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Marion’s life of service recognised with award

MARION Iles (nee Dutton) was presented with a Coaldrake Award from the Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) on 22 March at her home in Glenview. The award is given in recognition of faithful and dedicated service to further God’s mission.

As a child in NSW, Marion learned about the eruption of Mt Lamington in Papua New Guinea.

The long-dormant volcano’s eruption destroyed swathes of land. More than 3,000 local people lost their lives, including many missionaries. Crops of coffee, rubber and cocoa were destroyed, and the fish population was decimated.

It was 1951, and Marion was too young to help with the relief effort. But she thought, “when I finish my teacher training, that’s what I want to do”.

Marion attended an Anglican theological college in Sydney in the early ‘60s. It was there that she met Max Iles, and romance blossomed. They wanted to become missionaries in PNG.

“We saw the need and thought that we could do something,” Marion said.

In PNG Marion taught primary school English, maths and “everything else” while carpenter Max – a returned serviceman who had served in PNG – helped build houses, a hospital and a school.

The Iles returned to Hobart in 1963 following the births of their sons John and Stewart, eventually moving into their Moonah home where they would live for 40 years.

Marion volunteered as a member of the Anglican Board of Mission Auxiliary and, like a lot of mums, worked in the Moonah Primary School canteen.

After Max died, Marion downsized and Glenview Close at Glenorchy became her home in 2007. The independent living unit – with no maintenance chores and all services nearby – was ideal, with help always at hand.

“We loved visiting the unit and we had many Christmas meals there,” Marion’s son John said.

“Mum and I could sit on the deck and watch her grandson play cricket on the oval nearby. When relatives came to visit it was a good place for them to stay with mum.”

Marion recently decided to move into Windsor, where she is warmly welcome. Her family can be assured that she is well respected and receiving person- centred care.

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