A Celebration of your Life Dinah

Here we see Dinah celebrating her great success at showing at the National Honey Show in Ireland at Gormanston north of Dublin in 2018. This was a great year for her with multiple show success as well as judging Honey Shows and giving talks all over the British Isles.  When she did become very ill in early 2020 she declared to me that she had “no regrets”. I did check with her if that included marrying me!  She wanted no funeral but quite liked the idea of a Celebration instead!  So I decided that give things a year or so for the Covid pandemic to clear and we could have a Garden Party for all family and friends to meet up and reflect on a such a unique and wonderful person on 24th April 2021.  But this is not to be – we are not there yet – so instead I would like to set up a Celebratory Website – dinahsweet.com – dedicated to her where we can all upload pictures and memories we treasure.   Maybe we can gather together properly next year in 2022 and I will keep in touch with all who make contact through this Website.                                                        12th March 2021    john@johnsweet.com

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reevee
reevee
5 months ago

uploading a first few pictures

Di newspaper photo.jpg
Di with baby.jpg
Di Physio ball.jpg
Lidi
Lidi
5 months ago

Dinah was my friend & my Bee-keeping Mentor. I was so lucky she took me under her awesome wing. My bees wouldn’t have been the same without her, but neither would I. Always cheerful, always encouraging, that smile is something I’ll remember. We had fun together. I enjoyed our friendship, I hope she did too. When she phoned to say something weird was going on with her muscles that was a very dark day. It seemed to me that she managed her illnesses the same way she sent through life, with a shrug and a smile & a determination to get the best out of everything. Miss you Dinah.

robyn and Stuart Goodman
robyn and Stuart Goodman
5 months ago

Dinah: Memories of our gentle, generous friend

 
It is such a regret that we only got to know Dinah in the last few years of her life. She was such a generous friend to us and such delightful company. We are forever indebted to her for her mentorship and so thankful to know her, even if it was for too short a time.
 
Our first encounter with Dinah is testament to her generosity when she and John came to our house to sort out the difficulties we were experiencing as novice beekeepers, plagued by recurrent swarming and feeling utterly clueless over what to do. Dinah and John were so incredibly helpful and reassuring, it made a huge difference to us at the time. We didn’t really know who this kind couple were who unquestioningly came and gave up their time to go through our hives and put us back on the straight and narrow. 
 
Dinah was a consummate professional when it came to beekeeping; her knowledge being frequently called upon to act as a competition judge. Stuart was so delighted when Dinah awarded him “Novice Beekeeper of the Year” at the Cardiff, Vale and Valleys Beekeepers Annual Show. Clearly an excellent judge, though his delight was somewhat diminished when Dinah awarded him second prize in the medium honey category, even though his was the only entry! 
 
Dinah’s kindness and generosity are recurrent themes in our memories. A few years after our first encounter with Dinah and John, we called again on their advice when we had to find a new home for our hives after a new neighbour objected to their presence in our back garden. Dinah suggested we moved the hives up to their land for a few weeks until we sorted out something more permanent. That was several years ago and we’re afraid to say our hives are still there! As a consequence of this, not only did we manage to carry on beekeeping but also ended up, serendipitously, receiving endless and invaluable advice and reassurance from both Dinah and John that has really been the foundation of any beekeeping knowledge we claim to have. Dinah had encyclopaedic knowledge on all aspects of beekeeping and was able to provide advice in a gentle and constructive manner that was never opinionated nor pugnacious (a skill not that common among the beekeeping fraternity!). Dinah’s ability to spot an unmarked queen and an unnoticed queen cell was second to none. Her generosity also included the loan of numerous pieces of beekeeping equipment, of which Dinah and John have an abundance thanks to John’s insistence on “having the kit”. It is testament to Dinah that Stuart even managed to win first prize for his honey in the next honey show! 
 
Through beekeeping we have got to know Dinah and John.  And it’s through beekeeping that our friendship with John has developed and strengthened further extending well beyond the confines of beekeeping. For this we are forever grateful.  We have such lovely memories of Dinah. She was a generous, knowledgeable, kind and gentle woman. It is such a regret that we never had the opportunity to spend more years in her company. 
 
 
 
 
 

James
James
5 months ago

Adding a few pictures of Mum, we all miss you.

