Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 48, September 2004

"This is the end of an era for a volunteer who has given lengthy and valuable service to Paeroa", the Rev. Stan Stewart told a large congregation of family and friends of Marie Averill Marshall, who died in Paeroa on 5 January 2003 at the age of 84.

The late Mrs Marshall was born at her Grandmother's home in Waihi Road, Paeroa in March 1918. She was one of six children of the late Ethel and Stephen Hughes. Her younger sister, Joan Dawson, resides in Whangarei.

Her father, who was an engineer in Karangahake, died during the 1922 floods and when her mother followed five years later, this had a devastating effect on the young family. They left Karangahake to live with their Grandmother, Mrs Mary Pitkethley in Princess Street, Paeroa. She was one of Paeroa's original nursing sisters.

Following her education at the Paeroa Convent School and the Paeroa District High School, Mrs Marshall worked as home-help for Mr William Marshall in his Thames Road home. At the time, Mr Marshall was Mayor of Paeroa (1922 - 1941) and also Chairman of the Ohinemuri County (1932 - 1944). She met Mr Marshall's son, Trevor, and the couple were married in Paeroa in 1935.

Trevor, with the help of his father, built their home in Aorangi Road, the first in the street. Bruce and Flo Roberts were soon to follow, and both homes remain today.

Mrs Marshall, with her family of five children growing up, joined the Paeroa Citizen Ambulance Association in 1956. She moved quickly up in promotion to be Officer-in-Charge of the Nursing Cadet Division by 1958. She became Brigade Superintendent in 1968, Staff Officer in 1972 and was appointed Sub-District Superintendent for the Hauraki District in 1982.

In June of that year the Order of St. John recognised her long and dedicated service by bestowing the honour of Serving Sister on her. She retired from ambulance duty in 1987. Mrs Marshall's voluntary St. John Ambulance work extended to Whangamata, when she was there on holiday with her family. She, along with the late Mr Jack Stewart and Mrs Helen Stewart, manned a voluntary dressing station, her beach bach sometimes acting as a dressing station.

Mrs Marshall, in 1963, accepted an invitation to join the recently formed Paeroa Budget and Family Counselling Service. Other original members serving were Mesdames Foster, Bid McMillan, von Hartich, Messrs Gray Vuglar, Pat Gallop, Viv Nicholls and Ron Grant. She served on the Service for twenty-five years and, for a period, was the chairperson. She was also appointed an honorary social worker and in this position she worked closely with, and earned the high respect of Maori and other sectors of the community.

In September 1983, in recognition of her excellent service to the community, the Paeroa Borough Council presented her with the Council's Outstanding Citizen Award.

Mrs Marshall, who died peacefully in Ohinemuri Home and Hospital, Paeroa, was predeceased by her husband nine years ago. She is survived by her five children, eleven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.

During the funeral service at Paeroa Co-operating Parish, a eulogy delivered by Mr Les Cullern, Commander of the Order of St. John, paid tribute to Mrs Marshall for her service to the community.

Twenty-four members of the Order of St. John, formed a guard of honour as the cortege left the church.