Marion was the oldest and longest standing member of the St Julians community until unfortunately she had to go into a care home after a fall a year ago and died there of heart failure on Christmas Day aged 95.
Marion was born in 1922 in East Dulwich. She grew up there, nurtured by her parents, who were school teachers, and her “Granny Pearson” who was very much part of the family.
Marion went to school at The Mary Datchelor School, a traditional, well respected girl’s school in Camberwell Grove where she obtained a Higher School Certificate in English, Geography and Art. School was followed by a three-year Art Course at Goldsmiths College followed by a year’s teacher training course at The Institute of Education.
Her first job was teaching art at Tewkesbury High School for Girls and Tewkesbury Grammar School for boys. She stayed in Tewkesbury for a couple of years before moving back to Dulwich to teach art at Clapham County Secondary School.
Marion first came to St Julians in 1957. Her role was partly secretarial as she was a proficient shorthand typist and partly to care for the young people who were living in the children’s wing at that time.
She was also the Club Secretary for many years; processing all of the applications for membership, keeping meticulous records and taking minutes at all the meetings. Marion was quietly busy and constantly observant. She had a great eye for detail and, she, along with long standing resident Ian Gibson-Smith, were the style police, making decisions about pictures, lighting, furniture and wall colours. Many of you will remember her particular passion for green, which featured strongly in the colour scheme here for many years.
Marion was also a keen gardener and took on various patches of the grounds, most particularly the wall running up by the orchard. She and Ian took great care in the placing of trees and benches, in the gardens.
Marion was a probably the most long standing and regular customer of the Bar and Restaurant. Not being able to cook she took many of her meals from the restaurant.
One of Marion’s enduring passions was swimming and she always had a daily swim. She was keen to be the first in to the pool at the beginning of the season. This daily ritual continued right into her 93rd year.
Marion had a very active and engaged life at St Julians. Marion fulfilled many different roles in the Club and in the community here, providing vital but discreet cement in the fabric of St Julians. In her final years here Marion slowed down a bit. She no longer got up at 06.30 every morning to cash up the tills and sort the post. She stopped these tasks in her late 80’s. But she always remained committed to the daily life of the community.