Teresa Pawlowska’s parents made their way to Britain in 1940 and joined Polish squadrons of the RAF and WRAF. They met at one of the many airfields they were posted to and were married at the end of the war. While they were stationed at Blairgowrie, Teresa was born in Edinburgh hospital in January 1946.
They hoped to return to Poland one day, so when Teresa started school at Ipswich Convent, she did not speak any English. Luckily, the other girls were keen to help, and Teresa progressed well. She had two brothers and a young sister. One of her friends at school was a cousin of Nick’s from Debenham. Teresa went on to study at Portsmouth College of Technology where Nick was on a pharmacy course.
After returning to Ipswich, Teresa had a job in the laboratory at Cranes with a very friendly group of chemists. Everything coming into the works, not only metals but such things as oil and coke had to be tested. Many of the valves were for Royal Navy ships so the metal content had to comply with extremely high standards.
Teresa and Nick married in 1971 and soon Teresa joined Nick at the shop (Wiggin’s Chemist which was on the corner of Berners Street and St Matthews Street) where they worked together for many years. Their daughter Giselle was born in 1977 followed by their son Seth in 1980. They inherited Teresa’s brains, and both did well at university.
On retirement, Teresa was busy with several organisations, which she had not had time to join before. After offering to help with teas one month at a meeting of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, the organiser had to give up, so Teresa and Nick took on the role for several years. Nick’s aunt Muriel Wiggin, giving up teaching at a girl’s school, taught English to foreign students at the Civic College. One of her friends was the retiring Minutes Secretary of the Ipswich Society, so in 2008 Teresa’s name was suggested for the job.
During her eleven years on the Ipswich Society Committee, Teresa not only kept valuable records of our meetings but was also a voice of reason on the Committee – often asking pertinent questions about the way forward and keeping us up to the mark on hygiene and many other practical considerations at events. She is much missed.
Nick Wiggin and Caroline Markham