We have received the sad news that our much loved friend Olga Zilinskas has passed away.
Olga was a tenant with Rochdale Council and RBH for 43 years and has been volunteering as long as anyone can remember. She fled Vienna as a teenage girl in 1945, before eventually settling in Rochdale with her husband.
Olga filled her 88 years with kindness and concern for others and was passionate about making sure local services were fair for everyone.
She will be greatly missed both in her local community on Kirkholt and with everyone she knew at RBH.
We asked Olga's friend, our former Board Member Philomena Renshaw, to share her memories of Olga. She said:
“I have known my friend Olga for over 25 years. Her death has left me with memories of a determined woman who was always concerned about the people of Kirkholt and tenants for Rochdale Council and then RBH.
As well as attending tenants meetings and Kirkholt community centre meetings, Olga was delighted when we got our own TRAK office on the strand. This opened up a new world for Olga, who was fascinated by the office computers, which she found so useful, especially for communicating and playing online games. She grabbed all the training and help available and then bought herself a laptop; as a silver surfer she loved her email, card games, puzzles and backgammon. Relatively recently, Olga got a new toy - her iPhone - but sometimes panic struck and things disappeared!
We would go on shopping trips to town and have a coffee where Olga was always delighted to meet fellow tenants and discuss housing issues - if she found that they were a new immigrant, she would talk about her long life in this country, far away from her family.
Olga had wonderful culinary skills - we made soups and stir-fries, and she introduced me to new vegetables and fruit. We had lovely meals together. Olga always had time and a treat for local children and if you needed to go somewhere, you knew you could always leave the kids with her and you knew that they would be safe and entertained.
Olga will be missed by so many and I will miss my wise and wonderful friend. RIP.”