- 75 years old
- Date of birth: Nov 2, 1938
- Place of birth:
Sentul Pasa, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia
- Date of passing: Jan 21, 2014
- Place of passing:
Mercy Hospice, Waratah, New South Wales, Australia
|Celebrating the wonderful life of Kotha Elliott|
Kotha Elliott, our beloved wife, mother, grandma and great-grandma passed away peacefully at 5pm on the 21st January 2014 at the Mercy Hospice in Waratah, New South Wales.
FUNERAL SERVICE AND GATHERING
24 January 2014
A viewing took place at France Family Funerals in Maitland Road Mayfield on Friday 24th January 2014 between 2.30pm and 3.30pm.
25 January 2014
Kotha's funeral service was held in the Chapel at Lake Macquarie Memorial Park in Ryhope on Saturday 25th January 2014 commencing at 10.00am.
Kotha enjoyed life with not only a wide variety of people but a wide variety of food. To celebrate, family and friends prepared a plate of their favourite food in remembrance of Kotha and attended a gathering at the New Lambton Community Centre in Alma Road New Lambton on Saturday 25th January 2014 commencing at 5.00pm.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS
In lieu of flowers, family and friends were invited to make a donation to Kotha’s favourite charity, PLAN, using envelopes provided at the service and evening function. Their generosity was overwhelming and our family was able to send PLAN $1,200 in memory of Kotha to support Peter and Kotha's foster child.
At the service, family and friends were invited to leave a hand-written message or a single flower on the coffin for cremation with Kotha.
With love and thanks
Peter Elliott and Family.
"I constantly go back in my memories to those early days in Penang with Kotha & Peter. They were such fun times, caring times, and amazing times. I was so pleased that over the years Kotha never lost her independence and strength of character, and her deep love for humanity. So greatly missed."
"On the occasion of what would have been Mum's 78th birthday, I remember all the wonderful times we shared. I reflect on all the lessons Mum taught me and how much I learnt from just watching a person that was admired, not only by her family but by everyone she met. Mum was someone that treated everyone with unconditional love and respect, was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in and push the boundaries for a good cause. She raised her children to be independent but as we went on to raise our family, you could always rely on Mum to offer a helping hand. So many people have shared their experience of how Mum just 'showed up' at the right time, when they were having challenges in their lives and how much this was appreciated. I found it inspiring to have a Mum who could turn her hand to anything and do it well - a quality I now see in her grand-daughter, Sally.
We miss her very much and will always use the occasion of Mum's birthday to celebrate how lucky we were to have had her in our lives. Knowing Mum is watching over us, helps us continue on our own journey."
"Kotha , it is very hard to believe that you are no longer with us.
But when I do things that we both have done together I can feel your that you are with me.
Your physical presence is not there any more but you are spiritually watching over me.
I will miss you forever"
"Hello Kotha, I am sure you are watching us and helping as you normally do. We remember you so well, tonight (25/01/2016) all New castle people moved to Sydney are getting together I am sure you will be missed."
"We were driving through Newcastle on Tuesday and as we passed Williamstown, we remembered our visit with Kotha and Peter...we will always have fond memories"
"It feels as if you are always here forever though your physical presence is missed so much.Miss you very much"
"We were in New Castle for few years only during that time Kotha become loving aunty for our children. She looked after them as her own grandchildren. No one in the Earth disagree that she is a legend to our community."
"To Dear Kotha,
A face that is always on my mind,
A smile I have seen a million times,
Two eyes that would light up the sky at night,
One last battle you could not fight.
Missing you Mum Kotha, Grandma
"Kotha , you left a year ago. But i still feel your presence amongst us.
You are a star and watching over us who love you very much."
"Heard much inspiring stories regarding Aunt Thurai before meeting her for the first time on my wedding day in 2003.. especially about the scary/wild pets she had and her peculiar/bold hobbies. I was impressed with Aunt's unique and unusual interests. She on the other hand also had the woman's touch where she beautifully decorated our wedding room with red roses on the walls.
When they visited us again in 2006, Aunt gave us Papaw Oil to treat bruises and burns. Very thoughtful...she said having a little one at home, this oil can be very useful and indeed she was right.
