Guest Book

Leisl and the kids

My intention is to create a collection of memories that I am able to share with my beautiful children, Kieren (6) and Paige (4), but I need your help to do this. If you would be kind enough to write as little or as much as you like about how we know each other, a funny story … warts and all, it will help my kids understand who I am / was when they are older.

If you have any photos at all that you would like to upload for us, please head over to the Upload Photos page.


103 thoughts on “Guest Book

  1. Georgia Gerdes

    When Gaby and I were little we used to love walking into the bathroom after Leisl had been in there because she always smells so good. And now every time one of us goes into a chemist we find the ‘Leisl’ perfume and spray it on ourself and wait until either of us notice.
    It has and always will be the best perfume ever!

    1. Brett Taylor (Ebor)

      As my best friend was and is your brother Brent, you naturally became my little sister. The laughs we had when I had one of my many sleep-overs at Brindabella are still vivid and lasting memories.
      The fun we had at Coffs Jetty teaching you to windsurf through to Brent and I taking half a day to travel across Sydney to have lunch with you at some shopping centre
      (had an ice skating rink from memory). Can’t take the bush out of the bushies huh!
      Paige and Kieren, you are blessed to have such a beautiful mother and her memory will live on with you both forever.

      Brett, Jayne, Blair and Caleb

  2. Aunty Lo

    We have only been a part of your lives for a short time, but feel like we have known you so much longer :)

    So many memories, summer by the pool, good bubbles, fondue nights, pedicures, realising the car park had closed when we went to the movies and that wine stuff……hmmmmmm glerg… that it.

    Then there is our mutual love of The breakfast Club.

    Can not forget our introduction to yum cha.

    Love you to the moon and back L for Leisl.

  3. Vani Nadine Anaktar The Power

    So many memories, I think my favourites are when we were little and having summer holidays at Grandma and Pops farm in Mullumbimby. So much fun and laughter and naughtiness bouncing in the huge branches of the fig trees, being chased by mad cows, the giant carpet pythons and cane toad golf.
    I remember getting a baby alive doll for christmas one year and you played with it more than me! (I wonder what ever happened to it????) Oh and the fish chowder – yuck!!!
    Being a bridesmaid for you was a huge honour even if I did have to wear a dress! An apricot dress at that…
    Staying at your house in Armidale and you taught me how to play uno! I love that game (I did think that you were talking in secrert code when you kept saying let’s play uno!!! )
    Love you heaps beautiful cousin of mine!

  4. Ali

    Dear Paige and Kieren,

    I have no doubt that you know how lucky you are to have a mum like yours- she really is very special! However, you are probably too young to realise just how much of a remarkable lady she is! But in time I am sure you will find out just how much of an inspiration she has been to so many people!

    I have learnt so much from your mum over the past 4 years that I have worked with her. She has taught me heaps and has been a great mentor for me in my previous and current roles. Your mum always knows the perfect way to solve a problem or to handle a tough situation. Your mum has been a great rock for me giving me much advice and sharing her business and parenting tips with me.

    Over the years the fondest memories I have of your mum are the many trips we did together for work, from Hunter Valley to Perth, from Brisbane to Melbourne, from Adelaide to Auckland your mum was a great travel buddy! All the time she was away for work she would share so many funny and special stories of both of you two and I know she really missed you guys. Paige, she would share funny stories of things you would say and how you would eagerly await her return. Kieren, she would say how you would give her instructions as to how she should wear her hair. When I become a Mum your mum gave me much advice on how to be a working mum – the tips and advice have been invaluable!

    Your mum is one of the most courageous and strong women I will ever know. Since discovering that she was ill back in December 2011, your mum has shown an immense level of strength and determination – very much for you kids! Throughout the months of treatments and tests your mum has never once complained – she has been extremely positive and so very strong. Your mum managed to maintain a level of normality at such tough and difficult times. The way your mum has handled her illness is a true testament to just how wonderfully strong, a women she is.

    Kieren and Paige, your mum has been such an inspiration to me and I am so lucky to have her as a friend. The skills she has taught me and the friendship that she has provided me with will remain with me forever and I will never take for granted the time I have spent with her.

    The skills that your mum has passed onto you are a true asset and I have no doubt that because of your mums influence you will both succeed in life!

    I wish you all love and happiness.
    x x

  5. Christopher Goodie

    I am always going to remember the first time I looked after Kieren and Paige, and both of them not being so fond of the idea of someone different looking after them. But you stayed with them as long as you possible could cuddling them and telling them it’ll be ok, that mummy will come give you both cuddles when she gets back.

    I will always remember how loving you were to those two kids. You are definitely one of the best mothers I have met.

  6. Sarah Massie

    You have always been an inspiration and a mentor to me, I learned so much from you. Even since that moment I arrived at that hotel room (oo-er!) in a right old flap for my interview!
    What were your words? “Flustered!” ??? “Sweaty Wreck” more like!
    You took a chance and gave me the best years of my career. (I even miss your attempts at my Scottish accent!!!)
    Paige, Kieren, your mummy told us all stories of you both and what wonderful weekends you had together-visiting the markets, bike riding, ALWAYS Yum Cha!
    Lots of love and admiration for you all

  7. Koula Ward

    Hi guys,

    Well where do I start I have the privilege of doing your mum’s hair on and off over the last 12 years.
    I remember clearly how excited she was when she found out she was pregnant to both of you, I also remember how we were laughing when mum was pregnant to you Kieren I’m sure her ankles were as big as her belly actually they might have been bigger!
    Your mum would come in and share funny stories with me about things that you guys had said and done.
    It’s funny because she never paid attention to your dad on how to have her done but made a special effort on your request Kieren I’m sure I have an apprentice in waiting.
    Over the years your mum and I have shared some special moments but the one that I will never forget as long as i live will be the day I shaved her hair off.
    Her strength her courage inspired me she touched a place in my heart that no one else has had the ability or the privilege to touch.
    We had a salon full of people mum came in she really wasn’t well that day she had just got out of hospital with a high temperature after her second lot of chemo.
    She closed her eyes took a deep breath and I shaved all her beautiful hair off she even managed a joke and said I wonder if Kieren will like my new look.
    But what really touched me and ever other person in the salon that day was that I offered to put her scarf on and your amazing mum said no !!
    She said Koul’s this is me now there is no point of hiding and with that comment she held her head high stood up and drove her self home.
    Where she found her inner strength that day totally blew me away and for that I thank you Leisl because I have had to look within the last few months and draw on the gift you gave me that day.
    So Miss Paige and Master Kieren your mum is courages, strong, loving, kind,determined,motivated, a mentor, a wife, a friend but most of all she is your mummy and she loves you both very much.

    Koul’s Xxxx

  8. Eseta Hones 'Aholelei

    I am on of the many first cousins Leisls has from the Hones family. My father is Helen’s younger brother Don. One of the early memories i have of Leisl is realising that there was a princess in my fathers life before i existed hehe. Looking over photos of Leisl of a child one day, my mum was telling how much Don adored Leisl and who could’t with those big eyes. Her mum said as a girl she was a charmer and always managed to get the boys to follow her. Leisl showed signs of strength and leadership at a very young age and was a great example to all of her younger cousins.

    Growing up we saw eachother at family gatherings and was fortunate enough to spend a few holidays at ‘Brindabella’ in Armidale where we had a little peice of coutnry life. I loved sleeping in her room there… It was a little girls haven with little hand made dolls and beautiful things, aunty Helen kept it just same, even when Leisl had left home- sweet huh. Leisl was cheecky, always having something smart to say but always in the best of fun and to entertain us and have a laugh, she hasn’t changed.

    In my teen years, my mum would take me clothes shopping in the city and we would always try and pop in to ‘her’ shop Katies. I used to love seeing her all dressed up looking chic with her stylish hair styles- a new style nearly every time i saw her! She’s a great dresser always looking immaculate. I remeber grandma Marjorie telling me one time “Leisl came over the other day… She looked… (Pause)…just lovely with her hair all combed back”. Beautiful lady she is.

    When her kids came around, she took on motherhood like a breeze balancing everything so well. She adores her kids and is always doting on them, how could you not.

    Leisl has always been a warm and loving, witty cousin who always had time for you. Love and admire her for character, strength and way of life.

  9. Scot "PLURPET" Richardson

    My beautiful cousin, Damien, Keiren and Paige,

    Leisl, I have the most wonderful memories of spending time with you, Uncle Bob, Aunty Helen, Brent and Troy in both Canberra and Armidale (I miss Brindabella). I vividly remember you and Mandi sitting on the front lawn in Canberra trying to make the worlds longest daisy chain (clover flowers actually). Both of you sporting very long straight hair, floral skivies and corderoy jeans.

    Do you remember all the hours spent rehersing and performing all the ABBA classics, while you and Mandi sang into a hair brush as Troy and I strummed our tennis rackets…I still love that music and think of those times.

    You did bare witness to the very first time I got absolutely blind drunk for the first time @ St James Tavern in the city. Far too much Bourbon but you and Troy got me back to your place @ Beecroft safely, face down on the lounge cushions on the floor…noice!

    Then there was the house renovations in Castle Hill which gave us some comical times with the help of Kermit the Frog and Rooby and the infamous Nappy Wash Van. This should raise some interesting questions…

    Amazing memories of our trips to the snow, Glurg, good company, Damien playing guitar by the fire and not to mention the Elite Snow Force – The Merkin Snow Riders.

    Then the arrival of your 2 gorgeous children. Marianne and I are so grateful for being able to share your joy of Keiren and Paige. You have been UNDENIABLY blessed with an amazing family and I have enjoyed every minute. YOU ARE TRULY LOVED XOXOX, Plurp.

  10. Bec and Brody Carter

    Hey Bec and Brody neighbors of Jen and Brents. In the times we have met all of you when visting for holidays the warmness, full of life and love for her family are the beautiful memorries to keep. Your presence will be missed and your beautiful soul will never be forgotten. xx

  11. Bec Hennessey

    Leisl you are one of the strongest women i know – you inspired me as a young adult to believe in myself . You taught me as women we can be srtong and assertive but still warm and caring – and achieve whatever we desire. And i will carry that with me for the rest of my life. You are the definition of true beauty – your inner spirit comes sparkling out through your beautiful eyes long eyelashes. You always made me smile and i always will when i think of you.
    I still remember being in ore of you when you would come and visit me at castle hill goldmark – especially when you told me you had published a book. The biggest of hugs and kisses to you. Love Rebecca

  12. Daniela McLellan

    Where do I start? I first met your mum through my brother John when she lived in Cecil ave, Castle Hill. She was alwYs the lice of the party. I remember going over all the time for fondue, BBQ’s, making the best glurg ever. Your mum always put on the best spread – yum!

