On Friday the 23rd of October 2015, sex workers and friends gathered together in Hyde Park, Perth to remember and mourn the passing of Pippa O’Sullivan, also well known as Grace Bellavue.
It was an intimate gathering filled with laughter, scotch, tears, balloons and Pippa’s favourite songs in a park scattered with red umbrellas.
Carmel Crème prepared a beautiful tribute to Pippa which was read out to those attending:
“PIPPA WAS TRULY AN AMAZING WOMAN WHO TOUCHED THE LIVES OF EVERYONE WHO KNEW HER, OR KNEW OF HER THROUGH HER WRITINGS. Her literary skills were far beyond her years and the way she viewed the world was unique & COMPLEX, BUT her wisdom AND INSIGHT surpassed MOST. HER SENSE OF HUMOUR WAS AS WICKED AS SHE WAS. WHAT MATTERED MOST TO PIPPA WERE PEOPLE, SHE WOULD DROP EVERYTHING TO HELP YOU WHETHER SHE KNEW YOU OR NOT. SHE ALSO INSPIRED PEOPLE TO PURSUE THEIR DREAMS, WHEN THEY DIDN’T BELIEVE THEY COULD. Pippa WAS ALSO a great campaigner for women’s rights, the rights of sex workers and people with mental health issues. SOMETHING WE ARE ALL TRULY GRATEFUL FOR.
Pippa posted this on her FaceBook page, which at the time really stood out to me…
“in my mind in any relationship there is no I, there will never be a you and I, only a very tightly bonded period where collectively we can help ourselves and others”.
I will miss Pippa, as we all will, but I CAN’T say goodbye because when Pippa said she wanted to go home she meant the otherside, I WOULD LIKE TO THINK we will meet again one day.
PIPPA LOVED HER FAMILY AND THEY WERE ALL INCREDIBLY CLOSE, OUR THOUGHTS GO OUT TO THEM ALL, HER PARTNER TIM AND HER BEST FRIEND DEB.
TWO VERY SPECIAL FRIENDS OF Pips who couldn’t be here today is Kate Reynolds, PIPPA INSPIRED KATE TO RECORD THE SONG ‘SKINNY LOVE’ WHICH KATE RERECORDED LAST WEEK IN PIPPAS HONOUR .
ALSO LILY FURY WHO AS PIPPA SAID “WAS THE ONE PERSON THAT SHE TRULY CONNECTED WITH ON EVERY LEVEL”
WHEREVER YOUR SILVER THREADED WINGS HAVE TAKEN YOU PIPPA I HOPE YOU ARE AT PEACE, I HOPE YOU KNOW HOW TRULY LOVED YOU ARE BY SO MANY AND HOW YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. YOU MADE YOUR MARK ON THIS EARTH AND NO ONE CAN ASK MORE OF YOU THAN THAT.”
This was followed by other workers saying how they came across Pippa/Grace and how she influenced and inspired them through her writing and advocacy. We played “Skinny Love” when we released red balloons in Pippa’s honour, with one rebellious balloon getting itself stuck under the pergola!
Everyone then had a scotch for Pippa, even the non-drinkers amongst us! And some of us had another! We played Pippa’s favourite music and the last of us didn’t leave until a few hours later.
It was a beautiful memorial for an amazing woman who will be missed, and remembered always. Many thanks go out to Carmel Crème for organizing this tribute to Pippa, it was greatly appreciated by those in Perth who were unable to attend the funeral in Adelaide. The WA sex worker community thanks you, and thank you to all who attended.
**Please note that all photographs were taken with permission and we were unable to get a full group photo as not everyone is comfortable having their picture taken
To read Pippa’s writings please see: https://gracebellavue.wordpress.com/