A memorial for Ashkhain will take place during the 11.00 a.m. Armenian Orthodox Service at St Sarkis Armenian Church, Iverna Gardens, Kensington, London, W8 6TP on Sunday 3rd December 2006 followed at about 12.30 p.m. by a short fifteen minute dedicated remembrance.

This will be followed by a gathering from 1.30 p.m. just around the corner at the Builders Arms, 1 Kensington Court Place, Kensington, London W8 5BJ to celebrate Ashkhain's life in her manner.

 All those whose lives were touched by Ashkhain are welcome.

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Margaret Coggans

Posted at Sunday, 03 September 2006 19:35
I did not know Ashkain Skipwith.
By chance I read the announcement of her death in the Daily Telegraph and logged on to the website for further information. I was deeply moved by all who wrote but especially by the words written by Chantney and Sapna. What a wonderful, wonderful woman she must have been! I am so sorry for the grief her family have to bear, but am sure that their happy memories will give them the strength to face the days ahead. Time really does heal.
Susan Andrea Worth Smith

Posted at Saturday, 02 September 2006 15:51
"roll sausage roll" was one of her favorite lines, and my goodness she did! She also made the desert garden bloom with jasmine, bouganvillea, and arugola. She even had all my Italian friends clamoring for her receipes when she came to Assisi.

Beautiful friend indeed.
Yallah habibtiy.
Dr Druce

Posted at Friday, 01 September 2006 16:52
Ashkhain flat out on the floor of the Regency Drawing Room of Moorhen Hall after yet another splendid meal in the Long Library - memories are made of this
Katy Arnander

Posted at Thursday, 31 August 2006 11:07
In memory of darling Ashkhain,

A dear friend - her grace, warmth, generosity, fun and charm will always be remembered. She has been a part of my life, and our whole family, for many years where, in Saudi Arabia, she first wowed us all with her glamour and wit.

Cookery, Kenzo, Riding, Gaza, Gracious Hostess, Knitted Fruit Jumpers, The Evening Standard, Proverbs, Joseph, Red Nails, High Heeled Boots, Chelsea Arts Club, Creative, Armenia, Devoted Aunty, Sister, Daughter and Step-Mum – some images that conjour up vivid, heartfelt memories of a unique and wonderful lady – one whom will remain forever alive in our memories.

'What we do in life, echoes in eternity.'

She will not be forgotten.

Katy xxxxxxx
Brijesh Mathur

Posted at Thursday, 31 August 2006 03:10
August 30, 2006
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Brijesh Dada & Neena Bhabi Mathur (Lansdowne, VA )
Dinesh Dayal

Posted at Thursday, 31 August 2006 03:09
Dear Shakhey & Suraj
We are indeed very sorry to hear about the sad demise of Ashkhain.Passing away of a dear one is always very painful but we have to bow before the Almighty and accept His Wish.
Kapila & Dinesh Dayal (Delhi, India)
Alok Dayal

Posted at Thursday, 31 August 2006 03:08
August 29, 2006
Dearest Shakey (Mainji)
We were so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of all of us are with you at this time of sorrow.
Shanta-Nalini-Chandini-Vivek-Alok Parul, Neha, Ankkit, Akshay & Devyani (Kanpur, India)
Marsha D.

Posted at Thursday, 31 August 2006 03:07
August 28, 2006
To Ashkhain's Family:
My heartfelt condolences - my thoughts and prayers are with you. I worked with Ashkhain on Unit 57 for a few years, and I miss her dearly.
To Ashkhain (some of the things I should have shared with you...);
I miss you! I cannot believe that you are no longer here - However, I will carry you in my heart and celebrate all of the things that you are. I will forever remember you as that special person who would always lend a helping hand, who always had a smile for me, who always made me smile, who always laughed that fabulous laugh, who always danced and sang at work - most notably The Supremes' "Stop In The Name of Love". I thank you for being you and making a difference, and I thank God for sharing you with all of us. I hope the next part of your journey is just as fantastically adventurous as the first!
Marsha D. (Calgary, AB )
Carol Westberg

