Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Tribute to Marjorie Porter MBE


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Tribute to Marjorie Porter MBE

Monday, 02 March 2009

Marjorie Porter MBE

Marjorie Porter MBE

HUNDREDS of people who grew up in Lambeth will remember this “wonderful lady” who dedicated her life to teaching.

Marjorie Porter MBE died on January 31 aged 101 after spending her life fighting for the rights of young people.

She was one of the founders of Roots and Shoots – an environmental education centre in Kennington.

She was made an MBE in 1999 for services to young people for her work there, and at numerous other schemes throughout the borough.

Born in 1907, Mrs Porter won a scholarship to the former Mary Datchelor Girls’ School in Camberwell.

On leaving she trained as a teacher and in 1927 started teaching at Lyndhurst Primary School, Peckham, then Crawford Primary School in Camberwell in 1931.

At the outbreak of the war she was evacuated first to Hastings and then to South Wales, where she met her first husband Leonard Gaskin.

Mrs Porter was a particularly talented pianist and taught people to play from her Kennington home until the age of 95.

She used to proudly claim that none of her pupils had ever failed a piano exam.

In 1950 she was appointed headteacher at Ashmole Primary School in Kennington and seven years later she became head at Johanna Primary School in Waterloo.

Mrs Porter’s husband Leonard died of cancer in 1961. She married widower Bill Porter a year later.

As well as being a teacher and headteacher, Mrs Porter was active in local politics and was Lambeth Mayor in 1950.

In her retirement Mrs Porter carried on working hard, helping out lots of different groups and causes.

Even in her nineties, Mrs Porter kept her interest in education and was a school governor and chair of governors at two local schools.

Four years ago Mrs Porter published her autobiography, I Was Different: A Long Life In Education.

Her friend Michael Callaghan, of Orsett Street, Kennington, paid tribute to her, saying she was a “wonderful lady”.

He said: “She was a truly inspirational lady who was a real character and well loved by everyone who knew her.”

A memorial service for Mrs Porter will be held on Tuesday at St Mary’s Lambeth Mission, Lambeth Road, at 12.30pm.

The committal will be at Lambeth cemetery from 2pm.

The family has asked mourners to make donations to the NSPCC instead of buying flowers.

Email: clare.casey@slp.co.uk

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