I personally have found Aunty to be very practical, simple and realistic in her ways. Vik recalls the few months he stayed with Aunt Thurai & Uncle Pete in 1999, till today he remembers only the warmth, love and kindness both Aunt and Uncle gave him.
We enjoyed the little moments we spent together. Happy birthday and wishing you peace Aunty.
Warm thoughts: Vik, Vila, Sriraam & Kishern"
"Auntie Kotha taught me a life lesson when I was about 10 (maybe 8). She explained to me that she wouldn't even step on an ant. That all life is important. A little green inch worm had made it's way onto my back pack while I was at work, so I kept him from crawling off the table until work ended, then took him out to the garden and let him go. And I thought of Auntie Kotha when I did that last week."
"one of the greatest highlights of my life is to have known you for the past 42 years Kotha . Although you have physically left us , but you truly are alive and live in our hearts . I just wanted to let you know Kotha that all of us , your loving friends , will always love you . Rest in Peace , our beautiful friend , till we meet again"
"Kotha was an extraordinary woman who cared about everybody without any expectations. Today is her birthday and I remember her 75 th birthday celebration with her and the hope I had that she would be still with us. It is hard to believe that she is no more. In my heart , I feel that she is always watching over all of us who dearly miss her.Hope to continue with the legacy she left us.
"My first memory of Kotha goes back to 1963 .John Elliott and I were to be married and Peter & Kotha were the first people of his family I was to meet .Kotha was soo friendly and helpful to me .My fondest memory was her spectacular cooking ! as a newly wed my cooking skills were not good and I loved Kothas' cooking so she gave me a Recipe book "South East Asia Cookbook " with hand written extra special notes which I still have to this day .Even though I have not been in contact for many years I always remember her beautiful smile and serenity a special Spirit .Her memory lives on in all her loved and knew her ."
"I remember Kotha every time I use my wooden salad bowl collection as they came from her years ago at Williamtown from the lovely lady who lived a couple of houses from us. Also the letters we have passed between our families during the years following at Christmas time.
God Bless You All xx Someone told me that grief is the price we pay for love xx"
"When we received the sad news of Kotha's passing, I was in Los Angeles for a professional development workshop with my husband Sunthar (her youngest brother).
I have had the good fortune of meeting Kotha a few times in Kuala Lumpur and in Banaras, and she has even accompanied us on my anthropological fieldwork in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. My biggest regret is not having been able to visit her in Australia with Sunthar, though we had discussed such plans with her repeatedly. Due to various circumstances we could not realize this trip.
A few months ago we chatted at length with her and Peter from Chicago via FaceTime using our iPads when Leila and Andrew were also with them. Kotha seemed very much the same person I had known over the years, curious as to what we were doing in Chicago and inviting us to visit them. With video-conferencing, however, it seemed she was with us here and we already with them at Newcastle.
In Banaras, well more than 25 years ago, she had gifted me a chain with an agate stone that I have always treasured. Agate remains a symbol of her beauty and goodness.
For me, Kotha will always be associated with Los Angeles, The City of
Angels: she has indeed joined the angels because she was already one in earth.
"My wife Deb had to have an op similar to Kothas at the RPA. Deb sharing with other patients and there we met Kotha. Deb had 4 nights in the same room. Every day I would give Kotha the paper to read after I was done. She gave Deb a big hug telling her everything will be fine when it was time for the op. After 5 days in ICU back to 9west 1. Paper delivered every day even though we had been separated. As time went by(there for only 72 days) we grew to admire her inner strength. There are two important attributes to have when dealing with cancer. Patient has to be mentally strong. Then you need the support of family and friends. Enter the family. The devotion and love and support shown to Kotha from children, husband aunties,nieces made me realise how much she was respected. I was there when Kotha took a relapse and had to go to back to icu. Leila and I feared the worst. Slowly she came good and back to 9w1. She was a fighter. Enter friends that came from Newcastle on the train just to spend maybe 5 hours with her. One loved lady. We remember Kotha doing laps at the hospital far quicker than Deb.(53) Her appetite was amazing and ginger beer was often I was fortunate to dine with Leila and then later with Peter and Trevor. The RPA was a very tough time for all. Meeting Kotha and her beautiful family and friends helped Deb and I get through those tough times."