Posted at Thursday, 31 August 2006 03:07
August 28, 2006
Dear Ashkhain's family...my thoughts and prayers are with you. I cannot even imagine the emotions you all are going thru.Ashkhain was one of my favorite nurses on Unit 57 when I had my stem cell transplant in 2005...I thank her for making my journey easier!May your good memories of times with her make your journey easier.
Gentle Hugs...
Carol Westberg (Calgary, AB )
Alix Rodrigues

Posted at Thursday, 31 August 2006 03:06
August 27, 2006
It is a lot for those who have been left behind to understand the reasons why things have happened, and harder still to move through each day when it feels a part of you is missing. But memories are like the ripest peaches on a tree, when sadness comes, reach out and pick one, hold it, embrace the fragrance, savour the nectar, surrender to the wonder of it, be swept away. And remember all the beauty that she was, the grace, and the inspiration. Close your eyes and give yourself over to it, and maybe even dance.
I send great love and support to all of you who have been left behind.
alix rodrigues (vancouver, BC )
Mary Salloum

Posted at Thursday, 31 August 2006 03:05
August 25, 2006
Vrej, Shakeh and all the family,
We are saddened by the loss of your very loved sister. My love and prayers go out to all the family at this time of deep sorrow.I will always remember all the joy and happiness that we all shared with Ashkhain. She will be dearly missed by all.May your memories bring you comfort. With love.
Mary Salloum (Calgary, AB )

Posted at Wednesday, 30 August 2006 16:31
Following is the tribute that Chantey and I (Sapna) wrote and read for our Dear Aunt Ashkhain at the service held in Calgary yesterday:

To say that we idolised our aunt Ashkhain would be an understatement. Imagine yourself a child, waiting in anticipation for the Queen to arrive. Such excitement and happiness filled our hearts. Her arrival always came with beautiful and fun gifts and the latest in London fashion; wooden lady birds on wheels, funky stockings, leather bomber jackets, the must have mini, a glorious new sweater dripping with hand knit cherries and grapes, licorice allsorts, or bobbles and stripes, and that season's pair of Kelian boots, which we would oooh and ahhh over until she gave them up.

As children we admired Ashkhain's beauty, her worldliness, her eccentricities, and her high esteem. She'd light up our summer barbecue nights as she took to the dance floor with Patrick, he in his white linen suit and she in her most elegant, with a scarf low on the hips for belly dancing. Standing beneath her we'd watch her hips move with ease as her fingers chimed. She taught us to love our roots, and to celebrate culture and life whenever possible. As we grew older, Ashkhain's life stories and experiences enlightened and evolved our admiration for her and helped us to shape our own views of the world.

Ashkhain was born in Jaffa and grew up in Gaza, Palestine. This is where, in the comfort of her Armenian community, her love for the Arab world began. Through her formative years she experienced the joys of family, food, song and sunshine, as well as the pains of war and tragedy, all of which gave her a deep empathy for humanity.

It's no surprise that Ashkhain came to be such a wonderful nurse. Early in her career, she returned to Gaza to work at the Christian Missionary Hospital and then went on to specialize in oncology at the Royal Marsden in London and the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. Ashkhain was loved and respected by her patients, their families and her colleagues, though she was always very humble about the praise that she received.

Ashkhain's career as a nurse began in London in her early 20's, as did a new phase of her life. She surrounded herself by creative and inspiring people who went on to become life long friends. It was in England that her appreciation for a nice sherry, a platter of raw oysters at the pub, breakfast at the Chelsea Arts Club, the English countryside, travel to the Greek Islands and small Mexican villages, and of course a nightly dose of Coronation Street came to be. Though circumstances resulted in her moving to and from London several times throughout her life, she always maintained a very strong connection to England visiting often and speaking of it constantly. We were so fortunate to have had our aunt to visit in London where we both spent holidays being spoiled and inspired, walking the high streets, rummaging through antique markets, admiring her rose garden, being influenced by her amazing sense of décor, choosing wool for the next sweater she'd be knitting for us, learning to sit quietly absorbing the power of an Armenian hymn sung in Church, and cuddling in bed with Ashkhain, drinking tea and pretending to help as she cleverly solved the cryptic crossword puzzle in the Evening Standard.

