Fitting monument to memory of Sheila Sfrijan

Date published: 17 July 2017

When Sheila Sfrijan died in 2015 her husband Dianu decided to create a lasting and poignant legacy for his beloved wife, a librarian who had dedicated her life to helping others, inspiring generations of people with her love of books, charming outlook and helpful personality.

Dianu created a heritage, cultural and spiritual centre, complete with a library and community hub, in his home country of Romania.

Two years on the pioneering project, which will provide learning opportunities for thousands of under privileged children, is set to open in the north-east town of Varatic.

The impressive two storey design is 500 square feet and housed next to the world famous Varatic Monastery run by nuns from the Romanian Orthodox Church.

It is a fitting monument, to a well led life helping others, and, movingly, a specially designed bust of Sheila will be located in the library entrance area.

Sheila’s dedicated and long-lasting work for Rochdale Council has also been captured by Dianu, in a beautifully designed book ‘Speaking with Sheila’. The book can be found in libraries across the borough.

Speaking about the inspiration behind creating a legacy to Sheila’s life, Dianu said: “It’s been such an emotional two years, but I am absolutely delighted the new library, which will be at the heart of the local community, will shortly be open to the public.

“I would like to show my gratitude to my friend and manager, the poet Emilia Tutuianu who, due to the highest appreciation and love for Sheila, put her soul into helping me to build this place of culture. Sheila’s life was all about helping and supporting others, so I wanted a project that was in keeping with her personality.

“Sheila loved working for the council, inspiring so many people through a love of reading and learning. This project will provide a ladder of opportunity for thousands of children. That is a lasting legacy for Sheila I am so proud of.”

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for libraries, said: “This is such a touching story and I am thrilled for Dianu that the project has been successfully completed. Sheila inspired, supported and helped so many people throughout her life.

"It is fitting that Sheila’s remarkable spirit lives on thanks to this visionary project, which will inspire generations of people for years to come.”

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