    There was one occasion in particular that always makes me laugh. Leisl decided to make us all coffee after a meal. Off she went into the kitchen preparing the coffee at her fan dangle coffee maker. All of a sudden, there was a big bang! We all looked over and saw Leisl standing there covered in coffee from head to toe with the funniest look on her face like “what the he’ll just happened?”

    The many skiing trips to Thredbo, Perisher and New Zealand. They were so much fun. Your mum was a big joker and used to crack us all up with the shenanigans with your Uncle, Scott and Mandy!

    I remember when your mum had the convertible Astra. She thought she was so cool…haha! Driving up to your grandparents house in Port Macquarie freezing on the way but god we looked good!

    Then there was the time when I met you both. Keiran, you were learning to use the big toilet and were running around without any undies and your mum thought it was great cleaning up after you :-) Paige, you were only little but such a cutie. Your mum was do proud to have you both.

    There’s so many more stories I’d be writing forever. Some good stories, some trying times but your mum always ended up with a cheeky smile on her face. Love you Leisl xxx

  13. Alyson Osborne

    Although I haven’t known your family for long, I have so enjoyed the time I’ve spent with you all. I thank you for the way you have welcomed my Mum (Viv) and in turn me into your family. Fa- Fa and Viv are certainly lucky to have each other! A very patient and loving Mum, is Leisl ,has always been my thoughts. The way she never raised her voice to you kids, always talking calmly. Shiny is a word I would use to describe your Mum, beautiful on the outside but also an inner glow shining through. xxxxx

  14. Deb Spence (Larchea)

    Hi Kieran and Paige…we haven’t met yet and it does feel very strange talking to you this way but I have read everyone else’s stories and I wanted to tell you about my friendship with your Mum.
    We first met way back in 1989, she was the store manager of Katies at Bankstown and I was her Area Manager. I can clearly remember the first time I met her – that big smile! I instantly knew I had an ally and future friend. We worked together so well, she very soon became my senior store manager, running my largest store and coordinating things within my group of stores… (crikey, this is starting to sound like a work reference!)
    I also remember spending a Saturday at Eastwood markets; we believed the world needed to see our wares – her jewellery and my painted plant pots. We were a little surprised when the crowd was more interested in the second hand knives and forks, broken hairdryers and handtools at the other stalls – my pot painting career ended soon afterwards but Leisl’s future career in jewellery was set.
    Anyway we worked together for many years through the heady fashions (and hairstyles of the early 90s) The day I left Katies she walked me to the car and we hugged and promised to stay in touch…Time moves on and over the years we have not seen each other as often as we should. But we have come back into each other’s lives from time to time and a couple of years ago when I needed a referee for a new job – she gave such a glowing reference I think my future employer thought perhaps she was talking about someone else!
    Recently I have entered the facebook world and Leisl was one of the first people I wanted to get in touch with, in a small way it has felt like I was part of her life again.
    After all that I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are some people who, although you don’t see them all the time, they are still an important, special part of your life. Your mum is that to me – special.

  15. Anonymous

    Let me start off by saying your mum has a wicked sense of humour. She is one of few women that can make me blush and turn red.. just by a simple few words.. whenever she wanted.. I think its called the impulse effect.

    And since l am anonymous, I can say this. Guys no matter what your mum told you, dad can sing.

  16. Aynur Wilson

    Dear Leisl
    I know you through Damien via Chris (my husband) and from the first time remember thinking “how independent and strong minded that you were”. I know that you can throw great parties (from Steve’s 40th) , you were an incredible host . The one thing I remember distinctly was how complete and in control you were when your two wonderful children arrived to your life . I always thought so this is what was missing in your life. This is not fair and very sad but I am sure you and all your family will be feeling this million times more . I don’t think there is anything I can say that will make you feel better. But please know from outside I always admired the fact that you could still be a mother and a professional and a wife and balance these 3 lifes so well. Please let us know if there is anything we can do from here . With all our loves.

  17. Daniela McLellan

    I’ve got another story. Your mum was so funny that when I turned 30, she organised little gift bags for everyone that came to dinner – little bottles of alcohol, funny dirty toys, it was sure a hoot! She always knew how to have fun. She was also very naughty on one occasion. I decided to have a party after getting divorced. Your mum and dad came along and Leisl thought it would be funny to take photos of me with my short skirt on as I just so happened to be showing my undies. She didn’t tell me of course but was pleased to show me the photos later! Cheeky thing. That’s your mum to a T! Xxx

  18. Kerstin

    When I think of Leisl I think of fun, creativity, positive energy, strength, being cheeky, always having the right words, enormous courage.
    Leisl and I have worked together for the past four years and she is the most amazing person to work with. You know that she has another great idea when during a meeting her eyes start to sparkle, a cheeky smile appears and she exclaims: “why don’t we do this… ”
    I have never experienced someone with so much grid and the ability to always make people laugh and feel good.
    Kierren and Page, your mum is always telling us the most beautiful and funny stories about you and how proud she is of you two. You are very special just like your mum! I wish you lots of love and happiness and
    thank you Leisl for making the sun shine wherever you have been.

  19. Bronwyn Smyth (Wolter)

    To dear Kieren and Paige,

    I firstly want to say how lucky you both are to have such a beautiful Mum and although we may have lost touch in recent years, how inspired and grateful I feel to know her.

    I worked with Leisl for a couple of years while we were both with Goldmark Jewellers and our connection was intensified when we realised we were both going through a pretty tough personal journey, unfortunately related to cancer – Leisl with her mum and me with my father-in-law.

    My first memory of Leisl is at a Goldmark manager’s meeting at the old Rhodes Head Office when she was a Regional Manager (for a different region to where I was – in the country, Tamworth) and upon meeting her could see how vibrant and passionate she was about her work and life in general. Such a bubbly, vivacious personality!

    The next time I heard from your mum was when I had left Goldmark and received a phone call from her asking me to have dinner with her to discuss an opportunity to come back as an Area Manager. I need to add here as I mentioned above – her passion for her work is contagious and her persuasive attitude (and a few wines) secretly sold me before we had even ordered entree’s… Haha : )

    It was then our work relationship became even closer as she became such an amazing guide and mentor to me in a role where she has so, so much experience! And obviously we realised we were bascially country neighbours both being from Tamworth and Armidale : )

    Over the next few months we spent alot of time together in the Tamworth, Taree and Port Macquarie Goldmark stores, getting to know each other both during work hours and over a few mores alcoholic beverages over dinner; brainstorming amazing ideas for success!

    I learnt so much from Leisl during this time about managing people and businesses whilst being a positive role model to our team and all the while we had many deep, heartfelt chats about the cancer journey affecting both of our loved ones and were really there for each other to listen and just be there.

    The next time I saw her was at another manager’s meeting in a conference room that was very chilly. Your mum was actually pregnant with you Kieren, and always being immaculately and professionally dressed, she was wearing a gorgeous, delicate, pale baby blue cotton wrap which I commented on how stunning it was; a fortnight later in our internal mail, a special delivery addressed to me personally, an exact version of the wrap ‘just because’ xx

    The last time I remember seeing your beautiful pregnant mum, was during a Tamworth stocktake where I clearly remember us singing along to ‘Love is Battlefield’ and the centre management radio and I found out what an amazing singer your mum is! And where we also discussed my lovely husband Kieran…

    We slowly lost touch over the next couple of months as she had changed regions and was no longer my direct manager but I heard through the grapevine she gave birth to a little baby boy who she named ‘Kieren’. It was a nice feeling to hear this as I liked to think I may have had a small part to pay in her decision to choose such a beautiful strong name.

    On that note, I cannot express how much I have learnt and been inspired by your mum, particularly on hearing about her journey over the last 12 months and feeling happiness, sadness and absolute admiration to a brave and courageous person who impacted so many. I feel like I could continue writing for hours but always know (from the comments by previous family and friends) my life and all our lives are all the better for knowing her.

    Damien, I wish you all the support and happiness and would be honored to meet you, Kieren and Paige one day (if ever in Brisbane, please look me and Kieran up!) and hope these simple words can make a positive impact during such a difficult time saying goodbye…

    Leisl ~ You have my love and prayers and huge amounts of hugs and fairy dust ~ Until we meet again XxXxXx

    Bron Xx

  20. Leanne Andrews

    Kieren and Paige,
    Whilst thinking about what I would write here, I thought about when you would read this, and how often you might reflect upon the comments made by your mums family, friends and colleagues. Your mum’s wishes for you both, were to have amazing memories of who and what she was.
    I first met your mum when I was in Perth working for Pandora. This trip for me was the start of my time at Pandora. We were out for dinner and I remember leaving the dinner thinking if all people at Pandora were like your mum then I was going to have a great time……As a mother to two teenage boys you are always reading in Woman’s magazines of what children have learnt from their mother and how they have carried this forward into their own lives. My time spent with your mum from that dinner in Perth, until my last day at Pandora should give you a pretty good picture of your mum……..
    I enjoyed the company of your mum (and another colleague Brett) that night. I learnt that night that your mum loved food, not only to order and eat what was in front of her, but later I learnt that she loved to cook, something that I was very jealous of as I despise it. She also did not mind a drink or two….The conversation at dinner was filled with a lot of laughter and banter, sharing stories between all of us. We talked about work, and this is where I learnt how passionate she was about her job. I remember that your mum was always engaged in the conversation, she listened to every word and always responded, whether she agreed or disagreed….but she always listened. For the next year or so your mum was a colleague of mine….When we had a chance to speak it would invariably be about our families. Paige, your mum would always reflect on something that you said or had done. As a mum we always raise our eyebrows at what our children do, however secretly I think she thought you had so much spunk and confidence (and she loved it). Kieren, your mum always spoke about you being a real little man…whether it was because you were the first born, I dont know, however she always seemed amazed at the things you did.
    After a while at Pandora I became a part of your mum’s team in Visual Merchandising. Your mum gave me a chance when I needed it. As a manager she was one of the best that I have had. She was always firm but fair. She listened always, to what you had to say and then she had her say. You always knew where you stood with her and she never treated anyone any different. Although saying that she knew each person in her team very well and could always relate 1 on 1 exceptionally with all of us. If there were any issues you could always feel comfortable that you mum would give you a fair go. Your mum also stood up for her team with gusto ! When it came to her profession, she was a perfectionist……at times too perfect. I remember when we were getting ready for the Pitt St Mall opening and she put together a display and it was amazzzzzing…….So to the end of my blurb and back to the part of the woman’s magazine “what can you learn about your mum and take into the future”
    – she was a listener first and a talker second – she was firm but fair – she was witty & funny – she treated everyone the same – she got to know the people she worked with and always showed a genuine interest of their professional & personal life – she could have a laugh at herself – professionally you always knew where you stood with her – when she came back from the hairdressers her hair always looked good.

  21. Joanna Gower

    Kieren and Paige

    I first met your mum and dad when Leon joined Soundproofed – whilst Leon had met Leisl at a rehearsal, I first met them when they were wearing fancy dress for a birthday party.