"With love to all family members Mrs Elliott Kotha will be sadly missed but never forgtten .To Trev Andrew & Leila you have had a very special lady to call Mum .Love to all xxxx"
"I was so saddened to hear of kotha's death. I will always cherish the wonderful memories of Kotha and family when we would visit them in their Mayfield home. I will always remember the amazing hospitality and kindness which was shown to my children each time we visited. She always made you feel that you were not just a visitor but part of an extended family. My deepest sympathy to all of Kotha's family - she will be greatly missed."
"Kotha was a beautiful grandma to our 4 children growing up.Peter & Kotha both took Jordan & Isaac both overseas to Bali. Then a few years later she took Theresa & Grace over to Singapore.She was a very positive person and always full of stories to tell.We had very special times while we lived in Newcastle. Kotha lived a full and active life.It was lovely when they came and visited us in Cairns and we were able to do some special things here such as visiting Wallaman Falls and visiting Townsville. We will all miss you very much and it will take some time to realize that you are no longer here."
"From Kotha's sister Mahes (Rani):
Thurai (Kotha) & Peter made such a wonderfully happy, adoring pair – a joy to behold – living the life they chose and touching the life of others. The most striking trait of this typical Scorpio, was her daring. A lone attractive woman riding her Honda Cub from Penang to Kuala Lumpur through jungle areas under the glare of males, scared my parents, as much as their fear of her possibly becoming a divorcee in a foreign land. That was until we met Peter and were charmed by him. Her Snakie terrified my mother at the wedding and made headlines. We lived in opposite ends of the world and only saw each other occasionally. Thurai was still handing a python when I visited them in 2009, this time Andrew’s Olive – see video. Peter, their families and friends will miss this charismatic and amazing person. No doubt, her spirit is still on the journey of her choice, now exploring the mystic dimensions of life, embracing the spirits who loved and/or inspired her. She specifically mentioned Ramana Maharishi when I saw her in June 2013. She too will be there for those she loved and who loved her."
"To dear Peter, Trevor, Andrew, Leila and families, our hearts and thoughts are with you during this time of grieving. Please know that you are not alone in remembering a truly beautiful person who meant so much to so many.
Kotha was an incredibly warm, compassionate, generous spirit and we were so blessed to have had her in our lives. Her friendship was so truly valued by our family.
We always remember the banter from the regular 'card nights' playing Canasta and Samba that went to all hours. The night would always commence with dinner first and there is one night I remember distinctly. Dad loved Kotha's incredible curries (not too hot), but was not that fond of rice so Kotha would always cook potato for him. On this particular night, a full tray of roasted potato bake came out and dad gave himself a healthy serve and dived straight in. One mouthful and he turned beetroot red from the neck up, tears rolling down his cheeks and he rushed to the kitchen looking for the milk. Kotha took one taste, said "oops" and burst into uncontrollable laughter. Catching her breath she said 'I put cayenne pepper on top instead of paprika!' Needless to say mum became his official taste tester from then on.
She will be forever in our hearts.
With love to you all.
Teena and Wayne Llowarch and Mark Starrett."
"Yesterday was a very sad but wonderful celebration of your life. It only seems like yesterday that we first met Andrew some 25 years ago. It wasn't long after, that we then met you and Peter. We were welcomed into your home and your hearts. We will always have fond memories of the dinner parties, the fabulous food and special celebrations that we shared with you. I have special memories of our enjoyable chats on my regular 'pop ins' to the Mayfield shop.Your life was full of giving, loving and caring. I'm sure that the life you have led is now making us all think about how we can become more like you. We will miss you. Much love, Debbie and Chris Kelly."
"Dear Aunty Kotha.
Thanks for looking after us when we were small. Thanks also for looking after my mother when she was sick. We will miss you. You were a wonderful person.
The Thiruchelvam boys and family."
