The Dragons Abreast members observed a minute of silence, in honour of their friend, Janice Olive, who died of breast cancer.
The Dragons Abreast members observed a minute of silence, in honour of their friend, Janice Olive, who died of breast cancer.

Pink petals farewell a good friend

AS PETALS in shades of pink gently fell on the still waters of Lake Ainsworth yesterday, one of the founding members of the Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club was remembered for her love of life, her beaming smile and generosity to the community.

Janice Olive, 58, of Suffolk Park, died in December after nearly a decade struggling breast cancer, but it was her life, not the disease, that was remembered and honoured yesterday by fellow members of the Rainbow Dragons Abreast support team she helped establish in 2003.

In a ceremonial "petals on the lake" paddle out, more than 35 dragon boat members dressed in pink paid their respects to the woman who had helped create a lifeline of support for many Northern Rivers women confronted with breast cancer.

Being a founding member of the Dragon Boat Abreast team, which meets every Sunday morning to train on Lake Ainsworth, had transformed her mother's life said one of Janice's three surviving daughters, Kate Olive, 26.

"This was such a huge part of her life. She made life-long friends here," Ms Olive said.

Janice's husband, Peter, also thanked the women who had shared his wife's journey through cancer.

"Janice had had a mastectomy in 2003 and was in remission for a long time," Mr Olive said.

"Then it came back with a vengeance in 2009," he said.

"The dragon boat women would come to our house to care and spend time with her - it meant so much knowing they were there for us. They gave her strength, physically and mentally."

Scattering petals on the water was the dragon boat women's way of saying goodbye said club member, Juliette Sizer. "She will always be a part of our club," Ms Sizer said.

New members, especially those with breast cancer, are welcome to join the club.

Contact Juliette Sizer on 0421 550 335.



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