As fate would have it, Ashkhain eventually returned to the Middle East, moving to Saudi Arabia with her husband and two step children, Sacha and Zara. Re immersed in the Arab world, she rode horses through the dessert, entertained the masses with her delicious cooking, and kept everyone on their toes with her sharp wit. There she published three books of Middle Eastern cookery, and started what came to be a collection of three books of Arabic proverbs, which she co-authored. Ashkhain was a great storyteller and derived such pleasure from recounting all of the fortunes that bestowed her.

We feel that we were the lucky ones to have had Ashkhain living here in Canada for the last ten years. She cared selflessly and compassionately for our grandmother. Having her close by allowed our relationship to blossom and deepen. We both agree that never a decision has been made during the course of our lives without consideration for what Ashkhain would advise. All of our greatest achievements have come with her by our sides and in our minds. We took to heart the instructions she inscribed to us in her first book of proverbs, “When Old Cocks Crow, Listen Well!” She always taught us to aim high by first and foremost seeing ourselves for all that we can be. She believed in me (Chantey) as an artist and I thank her for giving me the confidence to put on shows and display and sell my art. Without her I may not have done it.

And in our darkest hours, she held us close and offered unconditional comfort, assurance and guidance. Watching her grieve and support my sister (Sapna) in what has been the most challenging experience of her life, showed me just how deeply connected we are.

Ashkhain will be dearly missed by so many people around the world. The emails, phone calls and letters from abroad are a testament to the number of lives that she touched. Each correspondence has come with stories of adventure, friendship, and day-to-day memories of life with Ashkhain.

We will remember Ashkhain in so many ways and we will attempt to carry on with the legacy that she has imparted upon us. She was an elegant woman, full of grace, intelligence, kindness, humour, generosity, integrity, creativity and without dispute, she made the best salad dressing of all . Please join us in our prayers, that Ashkhain's soul be remembered and cherished and that she rest in peace.

We can see you now Ashkhain, with your radiant smile and polished nails, wearing a Kenzo suit and wedge heals, your arms reaching towards the beat of the tabla...and in your charming way you ask...Shall We Dance?

sacha dooley

Posted at Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:37
we are so sorry for your loss. our prayers are with the whole family.
adam, sacha and avian (salloum) dooley
jon vock

Posted at Tuesday, 29 August 2006 20:15
My condolencies to all her family around the world. As a person who cooks for a living, her recipies and books have been reading companions for many years since and for many years to come, bringing back childhood memories of desert cooking and camping picnics!
May we all meet again at the giant BBQ beach party one day.

Christopher Vock

Posted at Tuesday, 29 August 2006 15:55
The first time I met Askhain was in Jeddah,1973 and the last time was in 1985,the year I returned to Switzerland for good.

We lost touch... untill several months ago, when out of the blue,I received her email message. She spoke of her illness and made me promise to make her laugh with funny mails, which I did. You know Askhain, she could twist you around her little finger till one could no longer resist ! I sent her the "white light" & shall light the white candle today in her memory.

The only truly dead are those that are forgotten. So there you go! We shall miss her but she will not be forgotten.

Posted at Saturday, 26 August 2006 19:49
Ashkhain - a mainstay of my life and a true mother to my children for over 30 years. Your uniqueness gave us, and many, many others, richness, strength and meaning. White candles will burn for you in perpetuity in our hearts for you are sorely missed. There is so much more to say, but that is private between us. Be in peace
Michael Arnander

Posted at Saturday, 26 August 2006 08:28
We'll all miss you terribly.
You brought joy to our lives.
You'll live in our hearts always.
With great love
Michael, Debs, Ellie & Maddy

Posted at Saturday, 26 August 2006 01:26
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