Mary Gamble

25th June 1922 to 28th Oct. 2018
It was sad for a large number of the Syston residents to learn that Mary had died recently at the wonderful age of 96 after a brief period of illness.
Born in Quorn, Mary had also lived in Thurmaston and Leicester and for quite a while in Stocking farm where she and husband Ernest, with other members of the congregation, built St Luke’s church themselves. Eventually in 1961 they moved to Syston.
Mary, Ernest and sons Dennis and David immediately became active members of the church of St Peter & St Paul. Mary became a founding member of the Young Wives, joined the Mother’s Union, the flower arrangers group, became a lesson reader and Sidesman (who meet and greet people attending worship) and was massively involved in the fund raising always running plants stalls, she was very knowledgeable, and at Christmas a stall selling beautifully crafted and decorated logs etc.
She also joined the Women’s Institute and was at one time their president.
In the town she was hugely involved with Age Concern Syston, affiliated to Age UK, for at least thirty years, helping once again with the fundraising. Who can forget the calendar the ladies made emulating the Calendar Girls! She was a committee member and for a while the Chairman. Mary did not hold with the term ‘Chairperson!
Mary, and friend Becky Child, inaugurated the Thursday Fellowship Circle now called the Young at Heart which is still flourishing.
She was a founder and, eventually, Life member of the Roundhill Flower and Garden Club in 1969. She and fellow members have raised thousands of pounds for local churches and charities with Flower Festivals charging only for materials used and willingly giving hours of their time.
She was a trustee of the Horace Taylor Trust, a Syston Charity for the Necessitous of the Parish, which involved committee meetings to decide on the recipients.
For a while she was a member of the St John’s Ambulance after going to events with her son David and becoming interested. This involved her in afternoons at charity events and Carnivals and attending Leicester Race Course and Donnington Park races.
In 2003 Mary received a Service Above Self Alan Morley Award from the Wreake Valley Rotary Club for service to the community and in 2010 the Open Hands Award for Community Compassion after 25 years of service with the Syston Volunteer Bureau, now known as the Syston and District Volunteer Centre.
Mary’s concern was always about building community, people living and working together in friendship.
We shall always remember her stoicism, ready smile, positivity and the twinkle in her eye and her example of dedication to the church and community.