Vale Mary Stanley

I am writing this blog on behalf of our team to pay tribute to our much-loved colleague, Marie (Mary) Stanley, who passed away at her home on the 16th of September 2020 after a short illness. We feel immense sadness losing our dear Mary.

It is difficult to do justice to the impression she’s left on so many women and staff. An abundance of stories and memories have accumulated during her seventeen years at Bonnie’s. I want to share with you what a special person she was and what she meant to our team.

Mary’s job title was environmental officer – a suitable description in my opinion. She cared for and held responsibility for the office and refuge environment. A big chunk of her time was consumed keeping the office and refuge clean and orderly – no easy task with 25 staff and hundreds of women each year.

So how did she do it?

Mary was a hardworking woman who put her capabilities to work every single day, no cutting corners. A woman with strong routines and a creative mind. If we ran out of space to fit yet another donation, Mary would always have a solution how to make it fit, still looking tidy. Clothing, household goods, food, all the various items our women need to start a new life, Mary knew how to keep the storerooms in order. We always missed Mary when she went on holidays. Personally, I was always counting down the days until her return and would give a big sigh of relief when she was back and the office was looking schmick again.

Mary was very compassionate with the women’s struggles. Her practical and down to earth approach was often what women needed to get on with their lives. Mary’s safe and well-organised environments provided the right conditions for women to move forward and for the team to do its job efficiently. Mary’s everyday efforts have helped ensure women and children were safe thus had a chance to rebuild their lives. 

Mary was someone who walked the talk with a heart of gold.

Mary was of invaluable assistance when it came to organising special events such as AGM’s, client groups, meetings and other public events. These would run smoothly thanks to Mary’s space planning and catering skills. 

Mary was very active and hardly ever sat down. Nevertheless, there was always time for a conversation, topics ranging from concerns about clients, our families, office politics, etc – we all loved our conversations with Mary. She was an open and honest communicator and it was refreshing to get her views.

We are grateful to have worked with Mary and will miss her more than words can express. Our heartfelt condolences to Mary’s family.

Written by Heike

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