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Obituary for Kaye Hoste

who died in Andorra on 23rd November 1999

By Mary Graham-Watson

I remember the first time I heard about Kaye: I had been away and when I got back Charles said he had just met a most interesting person called Kaye Hoste. Well, I suppose all wives are slightly on notice when they return after being away for some time and there husband says “Oh darling, I have just met the most interesting and fun person etc. and I would like to ask her around” !!

Kaye first came here in 1970 while she was still living in Rhodesia but after she retired she decided to make her permanent home in Andorra.

The Hoste family originally came from Holland and settled in Norfolk in a house in what would now be on the Sandringham Estate and there is a pub near there called the Hoste Arms. She was born in Canada where her father had emigrated and her early years were spent on their farm in northern British Columbia. She and her brother and sister had an ideal if unsupervised childhood, as her mother was never able to come in terms with the hard life in northern Canada and hated the absence of any culture. The family returned then to England for a short period only to go back to Canada this time to Nova Scotia where Kaye went to school. The start of the Second World War saw the Hoste family back in England and Kaye joined the Motorised Transport Service and went through the Blitz as an ambulance driver. In 1945 she volunteered to go to Germany and soon became involved with ENSA, meeting all the well-known theatre people of those days. After a disastrous marriage she decided to leave England and go to Africa, where her father in his young days had travelled with Rhodes from South Africa to Rhodesia.  After paying her passage she had £10 in her pocket.

On the boat out to Africa she met someone who gave her an introduction to a newspaper Editor in Salisbury and from then on she went from strength to strength, organising and arranging the advertising for the country’s largest engineering company, a job which entailed her travelling throughout Rhodesia and Zambia, generally alone in her baby Fiat, and meeting the interesting people who came out both before and at independence.

With Kaye one will never solve the conundrum: “Is it out Hereditary Tendencies or our Environment which influences us more?”  Kaye was a mixture – her early years in the vastness of Canada  – the war Germany – and then Africa – all contributed to making her independent and self-reliant, to which she brought a great sense of humour (sometimes vulgar!), and a love of partying and stories. Without all these, she could not have survived and would not have been the person we all knew and loved – and were occasionally infuriated by.

Her many friends will miss her. In her last months she was given enormous assistance and time by the Helpline group of the CIA and she was always grateful for this

Requiescant in Pace

Mary Graham Watson

Published Inter-Comm March 2000