    It’s quite hard to get to know someone when you don’t know what they really look like and you don’t know if they are acting like their usual self or play acting.

    What I did get a sense of even then though was that your mum was a very determined and strong lady. She has demonstrated that strength and bravery many times during the past year in particular.

    The next time I met your mum was when your dad was helping Leon move office and mum brought you two around for a play with our kids, and she brought cake! We got more of a chance to talk properly then and I could see how devoted she was to you both.

    Your mum has a wicked sense of humour and I’ve really enjoyed spending time with her, and with you both and your dad when we’ve had bbq’s at one another’s houses.

    Your mum is a beautiful lady inside and out and will be dearly missed.

    Sending lots of love and happy memories your way.

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  22. Graham Laurainne Hayley and Jamie

    Hi Kieren and Paige,

    It has taken me till now to collect my thoughts and write a more in depth response.

    We met your Dad thru our love of music when he auditioned for Soundproofed. What he didn’t know is that he had the gig in the bag already. I had spoken to him already and was blown away how well we got on for a first time meeting. He was easy going and only lived 10 minutes up the road.

    I met your mum at our first gig. The first thing that stood out was her smile and the warmth behind it. What I didn’t realize was that you guys and your mum and dad were to become part of our family.

    We have shared some amazing times. Your mum always dazzling me with her perfect dress sense and the fact she always matched. What stands out to me, and this goes for your dad too, is how they always treated our kids. With warmth and love.

    When your mum got sick we felt helpless. Graham and I promised ourselves that we would support your mum and dad to the max. Dinners, swims, whatever it took. Because we knew your mum and dad would do the same for us.

    What we have seen and know us that both your mum and dad love u very very much.

    We have been honoured to have known your mum. And will look forward to sharing more special moments with you.

    Leisl. ……we raise a glass if moet to you. For your sttength and your continual smile. We promise to look out for your family……because we have no doubt u would do the same for us.

    Gman, Aunty Lo, Hayley and Jamie xxxxxxxxxxx

  23. Mhairi Holway

    Dear Keiren and Paige,

    Your mum’s appointment as VM Manager at Pandora was probably one of the fastest and best recruitment decisions of my career. Leisl become aware of the job after the closing date had already gone by, but when she called me up, her passion for her profession and the role we had on offer, just oozed out of the phone. How could I not grant this lady a meeting? From memory, I think the interview may have taken place later that same day. Within minutes of meeting her, I knew that your mum would be perfect for our job. All the other candidates we’d seen didn’t come close.

    After your mum left the interview room, Penny (who was to be your mum’s first boss at Pandora) and I just looked at each other, and cried “yippee, that’s the one”. Not only did we pick a winner, your mum went on to introduce, nurture and mentor so many other talented and amazing people at Pandora. She is such a great judge of character and an inspirational leader. She also took on many new opportunities and challenges and she excelled at every single one of them. Leisl is so well respected and loved by her work colleagues, not just in Australia, but in many other countries too. And …. whilst doing all of that, she was doing the most important job of all … being your mum. Thank you for sharing your mum with us.
    Mhairi xxxx

  24. Raymond Day ( Google )

    Dear Paige and Keiren,
    Can I start by saying your mum has the best eyes ever, and I just know that there’s a dear out there somewhear bumping into trees.

    I met your mum and how lucky was I when I became part of her amazing VM team in 2009, not only is she a great boss and a beautiful person but I soon found out she could also be a wonderful freind.

    Not long after meeting your mum she gave me the nick name Google as I seemed to be able to drag up information and stories about anything, and do you know what she never even though she might have wanted to told me to give it a rest.

    Your mum always has time for people no matter how busy she is, and the abillity to make you feel better just bye talking to her, have you ever noticed Paige and Keiren when she smiles the room feels brighter.

    Even though I have never met you both I know how mutch your mother loves you by how fondly she talks about each of you and the funny things you do and how you make her laugh,so please make sure you keep telling her those stories and always make her laugh because mums are very special people and yours is one of the best.
    With love to you both from Uncle Rara XX OO

    Dear Leisl,
    Some people make Happiness for others by simply being who they are.
    To one of those people.
    My love to you today and always and thankyou for just being you XXX OOO

  25. Jared

    Dear Kieren and Paige,

    I’m your Mum’s cousin Jared, eldest son of your Grandmother Helen’s sister, Aileen, and brother-in-law, Bernie. These family connections get complicated. Don’t worry, you’ll sort them out as you get older.
    I live in Canada with my wife, Kate, and now seven-year-old daughter, Enye, who you’ll meet one day. I hope you’ll get to play with her as I did with your Mum when I was your age and a bit older.

    During Christmas holidays, your Mum’s family and mine would often stay in our Grandparent’s big old farm-house at Tyagarah. Those were wonderful days. We swam a lot at a beach nearby at Byron Bay, chased fish and crabs at the water’s edge there, ate ice-cream in the car on the trip back from the beach to the farmhouse, and explored the farm together when we weren’t at the beach.

    Your Mum’s energy made our games lively, her laughter and friendliness helped us get over the squabbles kids sometimes have, her conversation entertained us, and her smile kept us cheerful.

    Kieren and Paige, you’re always welcome at our house. Wherever we are in the world, know that you’ll have a place to stay, and another cousin, Enye, who’ll play and explore with you.

    We’re holding you each and your Mum and Dad in our prayers.

    With love,


    1. Butch

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  26. Dyson

    Dear Kieren and Paige,

    Your mum made me laugh. In an attempt to alleviate the boredom that occurs occasionally during PANDORA conferences or meetings your mum and I played a very funny game; we would attempt to get the room started in a round of applause. Before or after a presentation or an important announcement we would compete to be the first one to get the room clapping. Silly really but it was fun. Maximum points went to the person who started an applause at the most inappropriate time (like in the middle of a speakers sentence). Your mum was very good at this game and she would look over at me with a little nod, a cheeky grin, and a triumphant smile when she had created a round of applause from nowhere. Your mum was very smart, articulate and creative and I respected her very much and I learned a lot from her too but what I most appreciated about her was her humour; “Like a welcome summer rain, humour may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you” (Langston Hughes)

  27. Karen Appleby

    Dear Kieren and Paige

    I am Harrison and Hamish’s Mommy and have known you guys for a long time from Aacooloma preschool but only recently got to know your Mummy much more at Paige and Harrison’s ‘big school’ orientations. As a working mom myself I know how much of a juggle it can be so it was really special that your Mum and I could both be part of this exciting event of getting ready for school. It was only when a good friend of both our families, Melissa Douglas, spotted Paige in the crowd that I recognised your Mummy as she has changed so much in the last year. She looked terrific, beaming with energy and so excited for what lay ahead for her and her family. Her eyes twinkled as she spoke about how confident and ready Paige was for school. As they say ‘the eyes are the windows to the soul’ and this was certainly true in Leisl’s case when she spoke of Paige and Kieren that day. I complemented her on how amazing she looked and that I loved her hair. She made sure to tell me it was her ultra fine chemo hair and that Kieren loved it and called it her ‘scary hair’ which is so Kieren.

    Your Mum politely excused herself from our conversation and said that she had to go to the school office with a rather uneasy look on her face. When she returned she told me that the day prior she had received a call from the school saying that Kieren was all cleaned up and waiting for her in the sick room. Your Mum arrived at the school shortly thereafter and was told that Kieren had soiled himself in class (you did say warts and all Leisl). Your Mum told me she was so surprised by this as you are such a good boy and it is not in your character at all. She stood behind you (as she always has and always will) and knew it wasn’t something you hadn’t intended to do at all. When she asked you what happened Kieren you told the truth and said that you asked to go to the toilet but the teacher wouldn’t let you. It is a shame that this happened but sometimes bad things happen to good people. The good thing is that your Mum advised the office of what you told her and asked them to deal with it appropriately and that she didn’t want to hear anything more of it going forward. She handled it in a very professional way and in a way that supported you going forward.

    As we continued to chat the groups of children started to arrive back from their orientation. Your Mum and I eagerly awaited your return and pushed our way to the front of the other parents to make sure that you could see us when you returned back to the sea of parents. We were slightly nervous as we couldn’t see you for a while but then your Mum said, ‘look I see them and they are holding hands’ with a huge smile on her face ear to ear. We were so happy that Paige had remembered Harrison and that the two of them were getting along so well. We both know how much nicer it is to go through new and sometimes scary experiences with friends by your side and we were glad that Paige and Harrison had (and have) each other to transition to school with.

    We then made our way to the orientation for before, after school and vacation care. It was here that your Mummy shared her story with me. She was open, confident, friendly and positive in telling me all that she (and your family) had been through over the last year. She is one remarkable lady and someone who is strong, well balanced and optimistic. Someone who has shaped her children to be who they are today and who they will be in the future. Kieren and Paige will look back years from now and remember this I am sure.

    We know how challenging it can be to not have family close by to jump in and lend a hand so please know that we are close by and always happy to help out with care for the kids, cooking a dinner or just enjoying each others company. I know there are a lot of other families out there who feel the same (Douglas’, Bennett’s, etc.) so please let us know if we can do anything at all to help during this difficult time.

    All our best
    Karen, Greg, Harrison and Hamish Appleby

  28. Pandora Chadstone team

    On behalf of Pandora Chadstone we send all our love and thoughts to you Leisl, and to your family. We wish you much strength at this difficult time.

    Kind regards,
    Pandora Chadstone team xxx

  29. Sandra Jackson

    Hi Kids,

    I worked with your Mum some years ago at Goldmark. I owe your Mum alot she has help make me the women I am today. She pushed me outside my comfort zone but did it in a way that only a caring people person could. She knew what was good for me and kept on me and I thank her for that
    Before I met your Mum I could not present to a room of my peers but with your Mum’s knowledge and most importantly faith in me I got there. To this day I hear her voice in my head ” No such word as YOUS” I will always remember this
    I can still remember a road trip with your Mum we were at Goulburn doing a store opening. We had finished for the day and we were watching TV. We were watching Kath and Kim we just thought it was the funniest thing ( at the time anyway ) I could go on and on but I will leave it at that as I know there will be many more stories to come. There is no need for me to tell you what agreat lady your Mum is as you already know that. Thank you for sharing her with us.

    My thoughts and prays are with you all xxxx

  30. Anne Clews

    Dear Keiran and Paige,
    I worked with your Mum 10 years ago….doesn’t seem that long actually. I had the pleasure of meeting you 4 years ago not long after Paige was born. Your Mum looked fantastic and so happy.

    Your Mum was a bit of a rev head…. She was terrorizing me around the streets in the WRX your Dad had. No one beat us at any lights let me tell you.I also had the pleasure of driving in her beloved convertible on more than one occasion, the most memorable being in the back seat going over the harbour bridge with my arms in the air!!… Mum and Dad were taking me to a work Xmas party in the city.