"To Trevor, Andrew & Leila. Sorry I can't be there today, but my thoughts are with you all. Your Mum always made me feel like part of your family as you all did. To Peter also I express my heart felt sympathy today of the passing of a truly amazing woman your wife Kotha. When Ray and I married and we had children Kotha still made us so welcome. Ray and I will miss her very much."
Our heartfelt condolence to you and your family.
Kotha was a very caring and pleasant person.
MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE.
WE WISH HER CHARITY TO GROW FOR EVER.
"We are deeply saddened by the by the passing of Kotha. It has been an honour and privilege to have been a friend. Kotha's generosity in kind and person was amazing. We became aware of her special qualities after the birth of our son Adam when unexpectedly we received a baby gift. Acts such as these was the hallmark of Kotha's caring nature. Our close and cherished relationship with Kotha's family is testimony of her generosity and love toward us."
"Kotha was very special person full of love, care and passion. We loved her for her approach to life. We never saw her sad. Her face was spiritual and peaceful. Her going to hospital to serve others was very exemplary. She will be always in our memory."
"This world would have been much nicer place if we had more people like you Kotha . You were a Ray of Sunshine -- A breath of Fresh Air . I will never ever forget your ever smiling face and the ever green bubbly personality . Please Rest in Peace till we meet again . From your friend till eternity and beyond --Mike Hamidi from Stockton NSW 2295 ( Australia)"
"A Tribute to Kotha
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Kotha a few days ago (January 21, 2014). However, we can’t help, but imagine, Kotha telling us in her characteristic manner, “Don’t be sad, I had a great life; have some fun on my behalf.” This was the spirit Kotha always embodied.
Our interactions with Kotha and Peter revolved around the activities of the Newcastle Tamil Sangam (Tamil Association). Both of them were an integral part of the Tamil Sangam for three decades. Not only they functioned as the Presidents and Executive Committee Members of the Association, but more importantly, they were ever-ready volunteers, willing to help with any task at hand. Their extra-ordinary ability at organising events, together with their willingness and generosity in spending their energy, time and other resources, immensely contributed to the well-being of our community and the activities of the Tamil Sangam.
We witnessed another side of Kotha almost ten years ago when my father was admitted to the Hospice at the Mater Hospital, where Kotha was working as a volunteer-assistant, helping and serving the patients and their carers/relatives during the most difficult period of their lives. When my father died, she looked after everything that needed to be done at the Hospice, and then helped us tremendously with the funeral arrangements at home. I understood later that Kotha immensely helped a few other friends under similar circumstances. For us, this defined Kotha – a person who was ready to go to any extent, with her extra-ordinary capacity for empathy, courage, generosity and helpfulness, to help people at their most difficult times.
When we met Kotha during the 2012 Tamil Sangam Christmas function, she appeared somewhat weak and frail (illness had already taken some toll), but still on high spirits, as ever. She praised the cultural performances of our children that night, and then in her typical fashion, said, ‘she was fine, still eating and enjoying, and had nothing to complain about’.
Next time we saw Kotha at the Hospice towards the end of 2013, this time not as a volunteer helping others, but herself as a patient. Before our visit we thought about what to talk to someone who was truly in her last phase of life (after the treatments concluded), even recalling what we read from books on this topic; but, none of these had any relevance when we visited Kotha at the Hospice. Fortunately, this was one of her good days (health-wise), and we ended up talking for almost two hours. She wanted to talk more about us, our children, Tamil Sangam, etc., while also clearly recalling the times involving my father’s last stage and funeral, and several instances related to Tamil Sangam. She eagerly talked about every stage of her life – ‘her parents, childhood and cousins’; ‘her meeting and marriage to Peter’; ‘her interesting experiences in Newcastle in the sixties and seventies when visible minorities were highly uncommon’; ‘her religious beliefs and non-beliefs’; ‘her travels overseas, including to Sri Lanka’; ‘her later involvement with charities’; etc. She also described her battle with cancer, and indicated that the reason she even considered the second surgery (which was not performed) was due to Peter’s poor health and to take care of him.
