By Darcy Reed from the February 2014 Edition
Friends and acquaintances of Freda were in for a huge surprise in early January when we received an email from her WRITTEN FROM MANZANILLO!! Yes, she is here for a short stay and the “welcome back” she received was as if for a dignitary – of which she has truly become over the years. Candy King and Dan Alnoch kindly opened their doors on the 22nd for a
‘Welcome Back’ party.
For those of you who are relatively new and are saying “Who’s Freda?” all you have to do is read the Manzanillo Sun monthly (www.manzanillosun.com) to enjoy the many articles she writes – now from Canada and the U.S. instead of Manzanillo which was her home for over fifteen years.
Mostly known for establishing the popular Manzamigos group that meets every Thursday, well-known as “Thirsty Thursday,” Freda and Nigel Rumford worked long and hard in building up the group from at first being part of a bicultural group of “Manzamigos” to their borrowing the name with the approval from their Mexican hosts. It has since been a meeting ground for short/long-term visitors, expats and the “to go” place where we have the opportunity to try different restaurants and, most importantly, garner new friends.
When my husband, Doug, and I initially ventured forth to our first Thirsty Thursday in 2004, there were perhaps 20 people gathered at the Sunset Lounge. Not being familiar with tequila and its effects after gulping several Margaritas, we were the ones with the lampshades on our heads! What an introduction!
“Thirsty Thursdays” are now on the list of things-to-do in Manzanillo and the Manzamigos has grown to over two hundred members.
Freda and Nigel were part of the five people to write the charter and to form Manzamigos. The other three were: Guillermo Gomez, William and Julie-Ruth Zeiner. Freda put together a ‘Shopping Translation’ book and a ‘Dining Out’ book as well as organized the Manzamigos newsletter with information on all things pertinent to the visitor or newcomer. She generated the work for the Web site which she caused her son Ian, to set up (He owns the Manzanillo Sun). Freda has served as a board member since the forming of the group and was voted in as the President before she had to leave Mexico for medical reasons. Two years after Nigel’s death Freda was diagnosed with cancer. She moved back to Canada for their excellent care and treatment and even managed a new marriage along the way.
Her surprise attendance at Thirsty Thursday earlier this month was a delight to her many friends – with an almost standing ovation when announced as being there. The hugs simply continued throughout the evening. Not a woman in the flower of youth, she still follows that break-neck schedule she has always maintained. Now she has Kirby Vickery, her husband, beside her through all of that sickness and health stuff! They are looking forward to an active future and travels in their RV.
And we look forward to seeing Freda and Kirby back her again for visits as it truly is her community, now embraced by both. We miss you always, Freda, but will see you again.