    I was not an adventurous driver and found myself with no choice but to drive over the Sydney Harbour bridge to get to the Head Office in North Sydney. Your Mum rang me to see where I was.. I told her OMG! I am driving over the bridge!!! I was sure she didn’t understand my excitement lol…. When I finally got there, Mum presented me with a tiny gold Harbour bridge charm. Thank you Leisl.

    Keep safe Keiran and Paige xxxx

  31. Edwina Simpson

    Wow so many beautiful, funny, loving and inspiring words about your Mum…actually those four words really sum her up.

    I worked with your Mum about 10 or more years ago at Vivien’s Jewellers, I was a 2IC at Parramatta when I first met your Mum…my life changed dramatically the day she came with Kirsty to take me for a coffee. I remember I was so nervous, yet excited as I could see in her shining eyes that she had something to tell me…that day she offered me the Store Manager’s role and Warringah Mall – wow finally someone believed in me and I was so very humbled and wanted to make her proud.

    Over the years we worked together I came to love those ‘shining eyes’, her strength, positive energy and her true professionalism were all things I aspired to. Over the years we lost contact, things change but I never forgot how she shaped and influenced me not only professionally but personally too.

    I went on to other roles and companies but throughout my career I have adapted so many of my early learnings from your Mum, things like FISH! (she near knocked me out with that flying fish in a Manager’s Meeting!), the One Minute Manager, Whale Done…and not to mention the one on one mentoring in store and always being available…she even offered me a room in her home when I was travelling 2 hours each way to work and back!

    So whenever I see those ‘shining eyes’ in someone I am with I think of your Mum, Leisl. xo

  32. Melissa Waters

    Dearest Kieren and Paige,

    I first met your Mum over 10 years ago when i worked at Viviens Jewellers. I was a shy but confident and eager young woman wanting to be given a chance.
    Your mum obviously believed in me and was willing to take that chance, because after she left Viviens and went onto Goldmark Jewellers she apporached me and offered me my first management role at Bankstown, something i will be forever grateful for.
    It was in this role I got to know more about your Mum, on a professional level she was the ‘best boss’ I have ever had. Like many people have written before, your mum believed in me when no one else did set me up for an opportunity and once i was there i was sure i wasn’t going to disappoint her. She pushed me to step outside my comfort zones and for that i am thankful to her – something i should of told her more often but haven’t. I had the opportunity to experience various management roles – Store Manager, Cluster Manager & Area Manager all because i wanted to show her i could do it, Leisl you gave me the chance.
    It was the way your mum influenced me and mentored me in my early career, i believe i am the person i am today. She instilled work values and ethics in me that i live by today in all aspects on my life.
    Even merchandising these days i still do the mirror effect because thats the way Leisl taught me.

    Your Mum is one AMAZING lady.
    Strong, determined, inspiring, caring, professional, kind – the list could go on. Always dressed to perfection and make up and hair perfectly done. She has the most amazing eyes and longest eyelashes and a smile that lights up any room – not to mention that it is geniune and warm.
    I remember having lunch with you three (Leisl, Kieren and Paige at Castle Hill) probably not long after Paige you were born. You could see in her face and the sparkle in her eyes how happy she was as a Mum to the both of you. What a wonderful mum you both have.

    Its sad to say over the years i havent been in contact with your mum as often as i should. But she is a woman that i can never forget. I hope i can call her a friend. I am thankful that i met her all those years ago. No words can truely express my gratitude. For all that she did and the belief she had in me.

    Leisl – like a star on a cloudy night you cant always see them but they are always there. Never have forgotten you and never will.

    Kieren, Paige and Damien – Thank You for sharing Leisl with us. You will always be in my thoughts like you mum has and will be xxxxxxxx Love to you all

  33. Nichole Day Diggins

    Dear Leisl –

    It has been such a long time since we’ve seen each other, yet it still feels like it wasn’t that long ago… I think of those times often and remember all the fun we had together. The time was short, but they were such formative years.

    Kieren and Paige,
    Your Mum and I met in high school, at Norra Reals Gymnasium in Stockholm in 1984. For some reason I still remember her first day at school, when she walked in to the science classroom after class had already started and was introduced to the class… I think it was January. We hit it off right away. She was always kind and fun and funny. It was your Mum who gave me my first (and last!) taste of vegemite and taught me how to speak Australian: I still remember ‘fair dinkum’ and “D’ja have a good weekend, mate? -Had a beauty, buddy.”
    We’d carouse around Stockholm and go shopping and to dinner parties (we were quite sophisticated :) and the occasional day trip out of town (where were we, Leisl, when we went on the boat with Pierre and Peter and Erik?).
    I went back to the States and your Mum returned to Australia and we lost touch, but I always felt a closeness from our friendship. You’re both such beautiful children – I can see your Mum is very proud of you; I’m sure you have inherited her strength and humor and sense of adventure and I know she’ll be with you always (even when you can’t see her, you’ll feel her there).
    With love,
    Northfield, MN USA
    Njut av den flyende dagen!

  34. Katie

    Dear Kieren and Paige,

    I have worked with your mum for a few years as part of the Visual Merchandising team at Pandora, and I can honestly say that she has made me laugh every single day.

    Towards the end of 2011, Leisl was travelling frequently to Asia to help them to establish their VM department. On a trip to Japan, she thoughtfully decided to buy me a present – a roll of beautifully ornate Japanese paper she knew I would love. Unfortunately, the roll was a little too long for her suitcase and she was stuck carrying this thing for the next week or so. In true fashion, she had fun with the situation, naming the roll “Paper San” (san meaning Sir in Japanese) and documenting his journey throughout the country. Paper San was photographed waiting for a train, taking a travelator, grabbing a drink, on a bus, checking into hotels, even finding love with another paper product (we’ll save that particular photo for when you’re a bit older). At one point in the trip, poor Paper San was left behind but your mother (and the group she was travelling with) all went back to retrieve him so that the fun could continue. When Leisl returned to work she presented me with this beautiful, thoughtful, funny and creative gift, that is every bit your mother and still brings a smile to my face today.

    Love you Leisl Xx

  35. Marc Randall

    Dear Kieren & Paige

    I have worked as your Mums Travel Agent for the past 4 years, and while not having loads of direct contact with her I know she is so highly respected in her industry and personally loved by all that know her.
    Your Mum was always a great person to work for.
    My daughter rests in heaven and I will say a prayer that she can give your Mum a hug for you both.

    God bless you both & god bless you Leisl x

  36. Tracey

    Dear Kieren & Paige

    Although I only had your Mum as a boss for a short period of time during 2011, she is the woman who gave me the opportunity to join the Pandora family. Your Mum is a strong leader who has a wicked sense of humor, gives amazing advice, taught me so much and is an all round beautiful lady. And what an wonderful smile :)

    Take care of one another x
    With love and thanks Leisl xxx


  37. Kelly Doolan

    Dear Kieren and Paige,
    I have worked with your mum for the past four years. I remember when she first started, so friendly and bubbly and a wicked sense of humour. I thought to myself I like this girl. At her time at Pandora we ended up sharing an office with 3 other girls. We had a great time in this room. lots and lots of laughs. (maybe too many laughs for work!)
    Your mum made the mistake of telling me her middle name and I would pass her in the office and say “hi Ms Leisl Gay Gerdes” and she would laugh and say “I’ll get you back!!” She never did 😉
    Leisl Gay, it’s been a absolute pleasure to know you and to be a part of your life but this is not goodbye. I’m certain that our souls will cross again. 
    Kieren and Paige you should be really proud of your mum. She is such a funny, hardworking and honest woman who will be in your hearts and dreams forever.

    Xx kel

  38. Matt, Kylie, Charlie and Madeline

    Hi Kieren and Paige,

    As you can see from all the messages, you’re mum has touched a lot of people’s lives, including our family’s. Things fthat spring to mind when we think and love about your Mummy are:

    Kylie – Your Mummy loves to cuddle you both. I could see in her eyes that cuddles with the two of you, and Daddy of course, are very special moments.

    Matt – Your Mum has a great sense of humour and really great with her witty comebacks. It’s always lots of fun bantering with her.

    Charlie and Madeline – We liked making and decorating cookies with Leisl and playing the donut game on the trampoline.

    I’m sure that her love, smarts and witty sense of humour will rub off on you both.

    Love Matt, Kylie, Charlie and Madeline

  39. Julia and Robert Woods

    Leisl is a beautiful, kind, witty lady.

    Over the years I have been so fortunate to meet and catch up with Leisl, but sadly only for brief moments in time, always at a Gerdes family gathering. Brent and Jenni have kept us in the loop with family happenings, which we are forever grateful, we love being included in the Gerdes clan.

    Leisl you have always been so friendly and welcoming, thankyou, always easy to chat to and have a laugh about that days goings ons.

    Until we meet again
    Julia xxx

  40. Mai Britt G. Nielsen

    Dear Paige and Kieren,
    I know your Mum through our work in Pandora. I am writing this to tell you about how I know Leisl and the part of my life that I am lucky to share with her.
    Since I am living on the opposite side of the globe the chances that Leisl and I should meet was quite small – but I am so glad and grateful that Pandora brought us together and we got to know each other.

    During the years I have known your Mum, she has been a great inspiration to me. Apart from being an extremely skilled and talented woman Leisl has a fantastic personality.
    When I think about Leisl the first thing that comes to mind is her smile and calmness. When spending time with her she is always 100% focused on the present. Regardless of the many hours of traveling from Australia to Denmark she had to do before attending meetings in our head office, she has always been strongly dedicated in contributing to the development of our business unit and passing on her knowhow and ideas to all of us.

    I have always admired Leisl, among many things for her ability to speak her opinion in an open and honest way. I have the most profound respect for her way of communicating. Just to give you an example she is able to reassure and encourage business associates who are unhappy or needs direction in an objective, firm, friendly and credible manner. Leisl is not a person that will make short cuts. She is dedicated and will always find a sound and creative solution to a task, challenge or problem. I am sure that all our international colleagues will agree with me that Leisl has motivated all of us to do our job better. Your Mom is a very strong and talented woman that I am very lucky to know.

    Dear Leisl
    I wish I could be there on the beach with you on Saturday. Instead I will be thinking about you, your family, our colleagues and your friends.
    If there is anything I can do for you or your family I am here.
    You are an extraordinary woman Leisl. Thank you for being you!

    I send you all my best wishes and lots of hugs!
    Mai Britt

  41. Cindy Brady ( Salmon)

    When I first met your mum I was applying for a job as an Area/Regional Manager role and she interviewed me….

    It was 5 years later that I finally met your mum… I met her at Pandora.

    Your mum is so funny! She pulls silly faces and notices if someone needs her help without them having to ask. She can turn your frown upside down and she has a wicked sense of humor.