We were amazed to learn that she had been working as a volunteer at the Hospice for seventeen years; she said that this place was like a home to her, where she knew almost everyone. Working as a volunteer at the Hospice could be one of the most difficult volunteering jobs one could do, and obviously Kotha’s nature and values suited that, and possibly shaped by that, later on. She was completely at peace, and even at that stage, not thinking of her, but how to help others and the society. She was busy making Christmas items/toys for other patients and their visitors, asked us about the availability of any book that detailed the rituals practiced during the time of death and at funerals (she discussed this with other Tamils and Hindus in mind), politely told us not to bring flowers or plants instead contribute money to charity, and told a nurse not to throw away a bottle and waste the drink still remaining in it. The way she handled this stage of her life was nothing short of inspirational.
We visited Kotha once more on the Pongal day in January, this time together with our children. In between the visits, she gifted us a beautiful wood carving depicting a scene from Ramayana (she sent this through a mutual friend). This was such a beautiful and touching gesture, and a gift we will cherish, with good memories. We noticed significant deterioration in her condition during this visit, and she had difficulty speaking. But, her mind was still sharp, relating a few earlier events, and thankfully, she was not in any great pain. She died peacefully a week later.
We express our heartfelt condolences to Peter and Kotha’s families for their immense loss. We, the members of the Newcastle Tamil community, and for sure, tens, perhaps hundreds, of friends, acquaintances and others who would have been touched by Kotha’s generosity and helpfulness, would also be morning. But, Kotha’s life was unique and meaningful in many ways, and a life that needs to be remembered and celebrated.
Mukunthan and Anusha January 24, 2014"
"Kotha was a very kind person, always ready to help others. She supported every activity of the Tamil Sangam. we shall miss her.We extend our sympathies to Peter and family."
"May GOD bless the soul of Kothainayaki Elliott.
Mrs. Elliott, Kotha as she is known, is a kind hearted, brave, respected and well networked Tamil woman in Australia. I met Kotha in April 1981 in Newcastle, when I just joined for my PhD at the Newcastle University. She immediately took me to her home, offered dinner and plucked lots of oranges from her garden and gave them to me to take home. Since then we always stayed in touch with her. When I returned back home, she once visited us in Delhi in 1985-6. When I migrated back to Australia, we visited her and regularly exchanged greetings. Only some two months ago, we had such a lovely talk and it just came as a shock that she decided to reside with the Almighty.
She is a pride of all Tamils; she is a great woman - we hope someone else will fill her big shoes whilst she bless all of us from the heaven.
Dhanasekar, Remadevi, Arutchelvan and Malarmathi"
"In a short period of time we've known her, she has always come forward as a kind, loving, strong, capable and a very supportive woman. Wished we had spent more time together to share the knowledge and strength she had effortlessly been passing on to whomever she met throughout her entire life, You can say "goodbye" in many different ways and different languages. But you can't help feeling a tinge of sadness when you say goodbye, Love Mano, Hari, Jhai & Brinda."
"Dear ELLIOTT family
Sad to hear that you have lost your wife, mother and grandma.
I was in BUTTERWORTH the same time as PETER and Graham Price, who let me know the sad news.
My sincere condolences at your loss,
RON BLAIN in ENGLAND"
"We would like to add our condolences on the passing away of Kotha, and our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.
Fuen first met Kotha in the early 80's through Gwen Foley, who started the Eramboo World Studies Centre, and Kotha helped Gwen with the multi-cultural aspects. Eramboo is an Aboriginal word for Tomorrow.
We will always remember the great parties at Gwen's place with Kotha and Peter, with John Earle the Artist's mother, Norma, on the piano, and John Fairhurst, the head of a Magician's society keeping the children and adults spellbound.
We will keep a special place in our heart for Kotha's gentle, kind soul.
Fuen & John Shiel"
"In Life you will realize there is a purpose for everyone you meet.
Auntie Thurai favourably we called her is one of them.
She is one person who will teach us, guide us, mentor us and mothers us.
Most importantly she brings out the best in us, respects everyone and accepts for who we are.
As she lived each day ,she made a difference in our lives, touched our hearts with her kindness, love, care, sharing, mothering and smiles.
We are missing her smiles and joyfulness.
