September 12, 1947 – June 14, 2009
Rosa van der Zwan arrived in Canada from the Netherlands as a young bride and worked at home raising her three daughters, Marina, Frances and Brenda. She loved cooking, baking, sewing, growing vegetables and constantly knitting. She was an active Mom as President of her daughters’ Water Polo Club and also encouraged their participation in figure skating. She worked as a Social Services Worker in group homes in Prince George after she received her Diploma from Douglas College. She was diagnosed in 1996.
Rosa joined Abreast In A Boat as a novice in 1999 and paddled for seven seasons with the Barnet crew. She travelled to San Francisco, Philadelphia, Nanaimo, Harrison and Portland with various crews. She took the 2004 season off to be with family in Prince George and welcome a new grandson. After a recurrence in 2007 she became an alumna with Barnet and was an active shore supporter attending regattas in 2008 to cheer us all on.
Rosa was: a happy, uplifting person; always had a smile on her face; passionate about dragonboating; enjoyed being “an athlete”; loved her daughters and adored her grandchildren.
We will remember her continuously positive attitude towards life even when we knew she struggled from within.
We will remember her swimming to shore when we were dumped by the tugboat tsunami – for she was a strong long distance ocean swimmer.
We will remember her love of being anywhere in the boat.
We will remember her sharing her grandson with us. Many times he was our “prince” to balance the Doriana when bringing it back to the clubhouse after practice.
We will always remember her impish smile that lit up her whole face.
We will miss our dragonmama terribly.
Deb Legree, Renata Hamelin and Dorothy Fenning