    I am a better person for knowing your mum and I wish I could hug her better….

  42. Roland Maass

    Dear Paige and Kieren,

    it is hard to find the right words to describe someone like Leisl.

    Fantastic, incredible, full of humour, energetic, lovable, skilled…..

    I have met your mum while working for Pandora in CPH.
    When I met her the first time I was drawn to her immediately. The smile, the laughing eyes and her sense of humour made her unique.
    Whenever she was in CPH and we had some time, she told us a lot about you and you could see how much she enjoyed being with you.

    Even so we only met about 4-5 times we always had so much fun. We danced a lot at our company parties and I hope I am not exaggerating but your mum is a great dancer. (btw every year we arranged the Visual Merchandising Meeting on her birthday – i think one of the uploaded pictures shows us sharing her birthday cake)

    Workwise she is very talented and skilled in her expertise. I really learned a lot working with you mum. Focused 100% on her tasks but also forgiving and understanding if a mistake happens. As a mentor for the VM in Asia Pacific she was also very much appreciated.

    Privately I had the opportunity to dine with her once or twice and i also met your dad (believe me a great couple). I am glad they took my advice for some restaurants in Paris and i know they enjoyed it.

    Your mum always understand my love for DK having lived in Schweden herself.

    it is really hard to find the right words. your mum is incredible. She will always be remembered for her kindness and big heart.

    @ Leisl all my thoughts are with you, Damien and Paige and Kieren.
    I am sorry I cannot be with you tomorrow/today but know you will be remembered and treasured.

    with love and respect from my heart.


  43. Anna Krzyna

    Dear Paige and Kieren,
    Your mum and I met only once during my first Pandora VMM conference in Copenhagen 2 years ago.
    That time I met a whole group of new people, everyone was new to me. We spend only few days together, gaining new knowledge, sharing experience but also integrating while cooking and wine tasting. It was very great experience.
    After coming back to Poland I still had your Leisl’s charming smile in my mind, still have.
    And this is why I would like to share my picture of your mum with you.
    Your mum is one of the most colorful and lovable person I had a chance to meet. Enthusiastic to break the silence with jokes or stories, very often about you two :-)
    I found her very pleasing to be around, as if we known each other for years.
    What is most important she made me smile and laugh so easily during those few days.

    I learned a lot from her professional knowledge, experience and creative ideas.

    You do not meet people like your mum everyday! Brave, open minded, creative and talented with this unforgettable smile on her face.
    She has got this “something” which is hard to define in one word, but for sure I would like to have at least a small percentage of it.

    Dear Leisl
    Thank you so much for being so welcoming, friendly and smiling.
    All my thoughts and love are with You and Your Family.

  44. corinne hayward coffs harbour

    Hi Leisl,
    you don’t know me however, i feel like we have known each other our entire lives. I only know you through my lovely friend and work colleague Jennie Gerdes, your beautiful loving sister in law. I was first introduced to your world when Jen told me she was accompanying you to the East to seek medical advice. As a Buddhist i was very keen to follow your journey, Jen was excited to be sharing this experience with you and kept me up to date of your progress. Jen describes you as a beautiful, motivated career girl that is totally in love with her family. Jen gave me your web site to visit. What a lovely site so full of love, honesty and comfort for your
    beautiful children.
    So here you are today celebrating a life that is blessed with such love, the irony of it is, I grew up at Newport Beach! I know in my heart we will be friends if we do meet. Leisl, you have clearly had a positive impact on so many peoples lives, and you will continue to do so throughout your journey.
    So to both Kieren and Paige, see what a remarkable, strong, loving and fun Mum you have. I don’t even know her and i want to be her friend. Most definitely in the next life.
    My love and thoughts to you all,

  45. The Bennett Family

    Hi Kieren & Paige

    My daughters Kaylah and Aliyah Bennett went to Aacooloma Daycare with you until they moved to another centre in 2011. We unfortunately never really knew your mother very well but the interactions we had with her (at the daycare centre and Kaylah’s 3rd birthday party at Lollipops Playland) was enough for us to realise that she was a very nice person, with a great sense of humour and a loving mother.

    We wish you both all the strength and best of wishes in the world for the difficult time ahead and for the future.

    Our warmest regards
    Natasha, Glenn, Kaylah & Aliyah

  46. David Barnes


    I’m David Barnes a.k.a “Barnesy”. I’ve known Damien (Sutto) for some time since his work and mine collided at Wetherill Park (Symbion) in his days with AGFA. We’ve formed a comfortable long term friendship with our amusement in the Radiology sector and involvement in the Music industry as well as having some long term mutual friends. Damien played guitar with me in a band called “Rock ‘r’ Souls” for a short while and it was for this band we tried to get Leisl singing up front. The band never really got off the ground, but we had some fun for a short time.

    I’m not going to write a “glowing” reference as such. I am cursed to only speak in truths and these are my personal observations and interactions. As time is obviously pressing, you get the “unedited” version….

    Leisl is a pretty good singer.

    I have no idea how she hooked up with Damien, but it has certainly worked out well. He obviously loves her.

    Leisl always came across to me as “stand off-ish” and slightly suspicious. I don’t really understand why she never seemed to warm to me. We are no doubt similar in a lot of ways. We both crave the perfection (or highest possible quality under the circumstances) in our fields. We both have a similar philosophy about not accepting outcomes we didn’t want. I guess that’s part of a manager’s skill set.

    I was glad to be part of her Farewell and she seemed genuinely happy to see me there. I am sure to do a similar thing under similar circumstances. I thought I was the only one who could come to grips with their mortality in such a fashion! Honesty will always set you free.

    I got a lot from the speech from Leisl’s workmate. A completely different aspect was unearthed!

    Thank you Leisl. I have seen a different side of you before it was too late. Must be what Sutto sees. I’m glad to have been any part of your life. I don’t think I’ll be an Angel. I don’t actually believe in anything after death, but you could keep an eye out for me just in case. We can catch up then.

    Kieren and Paige – Carry on with all your strength. Your mother would.
    Sutto – Me & Geraldine are only a phone call and short drive away. Music is always in you. It’s the soundtrack of your life. Life is good.

    Best Regards as always


  47. Val Griffin-Coetsee

    Hi Kieren & Paige,

    I have been asked to write something on your page on behalf of Erroll Denbo. Your mum worked at Viviens Jewellers over 10 yrs ago and Erroll and Vivien were two of the owners of Viviens. Today I spoke to Erroll and as he does not have access to a computer at this time he asked me to write to you and to pass on his love and blessings to you both. Erroll has fond memories of your Mum, saying she was a dedicated employee and totally professional with her job. He says his heart is broken and passes on his support and hugs to both of you and your Dad.

    So from me Kieren & Paige I would like to tell you that I also met your Mum over 10 yrs ago at Viviens Jewellers. I was only a casual when I first met your Mum, and your Mum also pushed me out of my comfort zone. Which at the time I wasn’t very happy about, but further down the track and to this day I still tell people it was the best thing that happened to me. I went onto management which I never thought I could do. But your Mum believed in me. And I know she will be watching over you as you both grow into adults. Your Mum is one very strong and independent woman, and I know with your Dads love you will grow up into wonderful people. God Bless to your family.


  48. Thomas Nedergaard

    Dear Paige and Kieren,

    I have had the great pleasure of working closely with your mum for the last 12 months on launching Pandora watches in Australia. As you would expect she has been a tremendous help to the project, but more importantly, she has become a great friend.

    In my job I meet a lot of people all over the world. Your mum is that kind of special person that leaves an impression that you never forget. As everyone agrees she has a great smile, her eyes sparkles when she smiles. When she has decided on something, she gives you the “Lesil smile” and a little nod as she explains to you what she wants, and you know she has “nailed it”….. and she will most likely get it her way :O)

    Your mum has her opinions, she has got guts, she is always positive, you can trust her with your life and she is calm and kind. She really is a unique and lovely person that has become very important to me.

    Your mum is probably one of the strongest persons I have ever met.

    Leisl – thank you so much for the farewell party today. Till the day I die, I will never forget you, sitting in that chair looking out over the ocean, talking to friends and family with that special Leisl spark in your eyes, looking so happy.

    Have a great trip. I am sure your destination will be fantastic.

    De kærligste hilsner Thomas

  49. Emma Capell

    Hi Leisl,
    Our overlap of working at Pandora was 3 1/2 years and though we weren’t in the same building and to be honest I rarely even saw you, you did two great kindnesses to pretty much a ‘stranger’ which I will never forget. A month or so after I started there, I was lucky enough to be sent to QLD to meet with as many of the stores/my customers as possible in a 3 day period. With one thing and another the trip was going to fall through because no one was available to assist me for the 3 days, and I was quite disappointed. You came to my rescue and said that your VM girls, Jennifer and Belinda would be happy to take me round during their already busy schedule and it all went beautifully.

    Six months or so later, my eldest daughter had tried to organise a week’s Year 10 work experience however it also fell through at the last minute. I went to Pandora to see if there was any department willing to have her for a week and again you came to my rescue and offered to show Katrina the wonderful world of VM at Pandora. She had a fabulous week with you and Anya in your department. Both times you were putting yourself out for absolutely no reward to a virtual stranger and I have never forgotten it. It showed the kindness of your heart and generosity of spirit.

    I’m sorry I don’t have any ‘real’ tales to tell so that your kids can know who you are. (You asked for these yesterday). To me this is who you are and I think the number of people who attended your farewell in Newport yesterday at short notice from near and far attest to that. What a beautiful gathering of lovely people. These are the people you have attracted into your life because you are who you are!! A beautiful soul.

    Hugs forever,


  50. Asako Hill

    Dear Kieren and Page,

    I met you two when you were both still tiny on the beach.
    We were so lucky to catch a moment togather to watch the dolphin family, remeber, Kieren?
    I didn’t have any children then, but I remember looking at you both thinking what angels your mum and dad had!
    A few years later, I got married and a little baby was born. I was waiting for a little girl but it was a boy.
    Your mum told me it’s going to be great to have a boy first just like you!
    My dream is to go back to the same beach one day when the baby is old enough and to look for the dolphin family again like we did that day.

    Always remember – your mum has been a wonderful friend to us and also such a strong person.
    You are both very lucky to have a mum like her.
    And she will always be with you in your heart.

    I’m glad to know you and your family – thank you very much, Leisl.

    Asako Hill

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  51. Geraldine Barnes

    Leisl, we became friends because of our husbands love of music, one problem……. you could sing and I couldn’t!!
    But on the rare occasion I was allowed behind a mic ( behind closed sound proof doors) beside you I sounded like a bird (mainly because you were the voice I was hearing in my head!)

    I admire your strength in taking control of the uncontrollable and living your life by your rules.