She has been and will be in our family's hearts and beautiful memories left for us to remember her long journey.
SubraVim, Rishan & Harsha, Rashvin, Anuthra, Krishore,"
"I had the privilege of meeting Aunty Kotha on a number of occasions. It was impossible not to be touched by her warmth, grace and beautiful soul.
She took me in like a son, and always made me feel like I was one of her own. She had no wants, no desires. Never a bad word to say about others, as she believed in the goodness of everyone. She was always at the forefront whenever help was needed, and would often go out of her way to ensure that others were happy. She was truly selfless.
I will always treasure fondly my memories of Aunty Kotha. The world has lost a shining star.
""Kotha is one of the extraordinary human beings I have ever come across over the last 26 years in Australia. She was like a mother for me when I first started my Australian life back in 1988. She was a caring person and has a big heart. Even my wife Rupa is also a great admirer of her personality. She will be certainly missed by one and all who have interacted with her. Our deepest condolences to Peter who has been a great partner to Kotha and may her soul rest in peace.""
"I stayed with Aunty and Uncle all through the 5 years I was at Uni. I was blessed with having a home away from home. Aunty was one person who went out of her way to lend a hand to others. She was always there when I needed support or when I was lost and needed a direction. She has been my guardian angel and I will cherish all of the wonderful memories forever.
A quote that comes to mind when I think of Aunty is, "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." — Nelson Mandela"
"I have met Kotha several times since coming to Newcastle/Maitland 30 years ago esp. at Tamil Sangam events and concerts. She has always been a dedicated and giving person. I will not forget her personally donating with another person to a visiting artist group to Newcastle. May she rest in peace. Condolences to Peter and all in her family."
"All at Mayfield Medical Connection offer their heartfelt condolences to Peter and the rest of his family at this time of mourning Kotha's passing but celebrating her wonderful life."
"Dear Aunty Kotha, I am so saddened by your passing. The world is missing a truly wonderful person. Our family will always miss you and you will forever be in our hearts. Thank you for being in our lives. love always Janani, Trent and baby Anika"
"A bright light has gone out from our world but her memory will live for ever. We are blessed to have known Kotha and family. RIP Kotha lots of love."
"To, Aunty Kotha's family, please accept our heartfelt condolences on your loss. Aunty Kotha's was a fun loving person,and whom we all remember as the aunt who had a snake for a pet. She will be deeply missed by all of us. May soul rest in peace.
Jeya & Thana ( Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur)"
"You are a strong lady, capable to organise anything and we enjoyed your company during our stay in New Castle. Thank you Madam, we will miss you.
Jeyendra Thulasy Haren Kasthuri"
"Dear Kotha, we have been lucky to have had the opportunity to share your happy company and your positive outlook in life. You were a brave person and remained that way until your last day. When I saw you a month ago you were still bubbly and being positive even though you knew the days were numbered because you didn't want others to feel unhappy. You will be sadly missed."
Peter and family,
Heartfelt condolences on your loss. Aunty Thurai was a warm, bright, strong and cheerful person. She will be deeply missed and always remembered by us. Love Thangi and Bala, KL"
"Kotha will always be in the hearts of all who knew her. The many nice things written below are true. She once asked me what I wanted from Aust.before she left home. I told her some grapes would do.The both of them carried to Johor Baru, M'sia one BIG basketfull of fruits. I was so shocked & amazed at them! In 1959 she rode a Honda bike all the way from Penang to Kuala Lumpur,to visit my Parents stopping enroute in Serendah, Ulu Selangor to see me!!!
Kotha was a caring & forthright person. We were sad to know that she was hospitalized & undergoing treatment through updates from Leila. The love & care given to her by her family & friends must have been soothing. Farewell. dear sister. Peace be with you."
"We met Kotha in Williamtown Airforce Base in 1982. She was very forthcoming with her help when Krish joined me during my detachment. We were touched by her warm nature and kindness. When Krish was returning to Singapore, Kotha gave her a good luck charm, a figuring of a baby. Krish conceived the following month.
We were impressed by her humble persona, her willingness to help anyone regardless of their nationality. My family and I will remember Kotha even though she has left us.
