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‘Generous’ Marjie’s religion was one of ‘kindness to people and animals’

Marjorie Manley died last month after she was diagnosed with cancer at the end of last year

12 July, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Marjorie Manley 

HEALTH centre worker Marjorie Manley would never forget when her friends’ birthdays were. She spent a “fortune” on sending out cards wishing people many happy returns.

She also sent cards to her friends every Easter, Christmas and any major personal anniversary. It’s a mark of the kind of “generous” and “kind-hearted” woman Marjie was, according to the many friends the 81-year-old has left behind.

“Marjie was always giving to charity, always giving anything she had away to anyone who asked for it really,” Janet Hawkins, a friend of 63 years, said.

“If she had it, you could have it.”

Marjie died last month after she was diagnosed with cancer at the end of last year.

She was born in City Road and spent a few years in the Finsbury area before moving to Matthias House in Stoke Newington.

It was there that she started babysitting Ms Hawkins, who lived in the flat above, and became like an “older sister”.

Marjie was invited on family holidays and she was regularly seen having a cup of tea with Ms Hawkins’ mother.

Marjie, whose father William was a painter and decorator, went to Princess May Primary School and then the Central School in Albion Road.

She then started work in the Barton House Surgery in Albion Road before moving to the John Scott Health Centre, where she stayed until she retired.

Marjie was an active person who was always racing about the capital.

“The only time she was ever indoors was if it was pouring with rain or snowing,” Ms Hawkins said.

“New Unity non-religious church, with bases in Upper Street and Newington Green, was a big part of her life.

“She also attended Golders Green Unitarian Church. That church’s minister, Feargus O’Connor, knew Marjie for about 30 years. He will lead the service at her funeral on July 19 in Golders Green.

He said: “She wasn’t a pious and sanctimonious person, her religion was an everyday religion of kindness to people and animals. “She was a generous person who cared for the community.”

Animals and the theatre were big passions of hers.

Her brother Bill was a “significant” patron of the Tower Theatre Company, previously based in Islington, and he introduced Marjie to the fringe group.

Tower administrators Jonathan Norris and Ruth Sanderson wrote a tribute to Marjie, saying: “She frequently visited us in the Tower office for a cup of tea, always with gifts of biscuits and chocolates in exchange, and a fund of clearly outlined anecdotes from her long life.”

In honour of Marjie’s charitable sentiments and her love of animals, members of the public are asked to donate money to the Animal Free Research UK charity, who advocate medical research free of animal testing.

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