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Tracy Sweet
Tracy Sweet
5 months ago

Dinah was a wonderful Sister-in-Law, a very supportive & positive influence in my life – for 35 years.
A great auntie to Alex & Becky.
We all miss her, everyday, & raise a toast – with mead (of course!) – in her memory.
Love always, Tracy, Chris, Alex & Becky xxxx ❤️

Last edited 5 months ago by Tracy Sweet
Hilary and Graham
Hilary and Graham
4 months ago

Dinah and I started as teachers in the late 80’s on the same day, at what was then Cardiff School of Physiotherapy. The difference between us being she had been there done it and already got the badges whilst I was a lowly student teacher straight out of clinical practice. Never did she make me feel like that though and she was a wonderful support, colleague and friend.
Sometimes she appeared as if nothing much phased her but that would be wrong as she held very strong and principled views on a number of topics and always that smile.
We continued to work together over many years, although Dinah and John interspersed their working life with exciting interludes and swapping roles so she didn’t advance in her career as perhaps she could have but it didn’t seem to bother her. When we got to meet up again after one of those breaks it was as if we had never been apart.
Dinah and John were wonderful hosts and sharing was a big thing for both of them– their company, knowledge, meals, honey, mead, friendship, home, even holiday home!
She is missed.
Hilary and Graham

I know somewhere there is a photo of Dinah standing on the platform of the station with the longest name in the world after a few of us had been to a Conference in North Wales – but can’t find it! So, instead I have shared some of Tobago which we hope will jog some happy memories for family and friends.

Gail and Tony Everett
Gail and Tony Everett
4 months ago

We had the privilege of knowing Dinah as a colleague and friend for many years (the attached photos are from Dinah’s retirement lunch) but it was Dinah’s friendship we valued most. It didn’t matter whether we were in the staff room at work, by the pool in Tobago, or at Graig Fawr Lodge – Dinah was always the same person. We have so many happy memories of spending time with her, although Rum and coke evenings in Tobago stand out in our minds! The David Attenborough moment of seeing thousands of purple crabs heading into the sea was a really special experience we shared and I miss Dinah not being here to reminisce over that because no one really believed us!
Dinah and John’s generosity to us and our family has been appreciated more than we can say. We knew that generosity from Dinah even until the last days of her life when she was generous in spending her precious time with us. Even then we had a laugh together and Tony and I would go home feeling glad to have seen her. Dinah’s approach to life was wonderful. Maybe we should all be a bit more Dinah. We miss you Di.

Last edited 30 days ago by admin
James Stewart
James Stewart
4 months ago

Dinah was a great help to me as a new beekeeper – always willing to give advice by phone or even to come over to have a look at the hives. Generous with her time (and her queens). Tough but fair as a judge of novices in the honey show!

Ann Ritter
Ann Ritter
4 months ago

Dinah was an inspiration to novice bee keepers, always willing to encourage and share her extensive knowledge about bees in a friendly way. It was not only her honey but also her mead which ill long be remembered. It was a privelege to have known her and to have attended some of the couses held at her home. A truely vibrant and energetic Master Bee Keeper.

Kenneth Jones
Kenneth Jones
4 months ago

Met Dina years ago when CVVB were doing courses in the school in Bedwas, she was one of the very good teachers on the course. I attended a demonstration at Dina’s place done by Clive de Bruyn, it was the first time I had seen a hive opened and I remember it like yesterday. Dina and John put on refreshments and it was a very good day. We met on many occasions and I managed to arrange a bee keeping course for a good number of people at Dina and Johns training facility and everybody said what a fantastic couple they were, Dina was a fantastic person with a cheerful outlook and a tremendous source of knowledge. I’m going to miss her greatly, my very best wishes to John

Mercia
Mercia
4 months ago

My introduction to beekeeping was through Dinah and John. Their encouragement and positivity was amazing and fuelled my love of beekeeping. I attended numerous courses at their beautiful home in Caerphilly and learned so much under Dinah’s wing. In swarming season Dinah came to my rescue and managed to show me how to get a swarm back into a hive! Dinah’s generosity of spirit, her time giving and kindness seems to be the overriding theme in all the messages posted, this I will always cherish. I have lots of lovely memories of laughs, including managing to persuade Dinah, John and a friend from London to come to a New Years Eve party… truly fantastic. I feel her loss and couldn’t believe it when I found out she was unwell. However, the kindness I experienced with Dinah will shine on and I am fortunate enough to still have the last bottle of mead she gave me and I will have a tot to her on special occasions. Thank you Dinah for sharing your knowledge and smiles, you hold a special place in my heart.

Last edited 4 months ago by Mercia
Robert Pickard
Robert Pickard
4 months ago

Dinah was the first student to enrol on our new Diploma in Apiculture course at University College Cardiff in the mid-1970s. She was an enthusiast and a scholar. John Free, Rex Sawyer, Rob Paxton and countless other colleagues were her companions in honeybee science.  She gained the highest award on that course and went on to make a lifelong contribution to beekeeping in Wales, the UK and across the world. There are no words that can adequately encompass the impact that Dinah and John have made on so many lives. Dinah was a force for goodness in everything that she did and that kind force is still here, warming hearts and inspiring thoughts. In an infinite universe, there is no such thing as an original event, neither a birth nor a death. She owns all her moments in time and space and can be truly proud of them. I will never visit a honey show, again, without expecting to bump into Dinah at some point, around the next corner: her arms full of exhibits; her smile beaming out. She will be there, always.

Rhodri Powell
Rhodri Powell
3 months ago

I have very fond memories of Dinah, in particular our time spent at the Royal Welsh Show. Dinah always had showing tips to offer, and was always keen for us to join forces to win prizes in the Association classes. When making mead I will always think of Dinah. Since starting beekeeping Dinah has always been a supporting presence.

