Updates from Dwina Gibb about Robin’s headstone, etc.
Dwina Gibb updated us on the latest happenings regarding Robin’s headstone, etc. in an email dated March 9th. We rang her at Prebendal today and chatted for over an hour, catching up on a lot of things. So here is her email to the fans as well as a brief excerpt from our conversation.
I have a special letter I wished to send to fans:
We wanted to let friends and fans know that at last we have had all the permissions for a very special headstone for Robin and we have been assured that the ground has now settled enough to erect the headstone. Special permission was also granted to carve both the front and the back of the headstone. The stone is Kilkenny Blue Marble, which is a very hard limestone rock that is quarried in Ireland. It was especially chosen by the Gibb family and the gold medallist sculptor and stonemason: Martin Cook.
Martin is currently spending hours and hours carving the stone. We had originally thought of Welsh slate from the mines that Robin and I had visited, but St. Mary’s Church is a Grade One listed Church, thought to have been originally an Anglo Saxon Royal Minster, with special rules and regulations. Slate is forbidden, but the stone we have now, has been
allowed. Robin originally chose the Kilkenny Blue stone for sculptures in our garden that were carved by Michael Cooper. So this type of stone has a connection with the family already.
We apologise to friends and fans for the long delay but we wanted something very special and we had to be very patient in order to achieve it.
If fans wonder where some of their gifts and tokens go that are placed on the grave… sometimes we have to remove them when it is overflowing with gifts, but we keep all of them and place them inside the special Memorial Chapel in our grounds. The Chapel is a shrine itself, filled with letters, drawings, gifts and prayers for Robin. Thank you for your own patience, your wonderful support and show of love.
I have included two photos of the sculptor Martin Cook at work on the roses for the front of the stone.
With all good wishes and love to everyone,
Dwina Gibb ***
Excerpt from our phone conversation regarding the above email, etc.:
* The statues mentioned in the email are of griffon and hare in the garden of Prebendal. Robin chose the Kilkenny Blue stone for them and it was his favorite stone.
* There will be a ceremony when the headstone will be erected. The details will be announced as soon as they are final. So please watch this space.
* RJ did not have time to finish the World War I Memoriam last year as he was overseeing the new Titanic show. There are plans right now for future performances. More details to follow.
* Little Maxwell-Robin is a very happy little boy and he is like a ray of sunshine for the whole family. When he was out walking with Dwina, there was a little wind, and he looked up and said, "Fan! Fan!" That’s his word for the wind. His favorite music at the moment is Robin’s "Juliet" and Marvin Gaye (!). He goes "Yeah, yeah, yeah" with Marvin. RJ entertains him with his magic. The first sentence he put together was probably "Happy birthday to you!" as he sang for his Nana (Dwina) on her birthday. And this is in particular for the Japanese fans – Maxwell calls his maternal Grandmother "Bacha" as a Polish word for "Granny" is "babcha (the spell?)." Interesting how that sounds similar to the Japanese word for Granny (Obaachan)
* Dwina has finished her third novel for the Regency Romance series. She has also finished her second play and they will start the reading sessions in April. She will also be working on the biography of Robin based on the interviews she did with Robin mostly in 2008 – 2009 for their joint autobiography project.
We will let you know more plans and details as soon as they are final.
(Thanks: Dwina Gibb)