Lynda Soltysiak - Beloved Friend and Alumna
Lynda Frances Soltysiak, neé Wright
Born 13 November 1963, Died 30 December 2019
Lynda has the positive phrase to give to everyone at the school, which she wrote on her Facebook page before she died: Dance like nobody’s watching, love like you have never been hurt, sing like nobody’s listening; live like it's heaven on earth.” Alexandra College can be thanked for the development of Lynda Soltysiak as an amazing person.
Lynda had a difficult start to life as she was adopted at birth, but found her way at Alexandra College where she met many friends who she kept until the end of her life. She passed her Leaving Certificates, completed secretariat school completing her Pitman and other exams and was generally influenced in her character by being at the school. She was both a very positive person and an example to other girls in the school in that she valued people and had a kind word or smile for everyone. Many of the other girls recall and remember how kind and thoughtful Lynda was to them. Lynda also found a hidden love for history while in school. She loved music and passed her exams on Piano and was a top choral singer, performing later at the Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Albert Hall in London and many Cathedrals. During her time at school, she learnt good moral values and girl guiding. In London she became a pack leader. She was keen on voluntary work and won an award from the NHS for her voluntary work on Guys Hospital Children’s wards. She gave blood to the NHS transfusion service regularly and was a support of a major homelessness charity. She regularly donated to her church and was active in the choir in London.
Lynda loved sports and had fond memories of playing Hockey and Athletics and won many awards on sports day at the school. She also was an excellent swimmer which later resulted in an interest in sub aqua sports.
Lynda wasn’t an exceptional academic student, but the rounded education made her determined, independent and a person who never quitted on her goals. On coming to London for work, Lynda went to Birkbeck College in London and got an Honours Degree in History at London University. She did a Masters level course in the History of Medicine all while working. She went to Southbank University and got a Postgraduate Diploma in Management and completed a number of leadership courses at work. She worked hard becoming a Business Manager in the NHS and got the full Prince 2 Project Management qualifications and all the Information technology ITIL qualifications possible. As a result, she was a full member of the Royal Society of Medicine since 2010 and also an Associate Member of the British Computer Society. Lynda also completed a Diploma in Neurolinguistic Programming for Business and was a Member of the Chartered Management Institute.
Lynda touched so many lives everywhere: she was Chair of the London Branch of the Alexandra College Alumnae Guild – and enjoyed giving something back to the school. She is fondly remembered for her hard work and she wrote regular reports for the school’s annual year book and kept the branch going when others have ended.
Lynda had a curiosity of mind. Lynda was always active in part time - at the time of her death she was about to start advanced courses on digital and street photography to a high level at evening class and was often seen with a camera in her hand practicing her skills. Lynda also was learning to knit and do home crafts. She was also very technically minded and willing to learn new things even if they were difficult. She became a director of a property company in order to help her local community and set up a community partnership between business and local people. They secured a grant for high speed broadband in her area, which was successful and now operates in the area she lived after her death in London.
You could not have had a better Alexandrian – talented in so many things yet modest.
But it was history that Lynda really loved and you could often find her in a museum, or going on holiday with her husband to historical places of interest. She was reading history books and novels on famous people until she died, sadly of breast cancer only aged 56. On getting her diagnosis she didn’t cry or flinch, but lived every moment and stayed strong, never giving up and being loyal to her friends and family until the end. There is no doubt she would have liked to have continued her work for the school in London and at her memorial service over 300 people came to it in Covent Garden, London including the President of the Guild from Dublin and many former students from the class of 82’.
The purpose of setting up a history award at the school is to remember Lynda but also to inspire others that you should never give up as a girl; if you are determined enough you can achieve anything and you can touch many lives as she did. She loved history because the past can inform the present and studying history teaches us to organise material, to have an enquiring and challenging mind and to review moral judgements which is an essential characteristic for a successful female leader.