    Love Geraldine xxxx

  52. Sharron Coyne

    Hi Leisl,
    Over the last 3 years it has always been so much fun working with you. Your sense of humour is second to none. I remember being at JAA trade fairs and roadshows with you. Late night gin and tonics and your jokes.
    Remember our offices next to each others on the dark side in Unit 38? lots of giggles and lunch around the table in Unit 38C.
    Your generosity and free spirit are to be admired and are admired by many.
    And knowing your love of turkish delight as well as your kids also loving turkish delight – i didn’t know of so many turkish delight lovers in one family!
    i am sure your spirit will remain within your family.
    much love,
    Sharron xx

  53. Roz Sutton

    Darling Leisl, first this is for you, with our love, in time I hope that Kieren and Paige will understand.

    “We are travellers on a cosmic journey – stardust swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. But the expressions of life are ephemeral, momentary, transient.”

    It has been said:
    “This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.
    To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
    A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky, rushing by like a torrent down a seep mountain.”

    “We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other – and this moment will have been worthwhile.”

    Leisl, all of the above you have given to your beautiful family and all who you have known in double-bogied truck loads!!!!

    Thank you Leisl for blessing us all.

    This comes to You Leisl, Damien, Kieren and Paige with double-bogied truck loads of love.
    Roz and Phil Sutton xxxx

  54. Roz Sutton

    Darling Leisl, first this is for you, with our love, in time I hope that Kieren and Paige will understand.

    “We are travellers on a cosmic journey – stardust swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. But the expressions of life are ephemeral, momentary, transient.”

    It has been said:
    “This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.
    To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
    A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky, rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain.”

    “We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other – and this moment will have been worthwhile.”

    Leisl, all of the above you have given to your beautiful family and all who you have known in double-bogied truck loads!!!!

    Thank you Leisl for blessing us all.

    This comes to You Leisl, Damien, Kieren and Paige with double-bogied truck loads of love.
    Roz and Phil Sutton xxxx

  55. Brad

    Dear Kieren and Paige,

    I don’t get to see you guys very often because I live far away, in a beautiful paradise called Queensland. In Queensland the streets are made of chocolate, the sky is always full of sunshine and rainbows and unicorns run freely in the fields of fairy-floss ……….most of the time any way.

    I met your Mum because of your Dad. He and I used to work together and we both loved playing guitar, so we became good friends and would play guitar together whenever we could. One time when we were catching up, your Dad mentioned that he was seeing this new girl that he really liked. We talked a little about her and he said she was “the total package”. You will understand what that means when you are older – but don’t worry, it’s a good thing. Not surprisingly, that girl turned out to be your Mum – and he was right. She was the total package!

    So, over the years I have had some wonderful times with your Mum and Dad, but by far, my favourite memory of your Mum is the first time I ever got to hear her sing. Your Dad and I were sitting around one night after a really great dinner and too many wines, playing guitars together and singing and your Dad finally convinced your Mum to come and sing with us. Your Dad had already told me that your Mum was a good singer – and take it from me, your Mum has a great set of pipes (your Dad can explain that to you). So, we just sat around for the rest of the night, playing guitars and listening to your Mum’s singing. It was such a fun night.

    I hope you both grow up always knowing how loved you are, how lucky you are to have such special parents and that your Mum will always be part of you.

    All our love,
    Brad, Kath, Jack and Ben

  56. Julie Rowlings

    Hi Leisl,
    So many years have gone by since I last saw you, but looking @ your gorgeous photos it only seems like yesterday. (Can’t believe how much you look like your mum….I look like mine too!)
    Troy delivered the news of your health to me last Saturday and you haven’t been out of my thoughts since. As I would expect, you are being so brave and ensuring your children will have the best memories ever of their beautiful mum.
    It’s so lovely to read all the comments from your friends and family, you have touched many people’s lives.
    Our early teenage years were fun, those alcohol free parties, and our first kiss etc. Video nights and dinner @ the Mun Hing! Thank God we grew up!
    Be proud of everything you have achieved Leisl, keep smiling 75137!
    Lots of love,
    Julie Rowlings x

    Deb, Chan and Corky send their love to you all. xxx

  57. Janelle Riley

    Hi Leisl, Damien, Kieran and Paige,

    There are so many beautiful comments above and they are all true.

    Your mum would give me a lift to work when my car was being serviced and we’d play “name that tune” with the iPod. I was proud of my 5,000 songs but your mother bragged about her 14,000. She was always first with the answer.

    Let me also tell you something that no one has mentioned – she was a lead foot in that car of hers. She would drive so fast and so close to the car in front – she was crazy! You must not drive like that until you are much, much older – she will be watching!

    One afternoon, we were lucky enough to be invited out on a yacht (I can’t remember the name but it was pretty darn flash) with Karin and a few others and there was a photo taken of your mum and I with the sun setting behind us – right between your mothers legs – she showed me the photo afterwards and said “look, it’s true – the sun does shine out of my …”.

    I am sad at writing this and whilst no one can replace your mum you will know that she is a beautiful woman and her spirit will live forever within you all.

    Janelle (many kisses and hugs)

  58. Anya Clinton

    Dear Keiren & Page,
    Your mum is a Super Model! Well this is how I see her and gave her this nick name a while ago! When you get to read this, you will have read many of your Mum’s family and friends descriptions of her, and beauty aside (she has the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen) she is a Super Human Model!
    Leisl and I worked closely together at Pandora when she started in 2008, sharing an office for a couple of years. I think I drove her nuts as I am a think out loud kind of person and I asked her endless questions. She has the patience of a saint and never (well maybe once or twice in that time) asked me to be quiet so she could concentrate on one of the endless spread sheet calculations for a VM order to Denmark that she was working on. It was great sharing an office with her, your Mum is so giving of herself, sharing her knowledge, wisdom, advice, understanding, her time and her love. I also learnt a lot from our time together and no matter how time poor we were at Pandora it was more often than not a frantic work pace and an extremely tight time schedule some of us ;0) would often try to take a short cut to finish something quickly however your Mum would always take the time to do an above and beyond job!
    We shared many triumphs, opening many Pandora retail stores all over Australia in a couple of days which was always rewarding, going from an empty shell to a beautiful store as well as Trade Shows. We also had some challenges………..Watch launches were a disaster at least from a VM point of view at Wooloomooloo Wharf in Sydney and not so smooth at Cloud Bar (?) in Brisbane (great locations though ;))! No matter how much we cleaned the glass for the display cabinets, there was a thick sludgy grime on them that was not visible until the lights were off and a spot light shone on them. Ooops! Lesson learnt!
    Work aside; we also shared many personal moments too. Your Mum is so supportive and always willing to listen and help when and where she can. On a flight back from Perth, she even gave me her crackers and cheese and a small chocolate bar as I was pregnant at the time and feeling queasy, food helped! Her strength is amazing, I’m sure she has passed this on to you and I know she has inspired many of us. She even brought tissues with her to Newport Surf Club for everyone else! Your Mum knows all the words to songs and I wish I heard her sing more. We talked about you both often and although I only met you a few times, I felt like I knew you really well. Your Mum and I often used to quote kids movies at work for example in “Over the Hedge” when they are talking about the booby traps in the back yard…………”they’re here, …….here, …, ……….here, and…………….here, and here” ;0). So with that in mind………………..
    Damien, Keiren and Page,
    If you ever feel sad or scared I want you to think of the movie “Shark Tale” and the famous song by Bob Marley…………”Three Little Birds” …………..”Baby Don’t Worry……about a thing……….. ‘cause every little thing is gonna be alright!!!!”
    Dear Leisl,
    You have changed so many people’s lives for the better, including mine. You smiled last Saturday for most of the day and showed grace, a sense of peace and so much happiness, it was contagious. Like many of your family and friends I did not want to cry but it was tears of joy to know you as well as a deep sadness.
    Love You! Xo
    Love Anya

  59. Jacquie Evans

    Dear Leisl,
    You are truly the most gracious, positive and bravest person I have ever met.

    Every time I saw you at work you also had a smile and took the time to say hello and made me laugh with your sense of humour. I wish our jobs had crossed more so I could have got to know you better.

    One of the last days I saw you I looked after Paige and showed her how to draw Mickey Mouse. You told me the next day that Paige was so impressed so if Paige would ever like another art lesson I’m your person .

    Sending you and your family love xxx

  60. Carla Cowan

    Dear Keiran and Paige,
    I met your mother about 10 years ago when I worked at Viviens. To this day when I think of your mum, one word comes to mind – Symmetry. Here’s why.

    I attended a VM course that she was running and I was in awe of her knowledge and skill. She was also very funny. I’ll never forget when she showed us a display and asked us to come up with our own display using “symmetry”. As she went around the room I remember having sweaty palms and was so nervous. She looked at my display and said: “That’s A-symmetrical, I asked for symmetry.”

    To this day her words ring in my head. I went on to have a successful career in VM and trust me, my displays are symmetrical.

    Unfortunately I haven’t been in contact with your mum for a few years now, but one thing I do know is how much she loves you guys and how much she wanted you both.

    Your mother is a beautiful and courageous woman, who managed to have it all – successful career and beautiful family.

    We’re all lucky to have known her.

    Sending you love and hugs as your mother gains her wings.

    Carla xx

  61. Brett Spinks

    Dear Keiren & Paige,

    I had the great fortune to meet your mother at Pandora nearly 4 years ago. In the time since, we have enjoyed a great number of moments together. I have always found Leisl to be fair and very committed to the task at hand, but at the same time having fun and focused on the people around her.

    Based on my experience, you should be rightly proud of your mum. She has touched many lives in the time that I have worked with her and encouraged, motivated and given people an opportunity when others wouldn’t. I am sure her legacy will live on with you and your family.


    I am very sorry that I was not able to attend the lunch last week. I would very much have appreciated the opportunity to have spoken to you and let you know how much you and your courage has touched me. I have shared stories of your resilience and positive attitude with Vanessa, my children and people I know. I think of the positivity you showed during the story on the Morning Show and that is the Leisl I have enjoyed working with over the last few years.

    Thank you again for the continued inspiration you provide.

    Love Brett, Vanessa and kids.

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  62. Ange McGregor

    Hi Paige & Keiran…

    Your mother gave me a wedgy…. at WORK!
    Not only did I have my daggiest undies on for everyone to see when I screamed.. it HURT!

    One word that describes your Mother…. STRONG!

    My bottom has never recovered.

