Wednesday, 07 July 2021 22:22

Rest in Peace, Annette Marskell, OLSH Parishioner, Randwick

Rest in Peace, Annette Marskell, OLSH Parishioner, Randwick

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Peter Hendriks writes: Annette Marskell OAM, an active parishioner of OLSH Randwick since 1967. She was a generous supporter of the Parish in so many ways and she had an extraordinary life. She was buried this week.

A tribute from the OLSH Randwick Bulletin from 2017.


The Story of Annette Marie Marskell OAM

Annette has been an active parishioner of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart since 1967. She was born in Mudgee NSW the youngest and sixth child of Nell and Ted Marskell. Her mother used to call the children the League of Nations because the ancestry on her mother’s side was German Catholic and Scottish Presbyterian and on the father’s side it was Irish Catholic and English Anglican – the Tykes, slang for Catholics, won.

Annette is very pleased that she was born on 24 May – the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, the Patroness of Australia. She was educated at St Matthews College Mudgee by the Sisters of Mercy (the Bathurst congregation founded in 1867). She completed a day stenography course involving shorthand typing and bookkeeping at Mudgee Technical College.

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After working in Mudgee for a few years Annette came to Sydney in November 1963. For 3 years she worked with a secretarial services firm in the city and lived at Strathfield. In 1966 she went on a working holiday to New Zealand. Returning to Sydney a year later Annette moved to North Randwick and began employment with AE Richards Pty Ltd a printing firm then based in Redfern. The firm closed in 1962 following the owner’s ill health.  The result?  Annette was retrenched after 25 years of service

1993 saw the start of Annette’s employment at Matthew Talbot Hostel for homeless men where she was assistant to the accountant. After 14 plus years she retired in 2007.  Annette is convinced that the work of the Hostel has changed the lives of many of the men who see the place as a haven for recovery.

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Annette was a member of the committee for the parish Walkabout GROUP. Once a month buses were hired and driven by volunteer drivers. Elderly people who did not get out were picked up and taken for bus rides. They would be brought back to the Parish Centre for a singalong and afternoon tea prepared by the Catholic Women’s Combined Eastern Area Group. When community bus services commenced and began to cater for older citizens the Walkabout Group ceased its activities.

In the 1970s Fr Tony O’Brien formed the MSC Lay Associates in the parish and Annette became a member. The Associates meet on the first Sunday of the month after the midday Mass. And during Fr Peter Robinson’s time as Parish Priest she was a member of the Parish Council.

Another of Annette’s role is as a Counter – the first woman to be one and she has worked with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Group. She is also a Eucharistic Minister and for some time took Holy Communion to sick parishioners.

The Last Call Eucharist was commenced by Fr Chris McPhee in 2000 and Annette helped with its setup on Sunday evenings. Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she has stood down from some of her activities but still prepares the Shrine at Thursday’s  Novena to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart – she ranks that as her very special role -  and remains a Reader at Sunday Masses.

While OLSH is her church Annette has a special affection for St Mary’s Cathedral going back as far as her childhood. She is a Life Member of the Friends of the Cathedral and has been its Treasurer since 2011.

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Travel and Horse Racing have been her interest for many years. Her father and her grandfather both owned and trained racehorses and Annette has attended every Melbourne Cup from 1963 to 2015.  She has been on a number of pilgrimages, including to Fatima and Lourdes and the Holy Land.

Cruising has been a great way for her to holiday.  She has visited many places with many Cruise Lines but her favourite is the Cunard Line where Mass is said every day. She jokes that she has had more trips than winning bets.

Annette was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on the Queen’s Birthday 2003 for services to the community particularly through the Catholic Parish of Randwick and fundraising for charitable organisations.

Editor’s note: Annette has donated the two Shrines of Mary Mackillop and Jules Chevalier and also the Statue of Jesus and Joseph in the St Joseph’s Garden

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