Thankyou.

Ken and Karen Lim
Ken and Karen Lim
3 months ago

We met Dinah through the beekeeping society and she has been nothing but helpful from the time we started beekeeping with lots of useful suggestions and encouragement. She first came out to our hive as the bee inspector and was very supportive. I also knew her during a period of her illness and again she was very positive and stoic throughout. Dinah was extremely generous natured and when we lost our colony, she kindly donated a nuc with a queen that she had reared herself. We shall miss her personality at the beekeeping meetings and all her very helpful comments.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
3 months ago

Even though my husband Keith goes back to student days with memories of John in his year, we did not get to know John and Dinah properly until a couple of years ago since not long after qualifying John and Dinah moved to warmer climes for many years.

We met up very occasionally at Dental reunions and even though there were many present who I knew very well, I always found myself heading towards Dinah as she was such a warm, genuinely friendly, interesting lady with such a lovely welcoming smile.
At the last reunion we actually exchanged contact details and were looking forward to visiting an organic wild flower garden together, open to the public through the Yellow Book scheme. I had no idea Dinah and John were connected to bees at that point.

Time passed and just before the date of the Open Garden, Keith and I became the owners of a hive of bees, one May Saturday afternoon completely out of the blue. We had no idea where to turn or what do.
We had a friend, who had friend, who had recently given up her bee keeping and made contact with this person who immediately said that the best people to contact in this situation were John and Dinah Sweet. I couldn’t believe my ears as I had no idea that Dinah knew anything about bees, wild flowers yes but not bees!

John and Dinah were amazing and were with us the following morning. My abiding memory is of Dinah calmly reassuring and encouraging us, giving just enough information for us to assimilate and not at all overwhelm which could easily have discouraged us at that early introduction.
The following month, we sent out another SOS as we noticed many bees dying on the grass around the hive. Here comes Dinah with her calming presence and smile, straight from a North Cornwall Bee Show ( she must have been so tired but did not let on) and diagnosed the June Gap. A steep learning curve for us but thanks to Dinah’s calm encouragement and kindness, we persisted.

Prior to Dinah’s illness we met many times. I always felt relaxed and happy in her company and I miss her very much as will many people around the World, I’m sure.
We will all remember her beautiful smile.

Gareth Todd Jones
Gareth Todd Jones
3 months ago

Bee keeping is not for the fainthearted! As a novice the tuition I received from Dinah was (after some years now of reflection) the very best I could have wished for. Being consistently on the other end of the phone was a Godsend. Always calm, assured and extremely knowledgeable her solutions to problems were always superb learning curves.
Many thanks, Dinah. God bless you.
Gareth and Maralyn Todd Jones

Jane BRILLANTE
Jane BRILLANTE
3 months ago

It was with great sadness that I learned of Dinah passing away. Kind and gentle Dinah was a truly lovely woman. I remember her coming out to inspect our amazing colony of bees. She was so reassuring and encouraging.
The two bottles of mead that I learned to make with Dinah have pride of place on the welsh dresser in the kitchen.

Jane BRILLANTE
Jane BRILLANTE
3 months ago

It was with great sadness that I learned of Dinah passing away. Kind and gentle Dinah was a truly lovely woman. I remember her coming out to inspect our amazing colony of bees. She was so reassuring and encouraging.
The two bottles of mead that I learned to make with Dinah have pride of place on the welsh dresser in the kitchen.

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

Attached are a few of my favourite pics that I have of Dinah. You’ll see that she is smiling in all of them – as she is in all of those that didn’t get posted here.

Di was a wonderful person to be around and is greatly missed by us all.

C, T, R & A x

Rosemary
Rosemary
3 months ago

I will always remember Dinah for her swift and generous help in response to a crisis I was dealing with. My husband had been stung by one of my bees and had gone into anaphylactic shock. He was taken to hospital, and I knew I had to get my two beehives out of our garden, preferably before he came home from hospital. I couldn’t think how to set about moving them, so rang Dinah as at the time she was Chair of our Association. She and John were amazing. They came down from Caerphilly the next day, all the way to the Vale, strapped up my hives and took them back to their mountainside home. There they cared for the hives until I had managed to sort out what I was going to do with them. Many weeks later, Dinah and John then brought the hives back to a new site I had found.

I will be forever grateful to her for her matter-of-fact and cheerful kindness in so selflessly responding immediately by removing the hives which would have been a source of constant anxiety for us. She was a very special person, and she and John made a great team.

Alyson Quinn
Alyson Quinn
1 month ago

I was introduced to Dinah when her husband John and I worked together as University lecturers. She was a lovely friend to me, during that time, and always made me feel so welcome at her home in Tobago and, later, Wales. She was kind, generous, and also really good fun with a quick sense of humour. The pear tree that she and John gifted me when I moved into my new home is covered in blossom and buzzing bees every Spring and is a nice way to remember her.

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