The one quote that comes to my mind summarises our acquaintance and friendship with Kotha, "There are many things in your life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart ". Kotha you have caught our hearts. Rest in peace dearest Kotha.
Raman, Krish, Puvana & Kavi"
"Kotha is a lighthouse to many of us who first first met her when we were students. I continue to thank her in my heart whenever I steam rice - she taught me how to do this and I have never looked back since that day.
Her kindness will continue to be an inspiration to me.
Heartfelt condolences to all the extended family members I know (in Oz and Singapore)."
"Kotha – what a beautiful soul; such a strong and amazing woman; such a wonderful life.
I don’t think there is a person who has met Kotha who has not been touched by her warmth, kindness and generosity. Kotha’s acceptance of others despite any difference is inspiring and a lesson to all.
Before I met Kotha my husband Adrian (friend of Andrew) would tell me about this amazing woman and how he’d cancel dates when invited for dinner at the Elliott household (until he met me – when I’d come along too!), to sit at opposing ends of the dinner table with Peter – the only ones with fork and spoon and steam pouring out of their ears from the spicy and wonderful food! And then there were the dinner parties /ad-hoc cooking lessons that let many an afternoon pass most pleasantly, and the card games and the jokes and laughter. These I had the pleasure of joining in…. nearly 20 years ago… but it feels like yesterday. I’ll also never forget Kotha appearing at my hospital bedside some years ago bearing kindness and a lovely basket of fruit and nuts….and her wonderful and welcoming smile. It is vivid still in my mind –an image I will never forget.
We will miss you Kotha. With much love, Hellen & Adrian Gold"
"As the sun moves into the sign of Aquarius - the sign of new beginnings - so Kotha slips peacefully into a wondrous land of comfort..... no more doctor's instruments probing, no more pain. My heart alternates between heaviness and lightness at the thought of her departing, but soon the heaviness will be replaced by complete lightness, as I recall the 55 years of loving friendship that she gave not only to her husband, Peter, but to all. Her life was blessed with wisdom, courage, and a reaching out to people with a caring devoid of judgment. I was best man at their wedding in Penang in 1959 and the association has continued down these long years. Kotha broke the mold of young Indian ladies in Malaya in those days. Those were the days of arranged marriages, but Kotha would have none of that. She stepped forward into life as eager and wide-eyed as anyone could possibly be, breaking staid conventions with her cheekiness and may I say, wisdom. I had this strange feeling on Monday that when the sun moved into Aquarius, she would slip away to be with God, and that is exactly what happened when the sun made its move on Tuesday. She has left behind her an enduring legacy for her children and grand-children and abundant memories for her relatives and friends. Her love affair with husband Peter was the most caring and enduring I have ever witnessed. Kotha had this ability to cast off tribulations as if they were mere trifles - she always came up not only smelling of roses, but totally imbued with them. As Han Suyin writes at the close of her book 'A Many Splendoured Thing,' "I have dreamed a wonderful dream; of life, and love and death, of laughter, and tears, and good and ill, and all these things which are equal under Heaven, which equalizes all things. A wonderful dream, my many-splendoured thing." Yes, Kotha and Peter, you have not missed that many-splendoured thing. Now it is time for me to say goodbye dear Ko, but one cannot say goodbye to that which still lives in one's heart. Till we meet again."
"When my wife Thana was very ill at Mater Hospital in 2000, Kotha visited her and consoled her with kind words. She was there to support her and console her. I and my family was very grateful for her gesture and help."
"Kotha was one of the most caring and giving people I have ever known.She was one of our volunteers at the Mater and in particular Ward 4C. She came to help us each Thursday even while she was receiving treatment, always putting others first. She was a calm, quiet,lovely lady who everyone wanted to be around. Kotha loved Christmas, she always came into our ward to decorate it for Christmas and made it very special for the staff and patients. She has battled her illness in a dignified, gracious way and when she went to the hospice said to me "don't be sad and don't cry,it is just my time and I have had a wonderful life" The way Kotha led her life can be an example to all of us, she will be sadly missed and yes I am crying. All my love Janice"
Have a suggestion for us?