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Farewell to Maidstone Soroptimist Margaret Ambrose after 50 years service

It is with great sadness we report the death of Margaret Ambrose, former member of SI Maidstone, who died at home following a short illness earlier this month. Although she had stepped down from her membership as a Soroptimist earlier this year due to increasing frailty, she remained in contact as a Friend of SI Medway & Maidstone.

Margaret joined Soroptimist International in November, 1970 and throughout five decades as a Soroptimist was a member of the Maidstone Club. She was a popular and much-loved member, who was highly committed to the values of the organisation and gave unstinting service. Because of her nursing and health-visitor background she had also featured in the lives of some of the Maidstone Soroptimists in a professional capacity, and you would often hear it said someone remembered Margaret from her visits to them as a health visitor, or more so it was Margaret that remembered them from all those years ago!

All who knew Margaret were aware of how much Soroptimism meant to her, but perhaps not everyone realised how involved she was or how active a part she played in the affairs of the Club. She contributed in so many ways, whether it was organising and then producing items for a craft stall at a village fair – often manned just by herself – to raise funds for a Soroptimist project, or supporting and participating in social and fund-raising events which she always enjoyed. Despite  never aspiring to hold high office Margaret was persuaded to become the Club President for 2007/8. She presided over a successful year, raising awareness of issues relating to women and girls world-wide, and fund-raising for her chosen charity, IDEALS (International Disaster and Emergency Aid with Long Term Support), providing training for midwifery in Pakistan where there was an extreme shortage of midwives in an area affected by a massive earthquake.

Margaret was proud to be a Soroptimist and the Maidstone Club felt privileged to have her as one of their own. Many individual tributes have been paid by members and past members, but one that captures the essence of Margaret is the following:

she was an exemplary Soroptimist who always thought of others and what she could do to help, and did so in an unassuming way”.

 Margaret touched the lives of many. The Club has not just lost a Soroptimist sister but a true friend, who will be remembered with great affection for her compassion, generosity, kindness and love of people.