Sunday 9 May 2021 is the day that many countries will celebrate Mother’s Day, including Australia. Not only are mothers honoured on this day, but also women who have shown motherly love in their care and support of others.
In the ‘Honouring Australian Church Women (HACW)’ book, there are many past and current members who have contributed much to the lives of children and young adults. Their love for these young people is unconditional, and they often make personal sacrifices to meet the needs that they see. A number of such members have already been mentioned on this blog and now another is presented to you—Mrs Florence Marshall, 1911–1991.
Her tribute in the HACW book reads:
Mrs Florence Marshall was an outstanding Christian whose delightful and practical character made a lasting impact on the life of the Church.
As a gifted leader and teacher, Florence made a major contribution to the life and witness of the Methodist Church and later the Uniting Church.
Prior to Union [22 June 1977], Florence was the Victorian State President of the Women’s Auxiliary of Overseas Mission (Methodist), and later she gave the same dedicated leadership to the Uniting Church Fellowship as their second president, for two years, and continued involvement until her death.
As a member of the Joint Planning Committee formed in preparation for the Uniting Church, Florence learnt all she could of the work of the Congregational and Presbyterian Women’s Organisations so she would be well informed on the background and mission outreach of each denomination.
Florence was an active ecumenist being a member of the Victorian Council of Churches for some years and an involved participant in the activities of the local Inter-Church Council. Florence rejoiced in her membership of ACW and in her friendship with women of other denominations. With her usual vitality and enthusiasm, she shared her knowledge and experience as a member of the Victorian State Executive.
Florence Marshall’s deep concern for Aboriginal people resulted in her becoming the founding Secretary and Treasurer of ‘Friends of Nungalinya’, a position she held until her death.
For 30 years Florence was involved with ‘Orana’ (Peace Memorial Homes for Children) for which she raised many thousands of dollars from the sale of her handiwork.
Florence had a deep and abiding faith and a great love for life and people. She loved life to the fullest and gave without stint to her family and the Church and, like her Master, “She went about doing good”.
Link to Nungalinya College https://www.nungalinya.edu.au/