A FORMER Southbourne councillor who was described as ‘quite a character’ died at the age of 93 on Friday (January 24).
Mary Marrs moved to Prinsted from Windsor in the early 1960s with her husband, Terry, and son, David.
She soon embroiled herself into local life especially in sailing, having always enjoyed the sea.
By the middle of the 1960s, Mary took an active role in junior sail training at Emsworth Slipper Sailing Club. The junior section had an active fleet of 14 boats and junior sailing was flourishing. By 1967, they turned out 22 boats quite regularly. Later on, Mary and family became members of Hayling Island Sailing Club where to this day her grandson William is still a member.
Mary’s husband, Terry Marrs, died in 1979 and in the 1980s she started writing articles relating to planning issues for the Portsmouth Evening News.
She became a district councillor for Southbourne in 1989, firstly as an independent councillor and then as a Conservative.
She served on a wide range of committees, most notably the south area development control committee, now known as the planning committee, which she served on from 1989 until 2011.
At a Chichester District Council meeting on Tuesday, chairman Martyn Bell said, although be never knew Mary, he understood she was ‘quite a character’, and said she would be ‘sorely missed’.
From 2006 to 2008 Mary also became the district council representative on the Chichester Harbour Conservancy planning committee.
She often submitted articles to the Chichester Observer relating to local and surrounding issues which she cared for and strongly fought for in her councillor position.
Mary remained as a councillor until 2010 when ill health, then aged 89, brought about an end to the role she so dearly enjoyed.
Aside of the council work, Mary was keen to provide support for the elderly community in the Prinsted area and in 1977 was a founding member of the group who began the Southbourne Age Concern Centre.
This involved tireless years of fundraising for the centre and endless duties in the kitchen preparing meals and refreshments to those enjoying services the respite the centre offered.
During the Queen’s golden jubilee year, Mary, then in her 80s, received the council volunteer award for 25 years of service to Southbourne Age Concern. It wasn’t until 2009 that Mary stood down as leader of the Southbourne Age Concern and became their honorary lifetime president.
Mary had also been a long-time supporter and governor of the now Bourne Community College.
She is survived by her son David Marrs and grandson William Marrs.
The funeral will be held at Chichester Crematorium, on Tuesday, February 4, at 2.45pm.
The family has requested in lieu of flowers any donations be made directly to: Barchester – Marriott House & Lodge Care Home, Tollhouse Close, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1SG.
Donations to be made out to ‘Barchester Health Care’ (towards the appeal for a new garden providing suitable access to the residents).