive attitude to life. When life presented problems, with little fuss Vivian would find solutions and if there were options she saw that as a bonus.

Our children fondly remember Vivian and say that she was part of their childhood. We celebrate her life and will all miss her greatly.

Nigel, Anthea, Matt, Anna and Sonja.


Added: April 15, 2011
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Your Story:
I have no words that can express my feeling. I am shocked and deeply saddened. I find it hard to hold back my tears. I never realized I had such strong feeling for her. I do have a great deal of respect for her. She has been always helpful to me. Even the very last time I could hear her voice she was assuring me about my little son.

She was a special lady. Though I haven't met her that much, I always knew that she was there to help me whenever I might need an advice. To know that she is no more is painful. I hope the family members will follow her advice and help each other. How could someone not listen to the advice from such a special lady

Love,
Probak


Added: April 15, 2011
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Your Story:
I am a former NPSIAn. I graduated in April 2010 following my defence. I was so sorry to hear the sad news regarding Vivian. She was such a source of wisdom and comfort
during my time at NPSIA—she kept so many of us calm when we became overwhelmed.

Thank you,
Christie Moore


Added: April 15, 2011
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Your Story:
Vivian was one of the most remarkable people that I’ve ever met.

Where many people rise to an occasion, Vivian rose “above” the occasion. From this uncommon view, she saw the unique needs of those around her. And in meeting those needs, she enriched all the people that she touched.

Vivian epitomized, “The greatest of you is a servant to all.”

I’ll miss her.

Sincerely,
Marianne St. Denis / Cummins


Added: April 15, 2011
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Your Story:
My sincere condolences go to Vivian’s family and friends. She was truly a lovely woman and I feel blessed to have known her. She was exceedingly kind to me when we met in Fall 2009, just after I started working in her former position as Coordinator of the NPSIA Resource Centre. She spent hours with me, taking me under her wing and showing me the ropes. I was, and will remain, extremely grateful for the time she spent training me, which went beyond expectations. She was patient, open and thorough, and her guidance and mentorship has meant a great deal to me. I vividly recall the last time I thanked her - she smiled and said ‘Always happy to help.’

Vivian provided a remarkable service to the NPSIA / Carleton community. She was very dedicated to helping students in professional and personal ways. She was very interested in knowing how our alumni carry on in life; she seemed to care a great deal about them and their endeavors. I have heard numerous times ‘Oh, you’ve replaced Vivian! Very big shoes to fill.’ She went above and beyond to help and care for others.

One of my fondest memories of Vivian was when she smiled and winked at me at the NPSIA Soiree in 2010. She was standing at a table near the auction items, and I was standing close by, feeling a little shy and nervous. Her smile and wink was out of the blue and surprised me. It made me laugh, and still does! I will miss her a great deal.

Sincerely,
Genevieve


Added: April 15, 2011
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Your Story:
Many people here have mentioned Vivian's wit and sense of humour. Here's one joke of hers that I remember:

We are sitting outside their house at Gida Ukku in the hills a few miles from Jos. My parents are with us on a visit, and we all plan to go into the town for dinner. Meanwhile we are enjoying the traditional West African sundowner. It is beginning to get dark, so Vivian says something about how we ought to be moving. My father settles back in his chair, whisky in hand, and beaming on us, says, "I could sit here till the cows come home." "That's all right," says Vivian,"Here they come."

And there they were, the Fulani cattle, kicking up the dust as they passed by in the twilight.


Added: April 15, 2011
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Your Story:
Vivian was always systematic, so let me be systematic about this. I have so much to thank her for:

* More than thirty years of unstinting hospitality. It began when I was working in Northeastern Nigeria, and the Cumminses lived in the relative metropolis of Jos. I would drive the last few miles of the eight-hour journey, weary but elated, knowing that I would soon receive a warm welcome. The welcome was no less warm whent the jourey was from New York to Ottawa. Vivian would be there to receive me, full of plans for my visit and interesting conversation, and a good meal at the end of the day.
* Sharing her wonderful family. I have had many meals at the Cummins table, some festive but most ordinary, cooked usually by the adults and cleared away by the children. I have gone on excursions with the family, to a waterfall near Jos or to an exhibition in Montreal. All the time she was teaching the children, and me, about courtesy, kindness, and common sense, and bringing everyone, including me, into a warm circle of love and friendship.
* Visiting me in my various homes. Vivian and the others came to see me in Yola soon before Steven was born, and they came for a wonderful Christmas in Jalingo a couple of years later (even if we did forget to take the sandwiches when we went to Yakoko for a picnic). Then, when I was settled in New York, Patrick and Vivian took to coming often for the Victoria Day weekend; it was the highlight of the early summer for me, whether they came alone or brought a child or two with them. I have many small kitchen items brought by Vivian as gifts on those visits, and it's because of her advice that I have the dishrack on the draining board arranged as it is today.
* Helping me with my research. It is through Vivian that I know of the Netherlands Government's 1993 report on international development, to which I will be referring in a paper I'll be delivering tomorrow. When I spent a semester at Carleton, she inducted me into the University's library system, and when I needed books on Canadian history to take to Uganda, she took me off to a bookshop to buy them. I knew that if I needed information on development issues (and I often do), she would tell me where I could find it.
* Supporting my own libraries work. When I found myself co-founding and managing a library in my Ugandan husband's home village, Vivian was generous with advice and financial backing. It was her idea, I believe, that Patrick's company should host the Kitengesa Community Library's website, and it was from her that I learned the basic principles of maintaining library records. She helped arrange the occasion for my last visit to Ottawa: a talk about Uganda's community libraries to the Ottawa chapter of SID. I hoped that she would soon be coming to see the library at Kitengesa and the other libraries with which I'm now involved; it's Uganda's great loss that she did not make it.

Vivian, you have been a wonderful friend, in far more ways than I can describe here. Thank you.


Added: April 14, 2011
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Your Story:
I remember Vivian vividly from our time as your neighbours in Jos while Nora was one of my closest friends through high school and my first year back in Canada. I remember Vivian having a sometimes rather wicked sense of humour which could be quite confusing for a young boy who spent altogether too much time hanging around and playing backgammon with her daughter. I have strong memories of her saying things in a stern voice and then breaking into a huge smile and laughing — but I never felt that I was being laughed at, just that I was being let in on a joke.

During the three years we lived next door I remember many times together and how much support Vivian and Patrick provided our family. I'll never forget those time and I know the friendships that I forged with Alison and Nora will always be there. I have many fond memories of that time.

Sincerely,

Ian Case


Added: April 14, 2011
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