People speak of Mother Teresa with awe & admiration, the same will equally apply in no lesser degree to Marie Dickinson – a virtual unknown set in the backdrop of human endeavour. There is no pomp or publicity to attract media attention. But do we need to be in the forefront before greatness is conferred upon the real good-doers.
Goodness of the heart is what God seeks, and true goodness is seldom exposed or sensationalised for which the media strike the commercial tune!
Marie Dickinson is a woman of substance, faithful & loyal to the core. She stirs with the break of dawn and hums her ways right through the fall of darkness. She handles both domestic & commercial affairs (of her late husband Stuart) with dexterity & speed of efficiency as with magic.She’s been her husband’s secretary, business partner, account/book keeper, life partner & mother of two beautiful daughters Seanne & Heidi.
Knowing her for all these years since 1981 when I first visited Perth, I still feel totally inadequate to present her true image. She & her late husband had been host parents to a good number of foreign students – from top of the Himalayan countries to the rice plains of Vietnam, Hong Kong & Malaysia, not forgetting my own youngest brother, Mike and his brother-in-law Daniel.
Seanne & Heidi posing beneath a huge portraiture of themselves.
She took on the task of looking after Peggy Walters, a retiree in the Sherwin Lodge, Rossmoyne, like more than a daughter unto her. Each week Marie would fetch her for shopping, stand by on call in case of emergency, helping her with chores which became too much to bear for an eighty-year-old with a weak heart & unreliable gait. Marie guiding her on with every due care & attentio
Her heart is good & strong & may have only be broken but once when her dear husband Stuart who operated their home-based Interior Décor business died of that dreadful motor neuron disease in his fifties.
Let’s hear what my brother Mike, now manager for an international corporation in the Pacific Rim, has to say:
“Marie and Stuart played host parents to many foreign students. I do not know how many but during my time at Leederville Technical College and WAIT ( now Curtin University) I recalled clearly there were two other Malaysian Malay students and another from Hong Kong. Marie and Stuart were actually Doreen’s brother, Daniel’s host parents but somehow we ended being adopted as well.”
Mike continues: “Marie and Stuart love having friends over for meals and we were invited over many occasions. As most meals were western/Aussie meals we were of little help but Marie would be busy single handed lay churning to 3 course meals . . . entree, main course and of course her lovely and delicious desserts. It was a first for me to taste pavlova and hers was simply irresistible!
“When not entertaining at home,” Mike says “Stuart and Marie would invite their close friends to dinner at a restaurant and at least once we joined them in the up market Oyster Bar which we would not think of dining there as students.”
“Marie and Stuart are very generous and caring people; the generation of Australians who felt very blessed and wanted to share what they have. On one occasion they invited us to join them to a beach holiday stay near Yanchep; something again as students we would not such expense. However it turned out to be an embarrassing experience cos my $500 Madza could not start and Stuart had to disrupt his holidays to tow my car with his to a mechanic at Osbourne Park!!, I felt so bad and it was my fault for not servicing the car regularly. But here again is the kindness and generosity of the Dickinsons. And never for once did Stuart or Marie brought this up in subsequent meetings.”
Marie was born in the year of the Tiger, but far from being the ferocious animal as in the wild, she’s an exceptional white tiger so rarely seen in the world at large . . . most docile & tame & mysteriously welcoming in sight.
Marie has dedicated her life that so others may live better!
“Devoted To Thee”
So amazingly transparent & free.