Obituaries will be added to this page once a month on the last Friday of the month. They will remain on the page for three months, and will then be removed.
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Barbara Dixon – SI Anglesey
Barbara was a member of SI Anglesey since 1993 plus being a regular attender at SI Llandudno where she had a second home. She held many offices at Club and Region level whilst at Federation she was a Federation Councillor, member of UKPAC, Assistant Programme Director for Health, Programme Director, Vice President and President Elect.
She was passionate about being a Soroptimist, a regular attendee at the Commission on Status of Women (CSW) and a firm believer that everyone should have a chance to attend this august gathering. She led the delegation to the Meru Project accompanied by her husband, Alan; where the group not only saw the amazing work undertaken by the women but were led in song and dance by Barbara! She also attended the Conference in Marrakesh to see the development of the new Africa Federation.
Professionally Barbara was a practicing dental surgeon and lectured around the country. She was a director of the local hospice and was well known in the area for hosting fundraising events for the local community in her garden. She had a love of amateur dramatics but back stage not on it! Her talent as a needle woman meant she would make all the costumes for the local production, so it was no wonder that as soon as we went into lockdown Barbara was busy sewing scrubs and bags for the local hospitals and making pairs of hearts. She also loved all aspects of art and craft and always had some project on the go in her huge studio in the attic.
Barbara had a huge zest for life and we will all have our favourite memories of her. Here are a few of mine – a pink wig on the bridge in Newcastle to celebrate Breast Cancer month, the pink hair at the Harrogate Conference and the Pink Panther outfit at Istanbul.
Let us be proud that we knew her – what an inspiration to us all.
Jane Goodwin – SI Blackpool and District
Janet became a member in 2015, taking the Presidency in 2020 before the re-emergence of her illness. Her chosen charities are the focus of club fundraising throughout the remainder of Janet’s intended presidential year: Blue Skies Fund for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and, further afield, Mercy Ships (mercyships.org.uk) who provide medical care for the underserved in Africa, and for whom Janet had worked in a voluntary capacity.
Janet’s professional life was in dentistry, working since 1971 in general dental practice, community dentistry, education, dental hospital and governance roles and, more recently as a consultant. Janet was a Fellow of the Faculty of General Dental Practice and of her professional association, the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN).
Janet’s dedication and friendship will be greatly missed by all the members of our Club and within our Region, and we send sincere condolences to her husband David and their family.
Elsie Maconaghie – SI Ballymoney and District
Elsie passed away on 9th September 2020 in her 102nd year. As a founder member of Soroptimist International Ballymoney and District (chartered on 13th June 1964) she was the longest serving member of the club.
Elsie had been the proprietor of a popular drapery shop in Ballymoney, selling ladies’ and gent’s clothing and uniforms for local schools.
In her retirement she took great pleasure in her garden in which she loved spending time.
In the first year of Ballymoney Club she was a member of the Executive committee and Convenor of Attendance.
A regular attender, Elsie held many offices including Treasurer, Secretary and Regional Representative. In her latter years the club awarded her Honorary membership.
Elsie enjoyed the Friendship of her sister Soroptimists and is remembered with great fondness.
June Ridgway – SI Peterborough
Known for her unyielding kindness and young spirit, June was a treasured and active Soroptimist for 50 years and a true friend – she will be sorely missed by us all.
Our thoughts and prayers are with June’s family.
Doreen Fisher – SI Inverness & Nairn
The passing of Mrs Doreen Fisher at the age of 97 in a Nairn nursing home last week marked the end of an era for Inverness.
Born in Aberdeen, Mrs Fisher trained in her home city and was for many years the proprietor of the Hat Box on Lombard Street. She was one of the last time-served milliners in Inverness. Many Invernessians will remember Mrs Fisher for her honest and authoritative opinion on which hat was just right for that special occasion and how to wear it. If it didn’t quite fit or needed an alteration or additional accessory, or, indeed, a fascinator or hat needed to be made from scratch, this could be done on the premises – a level of service that rarely exists today.
