I’ve known Iris since my first convention in 1984, when she introduced herself and took me on a guided tour of the convention, introducing me to all the celebrities! She has been a firm friend ever since and I’ve seen her helping out in her own quiet way at every convention she attends. I once complained to her of a headache and she wheeled me into a darkened room and gave me a neck massage!
The train she caught home invariably went through my home town of Sheffield, so we spent many hours together coming home after conventions and they were never dull! She has been a long-standing Council member, president of the BOS and is currently a vice president as well as an honorary member. She deserves no less!
Only a few people seem to know her creative contribution to origami. Back in the 1960s she was creating helicopters, cannons, flexagons (in Kenneways “Origami In Action“) and 3D cars with wheels (in my self-published and hand-drawn “One Dozen Folds“). She beat Fred Rohm to making the first 4-link chain!
Whilst less active these days, her love of any kind of puzzle is as strong as ever. She lives a widow in Hull and retaining her love for folding in that origami desert can’t be easy. She is in her 80’s and still fiercely independant, walking a mile a day to keep fit. She travels many hundreds of miles to conventions, yet has time and energy for all when she arrives.
I have taken a lot of photos of her, but this one from the recent York convention perhaps captures her spirit better than the others. If you see her at a convention, please ask about the “olden days”, she has a deep and possibly unique well of knowledge about origami – have a look at Elias’ original diagrams – you’ll see a small “IW” on many, indicating she was on his mailing list at the time. We are indeed fortunate to have her!