Marjorie celebrates 100th

Wednesday 11th September 2013 10:00 pm

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A FORMER East Cornwall teacher was surrounded by friends and family at the weekend in celebration of her 100th birthday.

A small party was held for Marjorie Jope at St Teresa's retirement home in Callington, where she has been living for the last few years.

Marjorie moved to Gunnislake with her parents in 1919, her father had retired from the Metropolitan Police and her mother had been a mental health nurse. She attended Gunnislake Primary School and then won a scholarship to Callington. After graduation, she returned to Gunnislake to complete her teacher training.

She taught or acted as a supply teacher in Gunnislake, Calstock, Harrowbarrow, Delaware, Latchley and Callington, and either walked or caught the train to her destinations.

She was always very proud of 'her children' and former pupils remember her with fondness, as she was caring and kind, often taking food and clothes for her pupils. Marjorie left teaching when she married in 1939 as married women were not employed as teachers — this changed when woman power become part of the war effort.

Mrs Jope met her husband, Jack, who as a Sea Scout camped at Weir Head on the island in Gunnislake.

Her husband joined the Auxiliary Fire Service in Plymouth as a volunteer before the war and was a full-time fireman during the war, based at Millbay Docks. When he was posted missing, presumably lost, Marjorie walked with her golden retriever Rex, from Gunnislake to Plymouth to find him. The couple had a daughter, Alison, who was born in 1945.

During the war, Marjorie's family home at Bealswood House was used to house evacuees. At one point there were 17 people living in the five bedroomed house.

From 1932 to 1960, she ran a library which opened on a Tuesday afternoon and was in a small dark room at the back under Gunnislake Public Hall.

Marjorie was physically active into her mid-90s and often walked from Bealswood House at the bottom of Gunnislake, up the steep hills into the village centre.

She is interested in local history and has appeared in several books. She was also interviewed on the radio and television, gave talks to local groups and schools and helped people with family history projects.

For her birthday Marjorie received a telegram and card from the Queen and also one from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Ian Duncan-Smith.


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