Tribute to Renee Ikdal: Roots & Wings representative, Stavanger, Norway
How do you pen down a tribute to someone you admire for her genuine friendship, you respect for her courage and calm, you love for her principled honesty? What made her life enriching and beneficent? Grateful for this privilege to acknowledge the essence of Renee’s life, the memories she shared and the legacy she left us all. Renee S. Ikdal, altruistic giver and leader infused with personal integrity, selflessness, and unsparingness. Renee and I first met in Malta summers ago. That meeting and the ensuing years felt like a lifetime of friendship characterized by discernment, empathy, and mind sync. She was one of us – fellow editor and writer @Roots and Wings and the governing body cum treasurer of Europe-wide Filipino organization we both dedicated ourselves to and voluntarily worked for. She publicly served her people as Philippine Honourary Consul to Stavanger, Norway, as president of FAR - the Filipino Association in Rogaland and leader of her Catholic church choir community. She played soulful music on the piano both at home and in church. In cold January of 2017, Renee generously hosted a long weekend conference for us, about a dozen board representatives of the organization. I vividly recall that crisp morning when she picked me up at the airport. Welcoming me to Stavanger with an easy smile and warm embrace, I just knew the conference was going to be in excellent hands. A snug home, ample meeting and entertainment space, warm beddings, and sumptuous meals, all planned for an extended fun-filled working weekend. She was no less than that caring host who went beyond the call of duty to make this event fruitful and unforgettable and each of us comfortable and well-nourished. We further worked together with a like-minded team, achieving goals we have set for the wider community and all through those months, Renee gave her best until her term ran out. You had set the bars high, dearest Renee, and stood by your principle particularly in those tumultuous times. You remained loyal, humble, honest, and dedicated until the end. Yours was unparalleled and admirable service to family and community. Your impact on people’s lives, our lives, is what we value and live on today. You remain loved in our hearts and memories. Thank you for your life, friendship, leadership, and example. I pray that God grant you rest and everlasting joy in His kingdom. Amen.