We would like to devote this section to the memory of our beloved colleague Lurdes Armengol Castells who left us the 2nd of October of 2017.
Lurdes shared a great deal of her professional career with the rest of the members of the Department and the whole UdL. She left us her calmed voice, her frankness and her committed and persistent spirit. We mourn and miss her and therefore we want to tribute her by devoting this special space in the Department’s web page.
Those who wish to write their contribution, condolences, or send a message may do so by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter by Enric Llurda
The first time I heard someone talking about her, the UdL did not even exist yet. In Lleida there were university sections that depended on 3 different universities. I belonged to a section of the UB and Lourdes was at the School of Agronomy of the UPC. When the UdL was formed, we talked about creating a department with all the faculty members of the branch of English Philology and I remember hearing that the agronomy professor had said that she was considering whether to join us or stay at the Department of Horticulture, Fruit Growing, Botany and Gardening. Finally, she accepted to come with us and she did it with a full commitment, as everything she did. She did not get on board of a cause without doing it with her own judgement. She would think it through and once she was decided on it, she was totally dedicated. With persistence, determination and patience. Without being too loud, but also letting her voice be heard when necessary.
From all this years that I have known her, I reached the conclusion that she would apply this way of functioning in all aspects of her life. Like it has been the case of maybe the most important decision in her life: the adoption of Sasha. I do not know how long did it take her to take this decision, but what I know for sure is that once she made up her mind, she did not change the course of action under any circumstance or impediment, and I recall there were lots of them. From the moment she took the decision, she poured herself in it, until her body did not allow her to do so…
At the University she would also work with determination and discretion. She often did not intervene in the department’s meetings, but when she thought that she had to say something, she would say it regardless of what the majority thought and said. Also, if she gave more thought to something that we had already discussed some days before but she did not like, she would say it again, as well as the things that had been well done and well said. Sometimes she would surprise us with her deep and intense reflections (she liked to give a lot of thought to things) but she would always do it with tenderness and honesty.
We shared some projects and car trips in which we had the chance to talk, especially one day in which we drove towards the opposite direction for 50 km until we realized that we had made a mistake. I think we both found it easy to disconnect from the world that surrounds us… We mainly talked about work, but sometimes we would also talk about other things, human relations and people.
To sum up, Lourdes was a discreet person at work, good-natured, someone that would never raise her voice to anyone, but at the same time she was determinate and obstinate in her convictions. She would never keep quiet when she thought she had something to say, both to show disagreement but also to express what we frequently forget to say: that she agreed on something, that she was thankful for some kind words, that she applauded an attitude or that she admired someone’s capacity… In short, she always added something valuable to the group. We shared projects, articles, and conference papers. She rarely took the lead but you could always count on her. If she gave a “yes”, you knew that it was always a reliable and trustworthy “yes”.
All this is what we had the good fortune to enjoy during all the time we shared with her.
Farewell message from Nela Bureu
I learned to accept you and respect you as a colleague, in an intimate way, without barriers. I liked to feel that you were there.
You talked in a low tone, like a humming that sometimes was hard to get, but I was always able to understand and appreciate your firm and honest character, without shrillness.
I want to believe that you are not in a place of light and calm.
I will always remember you with tender love.
Message from Carmen Rueda
I remember her as if it was only yesterday when we started studying English Philology at the UB and all those college years. After that, we continued being colleagues for many years at the UPC, where we even took the TEU public examinations together. Later, when I was part of the UdL, she counted on us for a Master Degree that she organized in Lleida and finally, we were again colleagues in the project Quantum Leap. I remember her with tenderness and with her low and calm voice.
It has been many years, and this sudden and terrible news causes me great sorrow. I am therefore joining you in your mourn.
I would like to dedicate Mary Elizabeth Frye words to you, Lourdes:
Big hung and my condolences,
Cristina Raileanu, “In Memoriam”
All your life hung on fate
Hopes and dreams ended that date, you
Took to heaven our tears and our memories most
Precious and sheer. All you leave behind
is your wisdom, like the falling leaves of
autumn. You fought for life, yes, you were brave!
But your enemy, your grave, was always in
front of you. It took your colour and
strength too, but couldn’t
catch your dignity, or your wings
because you were free. Angels would guard your
sleep while your students start to reap from the harvest
of your passion that you taught us like a craftsman.
Rest in peace and do not worry.
From the dark night and blurry
sun will rise and
In the memory of LurdesArmengol
I met Lurdes when she started as an English professor at ETSEA which back then depended on the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. I think it was on 1991.
When the foundation of the University of Lleida started, together with the foundation of new departments, she wanted to join the Department of Fruit and Vegetable Growing, Botanic and Gardening. A department with which she maintained a very good relation and in which I was part of it too. Few years later, she left it in order to join the Department of English, more because of administrative duties than because it was her will.
I had the opportunity to follow some English courses that she taught to some professors in the evenings, a couple of day per week. These classes allowed me to have a better acquaintance with her and to know how discreet but full of human qualities she was.
She developed a close friendship with a woman that had recently joined my research group. Her name was Amela Kuc. She was a biologist that participated in an asylum seeker programme for refuges that were escaping form the Bosnian War. If I recall correctly, this friendship continued up until her last days. Both, Lurdes and Amela helped me to see and reflect on how to see things and the insignificant value of some worries. One had to focus on the relationships between people and find time for oneself, the family and friends.
Something I can still remember vividly is when Lurdes tried to explain to Amela the meaning of some words. That day the word was “subtle”. When she could not find any synonyms or examples that would help Amelato better understand the meaning of it she said: an example of subtle is Jordi… I felt very gratified and I now keep this memory with great esteem.
Thank you Lurdes. I will always remember you.