Mrs Fisher was always very well dressed, had a great sense of style and an infectious sense of humour.
She and her daughter, Maureen Gordon, who worked with her in the Hat Box were long serving members of Soroptimist International of Inverness and Nairn. Doreen served as club secretary and had the reputation of being totally reliable. If she took on a project to raise funds for charity or provide service to a vulnerable part of our community, it would be organised efficiently and with no fuss.
Mrs Fisher is survived by her daughter, Maureen, and grandchildren and will be sorely missed by her family and friends.
Margaret McHattie – SI Dundee
Sadly, Margaret passed away in September 2020 age 92, having been a member of the Dundee Club for 40 years. After leaving Banff Academy, Margaret trained as a Registered General Nurse at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Later, Margaret moved to Dundee and trained at DRI to be a midwife, returning to Aberdeenshire to work in a maternity hospital in Ellon. She then moved to Edinburgh to train as a District Nurse and was posted to Rosyth and from there she returned to Aberdeen to further train as a Health Visitor. She travelled with a friend to work in Ontario, Canada and Margaret was delighted to be able to visit her brother in Staten Island, New York. She returned to Scotland to her elderly parents and worked in Tarland as the Midwife, District Nurse and Health Visitor. Her final post was in Dundee where she was responsible for the Community Nursing Services.
She enjoyed visiting her family in the USA, travelling to Italy with a friend on a painting holiday, scrabble, crosswords, and writing, especially letter writing. For several years she corresponded regularly with a girl our Club sponsored in Dr Graham’s Homes, Kalimpong. The Club members loved to hear Margaret telling us about our girl’s progress. It was a highlight of our meeting when Margaret read out a letter in her couthie voice, ‘Dear Auntie Margaret and Friends, Thank you so much for your lovely letter. It was really fun reading it.’
Margaret was one of the first residents in Muirlands, a sheltered housing complex built in 1992, funded by a legacy from a Dundee member, Dr Margaret Muir. Home to other Soroptimists, it provided security and social activities. Always interested in others, looking on the bright side, Margaret is fondly remembered.
Winnifred Rose – SI Port of Spain
Winnifred was a woman devoted to service and was very open-minded and spoke boldly about issues as she saw them. She and her family attended the local All Saints Church which was a short distance from her home and up to age ninety she was her own driver.
Winnie’s motto was “Never give up on a child.” She was a Probation Officer by profession and during her tenure in the Trinidad and Tobago Government service she restructured the Probation Department to create divisions in North, East, South and Tobago. As a Soroptimist Winnifred was specially mentioned for the publication of the booklet, Every Child Matters – a collaborative effort by the National Council of Voluntary Associations for Child Care Incorporated.
With the blessings of the Priest Rev. Moore, Winnifred’s passion led her to organize a course over an 8-week period with other Soroptimist sisters, Dr Dorrell Phillip, and Justice Monica Barnes (St Augustine) to educate and empower girls at her alma mater, Bishop Anstey High School, in the true spirit of Soroptimism.
During the mid-1970s Winnifred was amongst four Soroptimist sisters who presented papers before the Commission working to make recommendations to ensure the full integration of women in all aspects of national life.
Throughout her sixty years’ membership with Soroptimist International Port of Spain (SIPOS), Winnie remained in active service up until the last five years of her life and she will always be remembered for her witty ways.
Marie McLaughlin – SI Bangor
Marie McLaughlin, a member of SI Bangor (Northern Ireland) passed away on 14 June 2020 after a long illness. Marie was a very popular, valued, admired and much loved member of our club for nearly 20 years during which she took on the roles of Club Secretary and Membership Secretary. She also made great contributions to the local community. As an enthusiastic member of our club’s Talking News team, every week she assisted with reading and recording the local news for distribution to the visually impaired in the local area. She was also a great supporter of the Northern Ireland Hospice and worked enthusiastically on fundraising events for the charity.
Marie was a kind, thoughtful individual with a great sense of fun and humour and willingness to help others. It was a privilege to know her and she is greatly missed by all her sisters in SI Bangor.