Linda Imm, former Area Governor for Area 22, passed away peacefully and without pain last Thursday, 22nd March surrounded by her close family. Linda had been living with cancer and bearing up to its treatment with great fortitude for the past few years. She was very much loved and will be hugely missed. Our hearts go out to her family, particularly her two daughters Verity and Becky and her loving partner Alan.
Linda had been an enthusiastic and committed Toastmaster since becoming the first charter member of Voice of Wales in 2007 when the club was founded by her friend, the late Jan Collings. When Jan, an equally inspiring and wonderful woman, passed away in 2008 Linda threw herself into keeping the newly formed club going, dedicating herself wholeheartedly to preserving Jan’s legacy. Linda served as President in that crucial year after Jan’s death, then as Area Governor for Area 22 and has subsequently held office on the Committee every year. She achieved Competent Communicator in 2010 and had just achieved Competent Leader.
We worked closely together over the past five years and I valued so much her friendship, support, advice and care. Linda was warm, funny, courageous, unassuming and hugely determined. There is no doubt in my mind that without her Voice of Wales would not be around today. She provided quiet, calm but inspirational leadership as the heart and soul of the Club and also it’s dedicated conscience.
It is difficult to sum up in words all Linda did for Voice of Wales. She provided encouragement and support to members, believing in everyone’s ability and potential to achieve. She welcomed people warmly so they wanted to return and extended her friendship to everyone she met in the TM fold. She kept a close eye on Club business, ensuring deadlines were met and tasks completed so members could progress and the Club could achieve DCP points. She kept us on the straight and narrow, firmly and with humour, to ensure Club standards were maintained. She genuinely loved Toastmasters and believed in the power of the TM approach, both for speaking and leadership, continuously reminding members of the benefits of progressing in both. If people needed her (and they often did), she was always there for them.
I learned so much from Linda about grace and courage. Throughout her illness she remained positive, dealing with the vicissitudes she experienced from her treatment with patience and often with humour, she never sought sympathy and insisted on carrying on with what was important to her for as long as she physically could. Amazingly she spoke at the launch of Cardiff Toastmasters on 22nd February, giving a tutorial on the benefits of Toastmasters for members. She simply got on with it, quietly and with enormous dignity.
As well her involvement with TM, Linda was a dedicated fundraiser and supporter of cancer charity Tenuous. Alan tells me that just before she died she was invited to a civic ceremony by the Mayor of Torfaen to receive an Award for Services to the Community. With typical modesty she questioned what she had done to deserve it!
We feel terribly sad to have lost Linda but also great thankfulness that we were able to know her and share in such an important part of her life. We will never forget her.