Tribute To Dilys Price OBE
08 Jun 2020
It all began twenty years ago in a skydive centre in England. The sound of laughter could be heard in the distance emanating from a lady who was surrounded by a group of skydivers, seemingly entranced by her every word. Little did I know how much that first burst of laughter would go onto have such an incredible impact on my life, and the lives of so many others. Fast-forward five years to 2007, and once again that familiar laughter filled the room, but this time at Skydive Swansea, which had just opened its doors for the first time. As soon as I heard her laughter and set eyes on her, I instantly remembered her from years before. There was certainly no mistaking her for anyone else. It was Dilys.
For most people, the sight of a tiny-framed, white haired lady of a certain age at Skydive Swansea could only mean one thing – she must be a spectator supporting a friend or family member who would be doing a tandem skydive. But Dilys was no spectator. The stunned expressions on people’s faces would always raise a smile when Dilys would sling her parachute over shoulder and ask how long until the next jump. Some expressions would turn to concern when they realised that Dilys was, in fact, a solo skydiver. You could almost hear the murmurs suggesting that ladies of this age shouldn’t be jumping: it wasn’t ‘the norm’. But Dilys wasn’t just any normal lady; she was special for so many reasons.
For fellow skydivers at Skydive Swansea, Dilys was always a welcome sight, radiating energy and lighting up the drop zone with her presence. She made time for everyone, often seeking out nervous tandem jumpers and filling them with confidence and excitement encouraged by her passion and enthusiasm for the sport. Dilys had a magic about her, an instinctiveness to say exactly the right thing at the right time. She treated everyone with love and kindness, and her ever-sparkling eyes would draw people to her so that she could share her passion in order to help and guide others. We lost count how many spectators left with a booking form as a result of Dilys’s endless enthusiasm for skydiving. We joked that she should join our staff, being in charge of customer care! That was Dilys – she cared about everyone.
Dilys called the centre her ‘happy place’, choosing to visit even when she wasn’t jumping, usually being greeted by a mountain of cakes and endless cups of tea! We had the privilege of working with her on a BBC production alongside Gareth Thomas and the Silver Skydivers in a bid to encourage people to take on new adventures, regardless of age. This was a perfect opportunity for everyone to see Dilys at her best, doing what she loved.
Just before Dilys passed away, we spoke & in her own words said she was sliding down the rainbow quite joyfully & when she reached the end would fly high above our heads. What a beautiful angel she will make. We talked about how we would put a picture of her in the aircraft so that she could be with us on every skydive flight – the guardian angel of skydivers. She loved this idea and promised to fly high and watch over us. She will be missed by so many, but her legacy lives on.
As Dilys always said life is for living. She encouraged others to find a passion, be kind, give love, have fun, dance, never be afraid and help each other.
For Dilys, this is exactly how she lived. For others, it is how she will always be remembered.
Fly high Dilys forever in our hearts.