    Ange xx

  63. Herb MacDonald

    Hello Leisl, Damien, Kieren and Paige
    Leisl, although my heart is heavy with the news of your failing health, I will treat
    this letter as my opportunity to join family and friends in celebrating your precious
    life and sharing happy memories, which exist in great abundance.
    Firstly Leisl, some background information for your children. I became a member
    of this family in 1975 when I married your wonderful Aunty Gwen, your mum’s sister.
    We lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada – my home turf. In 1977, Gwen and I
    travelled to Australia for a visit – my first time seeing Oz and meeting her family in
    person. We stayed for a month and during that time, made our way up to Armidale
    to meet the Gerdes family at Brindabella. Leisl, I believe you were approximately
    years old at that time, cute as a button with a smile that could win anyone over and
    full of ‘la joie de vivre’. The pictures I chose to include here might give you some clue
    as to why I said the following words to myself after meeting you…..”Look out world,
    this little girl is coming to get you !!!
    And I wasn’t wrong Leisl….you took the world by storm! Your achievements have
    impressed the bejesus out of everyone, near and far. You lived your life well, you
    lived it fully and you earned our never-ending love with your magnetic personality
    and, I repeat myself…..’joie de vivre’.
    But, Kieren and Paige, I have to tell you that your mom took delight in being very
    naughty occasionally. Especially at the expense of old uncles….old Canadian uncles.
    Gwen and I went to visit your mom and dad some years ago and stayed for dinner.
    Grandfather Bob Gerdes was there too. The meal was on the table in front of us and,
    even though everyone wasn’t seated, I made the unfortunate decision to sample the
    food. You see, table etiquette is a foreign concept to many Canadians ( foreign to
    me anyway, like most etiquette). Anyway, it seems your mom noticed my faux pas
    because I saw her chuckling with your grandfather, her beautiful naughty eyes twinkling
    elf-like while glancing at me and jibbering away in Swedish, which she had mastered
    only a few years earlier. Now Grandfather Bob, who is rather naughty also, saw no
    reason to refrain from having fun at my expense and happily translated the gist of Leisl’s
    Swedish words for me like so – “Leisl said, Uncle Herb started eating too soon!”.
    At that, Leisl’s chuckle turned into laughter. Fortunately, we Canadians grow thick skin
    ( to keep warm ) so I proceeded to admonish her in my best ‘mock’ Swedish, saying
    things like “Yurgen flurgen! Fleabagin glurken spiegel burpin durbin! Ya! Derplinkin!”
    And other similar ‘fightin’ words and gestures which, for a brief moment, almost sounded
    Swedish to her. At that point she really broke up and her hearty laughter was so joyous,
    I shall never forget the sound. This is but one of my treasured memories.
    Leisl, although I didn’t personally get to spend a lot of time in your presence over
    the years, I am grateful for the times when our paths did cross and I always felt delight
    when anyone told me about one of your triumphs which were many. I am richer for
    having known you, touched by the love and joy that you exude and inspired by your
    strength and courage. This is only Chapter 1 in your beautiful story and I say, “Wow,
    Chapter 2 is sure to be AWESOME !1
    I love you Leisl !
    God bless and keep you,
    Uncle Herb

  64. Simone Egea

    An amazing lady I call Mrs Leisl. Many many years ago I had the pleasure of working with your mum. Fridays was Town Hall day. I loved Fridays because Leisl was the only store manager with the creativity to challenge me. 10.30am every Friday ( even when we were trying to eat well) was the time we had Black forest rolls from downstairs. This was without fail the best morning tea ever.
    I learnt so much from your mum. She was tough, uncompromising and the best mentor I ever had. So much of what I know now is because of what she taught me. For many years we worked together. We laughed, we bantered, and we created magic. We did not always agree and sometimes I thought she was a bit tough however no one ever matched the enthusiasm for VM that Leisl had. We even had nick names for some people we worked with and there was one particularly annoying colleague who your mum and I knew more than but she listened to his ideas, followed his direction and then proved him wrong. Her professionalism was second to none.
    Some people you work with are just that work colleagues. Your mum to me is so much more. No one has had such an influence on me professionally or personally ever. In all the years since we worked together, I have never met anyone like her. Even when I put pink paint on her car (off the fence in my house which I could never get in the driveway without hitting) she was calm and never lost her temper. She also made me change lanes on the Harbor Bridge which was a big thing back then. For this and many other lessons in life, I thank her.
    Your mum used to make me laugh so much. We used to go out with your mum and dad shopping and always ended up in a record store (these were how you used to get music, ask your dad) where they had headphones on the ends of the rack to let you listen to the music. Your mum would always put these on and sing incredibly loud and incredibly out of tune on purpose. This we used to crack up laughing at no matter how many times she did it.
    Mrs Leisl is a treasure. Strong, talented, ambitious and above all loving. No matter where you are in life, know she loved those around her with a passion and gave her all. I have the honor to be able to say Leisl was a friend and I like many others, will always love her and treasure my memories.

  65. Troy Gerdes


    On the fourteenth of September, A little girl was born
    And since then, forty-five years have flown by
    And now that Leisl’s leaving us, our hearts are filled with pain
    And we’re all asking God for reasons why?
    We all agree, it isn’t fair, and that she’s far too young
    And time may never dry the tears we’ve shed
    But leisl wouldn’t want us feeling hollow and depressed
    So my poem is about good times instead.
    Early memories of my sister see her racing on a horse
    And on my horse I’d take her on the bend
    Then she would overtake me as we pulled onto the straight
    It’s a shame both of our horses were pretend.
    And then there was another game we used to like to play
    We’d climb up to the top of our bunk bed
    And Brent would hold a sleeping bag, suspended off the floor
    And off the top bunk we would both descend
    We’ve been on many skiing trips, both here and over seas
    Each trip was filled with laughter, thrills and fun
    And although she’s a perfectionist who skis with style and grace
    Leisl spent her share of time upon her bum.
    She taught me many lessons through the years as we grew up
    With her unrelenting hunger to impress,
    That Honesty, Integrity and working bloody hard
    Was Leisl’s personal recipe for success.
    But she would never tell you this; She won’t blow her own horn
    For leading by example’s more her style
    But if you ask my sister if she’d mind giving an inch
    I guarantee she’d walk a country mile.
    So I’ll keep these lessons with me as I go on with my life
    And I’ll teach my kids the lessons Leisl Taught
    And if they turn out half the person Leisl grew to be
    Then all the hard work won’t have been for naught.

    Troy Gerdes.

  66. Troy Gerdes

    Can you remember Concord and Tinkabell?
    Can you remember the sleeping bag game?
    Can you remember me finding a porno magazine on the beach at mullum and you not dobbing me in for smuggling it home in the car? I can!
    although you and brent gave me a hard time at times as a kid, You always had my back, right through my life and still do.
    We Gerdes clan don’t express our feelings very well, and i tend to hide behind comedy rather than saying what i feel. Me and Richo,Always the clowns (hence the “Way to stuff up Christmas” comment.
    I love you Leisl,Always have ,Always will!
    Thanks for always being there.

  67. Pingback: Some News | Leisl Gerdes

  68. Barb

    Dear Leisl

    I wish I could have caught up before going away in December & am sorry to have missed your farewell. It sounds as though it was a beautiful day.

    I will always think of your beautiful smile, wicked sense of humour, peals of laughter and that twinkle in your eye.

    I feel privileged to have worked with you – even such a short time. I am richer for knowing you

    Kieran & Paige

    Your mum has a passion that is infectious – a passion for life, work, friends and above all, her family.

    I have been working directly with your mum over the past 12 months – she really is an amazing woman to be around. She approaches everything with such enthusiasm, commitment, strength & honesty; all while injecting fun & laughter along the way. Mind you, when needed, she knows how to take on the tough stuff, both at work and personally.

    There are few people in life that make an immediate and lasting impact on everyone they meet – and your mum is one of them. She has the ability to lift the mood when walking into a room, whether it be a meeting, presentation or just for a chat.

    As you can see from all the great memories and stories – your mum is so loved and admired – a truly unique & special woman.

    my love to you, Damien, Kieran & Paige
    Barb xoxo

  69. Daniela McLellan

    Keiren and Paige,

    I know i’ve posted before but every time I think of something else about your mum, I’ll enter another post.

    After seeing your mum on Sunday, I started to think back at when we actually first met. I was wrong before, It would have to have been about 22 years ago! I remember now when it was. My brother, his friends and I all decided to go out in the city after working out the costs of our skiing trip. Your mum was there and dressed in a white outfit. I remember thinking, “wow, she looks good and is very pretty”. Your mum always looked good!

    After seeing her on Sunday, I came home and searched through all my photos of her and the holidays we’d been on. One thing that stood out was that in many of them, your mum was either holding a camera or taking photos – she was quite the budding photographer and I’m sure she has taken lots of photos of you over the years. We even did a photography course together at Parramatta. I’ll definitely try and scan the photos i took and load them on this website but they’d be nowhere near as good as your mums. I hope you like them.

    Although your mum, as stated previously is quite the comic, I’ve also seen her intensity. She can be very serious and matter of fact at times and when she thinks or has something to say, she sometimes gets this thing with her bottom jaw happening where it juts out a little. It’s not something that stands out but I saw it occasionally and again on Sunday. I havent dtopped thinking about all of you and I hope these little stories are of interest.
    God bless xxx

  70. Leisl's Dad

    To Dear Kieren and Paige from Farfar

    I hope that you will read your Mum’s web-site many times as you grow up. This web-site shows how Mum’s bosses, her friends and her family could see how special she is and you are both so lucky to have such a clever Mother. I am her Dad and I can easily see that she is more clever than most people and it makes me very proud. But not only do you have a special Mum, your Dad is the same, his bosses and friends and family can see that he is really clever also.
    When you have a clever Mum and Dad it probably means that you will be clever too and we can all see that you both already are. Kieren has had a school report that shows that he has been “outstanding” in his first year at school and I reckon that Paige will be the same this year.
    For a long time people have been greedy and wasteful. This means that we have used up and wasted a lot of oil, coal, forests and many other things. Because of this, lots of people (not everyone) have had an easy life. Now this means it is going to be much harder for you (and everyone else in the world) when you are as old as I am now. One way that this might not happen is that clever people will find ways to prevent it and it would be nice if you two might be among those who could help to do that.
    Your Nana (Helen, my wife) did not live long enough to see you two but I know that she would have been just as proud of you both as I am. And my special friend Viv is just as proud of you as Helen would have been. You will always have pride of place in both of our hearts.
    With lots of love Farfar and Viv.

  71. Virginia (known to Paige as Berginia Nut' Halfacree

    Dear Kieran and Paige

    I would like to tell you a secret…
    Being a parent is one of the most wonderful things in this world! Your Mum and I have talked about this on many occasions.

    ‘Dad’ and ‘Mum’ are very special titles that are earned, not just given. Parents care, learn, understand and teach. Sometimes worry or make mistakes, but most of the time, laugh and have fun with their darling children.

    Parents think of others first, try to be generous and always enjoy and accept difference. Mums and Dads love no matter what and in return have the privilege to walk alongside their children and enjoy being part of their lives.

    Kieran and Page, your Mum and Dad are both very loving and special.

    However your Mother is even more special than most, because of the way she wears her hair – some days straight and others softer, a bit crazy and curly. It is like having two Mums.

