Sybil Shaw - at home with the Lord


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Sybil Shaw went home to be with the Lord on Saturday 5 September 2020.

Sybil Shaw has been a member of GRN Australia since 1973, five months before she married Alex. Sybil trained as a recordist and was prolific. She recorded some 650 programs in more than 400 languages across 18 different countries. She spent significant amounts of time in: India, Kenya, PNG, Solomon Islands, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

In amongst all that travelling and recording Sybil stopped in Kenya where Victor was born. Victor travelled extensively with them during his childhood. Victor is now married to Claire and has three children (with one on the way). They live in Tasmania where Victor is rector of St George's Anglican Church, Battery Point.

Deb Marcusse went to PNG with Sybil and Alex in 1979. She remembers going, her and Sybil, to a language group on the coast across from Daru (very southern coast of PNG, not that far from Australia). They flew to Daru and took a skiff, powered by 6 horsepower motor, to the mainland. The waves were almost as high as the length of the skiff. Deb thought that Sybil was greener than her, but Sybil never wavered. Deb and Sybil "captured" that language. Deb and others captured many more, in the Western Province, because of Alex and Sybil's good training and perseverance.

Sybil is remembered as an opportunistic recordist who was always looking for someone speaking a language that she could record. She had a knack for recording the gospel in a way that was culturally relevant, so people could relate well to the gospel message they heard in their own language. She was focussed, indefatigable and willing to face hardship in her efforts to record another language. She has been described as the backbone of GRN's recording program in the 1970's and into the 1990's.

Sybil also played an important role in training recordists. She got alongside people at training courses and was a wonderful model in field trips where trainees could watch her in action and develop their own skills under her capable supervision.

Sybil was always hospitable, welcoming people into her home. She enjoyed working and befriending people of many different cultures. Sybil always had her notebook on hand to record people and matters requiring prayer.

As Alzheimer's was taking hold, Sybil was still travelling up to PNG twice a year to record recently translated scripture twice a year. She sat in a tiny storeroom, in the stifling heat, and recorded all day for days on end. Many a younger person would not have kept up the pace.

Sybil's suffering has come to an end. We grieve her departure. We rejoice at the memories of a remarkable lady who loved her Lord. We rejoice to know that she is now rejoicing in her eternal home!

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