Local Face: Lin Seely

Gerlinde (Lin) Baier was born on a cold summer’s day in July 1964 in a town close to the Bavarian borders in Austria. Shortly afterwards, her parents relocated the family including her 2 sisters, who are 15 and 17 years older than she is, to Baden, a lovely spa town on the doorstep of Vienna. She grew up in this architecturally and historically glorious setting completing her education in Baden and then trained as a travel agent. She worked in project management over the next 21 years mainly in Vienna.

Lin travelled extensively through Europe, touring the British Isles and fell in love with this country. As luck would have it, she met a wonderful English man, Jack Seely, fell in love with him and made the “big” move to Sydenham where they were married.

Lin started as a Supervisor at a chemist in Chinnor and despite being hopelessly homesick, her many new friends and kind local people made everything easier and she soon realised that life is really good as long as you accept challenges with open arms and an open heart.

In 2002 Lin and Jack moved to Aylesbury, where they still live. With it came the opportunity to contribute to, and to put back into the local community.

Her successful response to an advert in the Bucks Herald (which she keeps neatly cut out and stuck to a white sheet of paper in a folder called “My Life”) took her in an unexpected direction. She started as Manager of the Florence Nightingale Hospice Shop in Wendover and embraced this completely different experience feeling that she could potentially make a change to the lives of others.

Lin and her volunteers in the Wendover Hospice Shop worked tirelessly to raise the necessary funds for the Hospice in Stoke Mandeville. A few of the many missions and aims were to make it a focal point in the community, a pleasant place to come and receive a warm welcome, relax, enjoy browsing, pick up a bargain, offload one’s troubles, share a joke and come back knowing you would be treated as a valued customer and friend.

Lin always felt that the same warm welcome kept the volunteers loyal and dedicated and doing whatever they could to make shopping a joyful experience while at the same time feeling good about doing one’s bit for Charity.

Lin says, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Wendover community, regulars, people who came to visit us from far beyond the borders of Wendover and especially the volunteers, for receiving me so warmly into their midst. I never for one minute felt unwelcome. It was a joy and pleasure to work for and with you and serve the community for 10 years. I am leaving the Hospice Shop to pursue different things in life.

Thank you again so much for everything you gave and taught me, it has been an absolute pleasure. I am sure we will see each other again in the future.”

P.S. from Casper the Labradoodle: “I moved in with my family as a hopefully much loved addition in 2007, and would like to thank all the people who have known me, stroked and cuddled me, cooed at me, sometimes walked me and threw in the occasional treat. I will miss you all furry much.”