    Your straight haired Mum is always busy, organising and making things happen. She likes being with people, considers before acting and tries to do her best. I have seen her be quiet for ages and concentrate on matching up all the little things she has to do in her job. Kieran, just like you when you are busy with lego.

    Your curly haired Mum is relaxed and full of laughter, cheeky and I am sure when her hair is curly she sings the loudest. Those big eyes that look at you from under that wild hair are wide and twinkle looking for the next person to meet or things to do. Paige you get that same ‘keen, ready for action’ look as well, plus the curly hair.

    Your Mum has told me many times that when she is at work or away, she misses you both very much but she knows and trusts that your Dad will care for you when she is not at home. He will keep you safe as a good parent should.

    I love being one of your beautiful Mother’s friends and thank you Kieran and Page for sharing her with me too.

    ‘Berginia Nut’
    x x

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  72. Dominique Sartori

    Dearest Kieran and Paige

    I can honestly say that your mum is amazing and I truly believe she could never know how much I appreciated her and the help she gave me to grow and gain confidence in the 2 years we worked together.

    She made me laugh, I cried infront of her a few times and she always had my back when I got asked not to return to stores :) I remember her telling me I was to soft and I needed to harden up! Two weeks later she called me and said you’ve gone in to strong and you need to pull it back a bit!!! I love that because I take with me to every store I visit even to this day.

    All I can say is you are so lucky to have Leisl as your loving mum and I send you both all my love as you grow through your extremely exciting years to come :)

    xxxxx Dom

  73. Sue Ewart

    Dear Kieran and Paige,
    I hesitated to write a comment as I am only a distant relation and I did not want to intrude but then I thought that it is always the right thing to tell someone how much they are valued.
    I am your Nanna Helen’s cousin (my father and your great grandmother Marjorie were brother and sister). I was 17 when your Mum Leisl was born and I remember thinking she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. As a little girl, she had the most sparklingly cheeky eyes which she carried into adulthood and despite her illness I can still see them.
    Although I didn’t see much of your Mum as she was growing up, I followed her life through contact with her Mum and Dad and Aunties Aileen and Gwen.
    Your Mum’s selflessness in asking for these comments and arranging her get-together is a real treasure in itself and something you will be able to look back at with such pride.
    My love and that of my husband Geoff and my children is with you both as well as with your beautiful Mum, your loving Dad and all your family and friends who obviously love you all so much.
    With loving thoughts,
    Sue Ewart

    1. Malinda

      i got the white/gold pastries today at joryreys.thenue amazing.and i love them.but they only had two good thing i found them here in florida, because they didnt have barley any in kentucky.but buy the shoes, theyre adorable.

  74. Matt Cowan

    Dear Kieran and Paige,
    I met Leisl when I became her assistant at Goldmark Jewellers.
    We only worked together for a short time, but in that time I learnt so much from her.
    Leisl instilled in me work habits and practices that have stayed with me to this very day.
    Most of all, she encouraged me to believe in myself.
    I have so much respect for her, and she has had an enormous influence on my career.
    More than that, she was always generous with her knowledge.
    I will always be thankful that I worked with her.

  75. Sara Newbery

    Hi Keiran and Paige
    My name is Sara Newbery I had the pleasure of meeting your mum when I worked with her at Goldmark Jewellers May I say at first I thought here I go an iron lady thinking to myself this will end badly but I gave it time and sure enough your mum showed me her true self hard working professional passionate I could go on but what really stuck out was her honesty and reliability .Your mum has the most electric eyes when she gave you a look well need I go on .A few years later I ran into your mum when Keiran was just a baby and I saw another side she was mushy and full of love so much so it just filled the room .Keiran you have your mums eyes and no doubt you to will have her passion for everything that is right .Paige your mum is a wonderful women full of the right stuff you should be very proud of her and again im sure she has passed all her stengths on
    I send all my love to you all Sara

  76. Tanya McNeill

    Dear Keiran and Paige,

    My Name is Tanya and I worked with your mum at Vivien’s Jewellers from 1999 until your mum left to further her career. I was Store Manager of the City store in Westfield Plaza (which is no longer there anymore).
    I remember as if it was yesterday, Leisl teaching me how to do visual merchandising, as she was the Merchandising Manager before she became my Area Manager. I will never forget that day. The passion that I saw in your mum’s eyes, inspired me. I took notice of everything she said and to this day I teach all my staff the same way to merchandise.
    When I had my first born son Lochlan (who is almost 13 in April), your mum gave me a little pale apple green, quilted baby outfit that had a little mouse made of wool attached to it. I still have that outfit in my chest of treasures to this day!
    I loved working with your mum and wish that I kept in contact as she is such a warm, loving and beautiful person who I have a lot of respect for.

    Thank you Leisl for all that you have taught me, for all your belief in me and all the love and kindness you show. I truly miss you!!

    Always in my thoughts.


    Tanya McNeill

  77. Maz Singleton

    Hi Leisl. I only found out last weekend about your illness as I am not on facebook. I sent you an email straight away. I can’t believe how strong you are. I should know that from working with you all that time at Viviens. I always admired your strength then and how you just fixed any problems which came up. I thank you so much for giving me the administration job at Erina. That was the best 4 years of my life. I said to you at the time “are you putting me in the back room because I am not that good at selling” (which I hated). You always made me have confidence in myself. You were there for me through Warren’s illness and picked me up many times after he passed away.
    Words cannot express how much I appreciate everything you have done for me. We had the best working and personal relationship and I love you very much. I always remember you referring to Damien as “my boy” which I thought was so cute. He is a wonderful man and I am sure Keiren and Paige will grow up with your wonderful values and strength.
    Promise me you will just keep fighting because you never know what the future holds. I love you Maz xxx

  78. Troy Gerdes

    This morning at 1.30am, Another angel got her wings.
    Keiren and Paige, When ever, And for what ever, I am always here.
    Uncle Troy.

  79. Leanne Andrews

    Keiren & Paige,
    Today your special dad let us all know about when your mums funeral was to be. I have reminisced through out the day and have often come onto this website often today just to look at your mums beautiful and smily face. I am sure the day will be a celebration of your mums life. I did have a little chuckle to myself, knowing what a super organised woman she was and thinking how am I going to fit my sons test for his L’s in prior to this special day……However I know your mum would say to me ‘you have plenty of time, do this and do that you will fit it in.’ I know I will fit it in….. and I will say hello to you on Wednesday.

  80. Alison Bonanno - Paic

    Dearest Kieren and Paige,
    I have honestly been back and forth from the computer for months, trying to put words onto paper, so here I am, finally!
    I had the absolute pleasure of knowing your mother whilst she was my Area Manager, when working at Goldmark in Liverpool. Although I didn’t know her all too well, I have to say, every time she walked into the store, her smile lit up the place and I felt such happiness when seeing her. (Normally when an Area Manager walks into a store, some may become anxious, however, your mum never made me feel this way)
    Your mum always knew exactly what to say, she was a fabulous leader and took her employees under her wing and guided them to success. Your mum was inspiring, career driven, successful and most of all a genuine loving person with the most beautiful eyes and smile!
    There is no doubt, that you were both the apple of her eye, and even though she may not physically be here with you today, she is always by your side, guiding you, looking over you, helping you make decisions and most of all forever loving you.
    You have been blessed to have such a wonderful mother and it’s extremely heartbreaking that she was taken from you too soon, however, your mum being the organised individual that she was, was not going to let you forget her in anyway!!
    Live, Laugh, Love – All my love, Alison xox

  81. Ingrid Sorrell Belsnes

    Dear Kieren and Paige

    I went to school with your mum in Sweden in 1984/85 although I was in the year below and she probably wouldn’t remember me….I was also at school with and am a friend of your Uncle Troy and hung around in the annoying bunch I think your mum tried to avoid!! 😉 She was soooooo much cooler than us! But I remember your mum. I don’t think anybody who met her would forget her.

    I wanted to tell you that here in York in England where I live, we have old city walls that go round the whole town. On the grassy banks of these walls, every spring, loads of daffodils flower. It is really pretty!
    You can buy a daffodil bulb to have planted in memory of somebody and I have bought one to plant for your mum. I will see those daffodils every spring and think of your mum because they are strong, vibrant and happy flowers, just like her. I hope you will see a daffodil and think of the one flowering up here in Europe where your mum spent some of her life and left her footprints in our lives.

    Sending you and your whole family lots of love.

  82. Friendly cousin Scott

    Hi Leisl and family,

    Although I only met you a few times as kids the gang from Armidale was always held high in our family and me and my brother tim were in heaven when we first got to see real guns being used by Troy and Brent up on the farm….For city slickers this was a very big deal for us and made a huge impression…The boys also showed us how to make an elastic band gun with some timber and a clothes peg which we used to shoot moths in the garage as they gathered to the lights…I have strong memories of visits to Armidale, of the sheep that tried to charge me and scared me senseless and of this ‘friendly’ Uncle Bob and the strange way he called our Dad ‘Fang’….Somewhere amongst the boys there were a couple of beautiful ladies as well, and my strong memory of both Helen and Leisl was of warmth and great big smiles…I sit here at my computer with tears in my eyes that the world has lost someone who obviously meant so much to so many people, having only heard today that Leisl had moved on from this world, and I wish I had been at the funeral to be part of what I am sure was a true celebration of life. I am inspired by what I have seen and read on this site today and I can only say to Keiran and Paige that your Mum was obviously a legend and you can be proud of the legacy you have been left. Love to you all and I pray you will find peace that will keep charging. Scott and Cyncha oxox

  83. Pri

    Leisl, I never got to meet you but the day my little son Hiran came home from Kindergarten and told me “Paige’s mother died and became and angle on the weekend” I connected with you at some level, with tears, I must admit. It’s you this time, and it could be me tomorrow – this is the reality of life.
    You have done an amazing job creating these memories for your children.
    I was working with a group of children in KJ helping with their literacy this week through a word game and guess who won? It was Paige! It was beautiful to watch how her face lit up in joy and I was so glad to see her so happy in class.

    Paige and Keiren, you can carry your Mum’s legacy – when you’re a little grown up, think of all the things your Mum wanted you to be.

    Damien, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends and family for support and all the best. I am sure we’ll meet at some point through school and if you’d like Paige to have play date with her little friend Hiran from time to time, please send a note through so I can contact you.

    All the very best to your family

  84. Kerrie James


    You are a true inspiration to me and have me hope with my career, you have taught me so much and their was still so much more to learn from you, even when I saw you briefly last year you still had huge hope for me and guidance even though I was no longer working for Pandora.
    there’s not a day that goes by when i forget your comments and advice that you gave me.
    I thank you for this

  85. Vallie

    Is it just me that finds it near impossible finding guest blogs,
    looks like most people run them to make a profit
    I have added you in my weekly website list, keep up the interesting work


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