Nina Newell

My dear Mrs Smith,

Thank you for everything. Words cannot express it – your generosity, your love and care, your deep understanding. You welcomed me into your home, treating me like your own child. You brought me to my faith and through that taught and equipped me for life. And what an example you set us – through your faith, which guided you in everything, your principles, your integrity, your work ethics, your righteousness, and all of it with real joy and praise. With you everything had meaning and purpose, no wasted words, no wasted moments.… Read the rest

James Smith

I miss my mother deeply but remember every day she was driven by her Christian principles, embraced the concept in Judaism of Tikkun Olam (repairing a broken world) and embodied the Rwandan values of Ubumuntu: Humanity and Greatness of Heart. Her belief shone in her life and acts.

For the:

stranger, you shared your home
lonely you shared your heart
vulnerable you opened your wings
downtrodden you sought justice

You can’t choose your parents, but I’d always have chosen you. We only say farewell dearest Mother, for your values and legacy, live on.… Read the rest

Stephen D. Smith

We are not very good at dying, and yet, it is the one thing in our lives that we are all certain to do sometime. It is one of the great acts of living – some die in valor, some in pain, some young, others old – and my mother has been preparing for it every day of her life.

As I write this I am sitting at my mother’s bedside listening to her breathe. It’s just the two of us and the night. There are wires and machines hooked up to her. On occasion, nurses barge in a flurry of light and needles.… Read the rest

Michael Newman

Like many others no doubt, I have fond memories of sitting in the cottage next to the National Holocaust Centre, that was home to Marina and Eddie, and enjoying such warm and generous hospitality.

There was a strong sense of being at home, it just felt familiar; just as you would be having a cup of tea and a chat with your grandparents.

Above all, I recall Marina’s curiosity to get to know her guests; she was single-mindedly interested to hear from them; their experiences, reflections and motivations.… Read the rest

Stephen Newell

My Dear Marina,
There are no words or actions that can ever convey my love and gratitude for all that you have given to me and my family.
The love and life we experienced together will never fail to inspire, encourage and challenge as we continue in our walk with our Heavenly Father.
Stephen, James and families thank you, as you were always part of this gift.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Read the rest

Marion Newell

Marina. Mother, Teacher, Friend.

Big sparkly blue eyes so expressive, laughter spontaneous & joyful, kindness so overwhelming. A heart Steadfast & True. Genuine with a deep personal integrity. Compassionate & practical in her caring, Counting the Cost but doing it anyway. Lavish in giving. She was Faithful & she was Full of Faith, & around her the Fragrance of Jesus.

This quote by Elisabeth Elliot will always remind me of Marina Smith:

This job has been given me to do.… Read the rest

Ian Shaw

I first met Marina in 2006. Between 2006 and around 2018, I was treated to a number of wonderful lunches/teas at Marina and Eddie’s house accompanied by long conversations. Nothing was ever too much trouble, Tara and I loved receiving cards and e-cards celebrating festivals every year as well as the family updates. In February 2020, we arranged a trip to the Centre from my synagogue for the boys being Bar Mitzvah’d in the year ahead and even though not in the best of health that week, she made a huge effort to come to the Centre to meet the boys and impart some of her wisdom to them which they listened to, hanging on her every word.… Read the rest

Daniela Pears

Marina had the most magical way of making you feel like you were enormously loved, appreciated and truly one of her dearest friends. From the moment you stepped over the threshold of ‘Bethany Cottage ‘ you felt like you’d arrived home! I’ll never forget arranging a trip up to visit Marina that happened to be Mothers Day. So for the first time in my life having only ever done so for my gorgeous Mum, it felt totally right to bring with me a Mothers Day card and flowers for Marina. As I stepped into Marina and Eddies beautiful living room it was immediately obvious the place already had a magnificent floral display and what must have been 100+ cards strung from wall to wall crisscrossing the room.… Read the rest

Gaby Glassman

Marina left the most wonderful living legacy in Stephen and James.

She left the world a better place and her beliefs about how one should live and have been enshrined in the institution that she helped to create, and in which her memory will live on. She was a Mensch.

Our heartfelt condolences to you, Stephen and James, and to your families.

With our love and admiration, 

Gaby & David Glassman… Read the rest

Geraldine, Shirlee and Mikki

Marina was without doubt the epitome of humanity and compassion. Our family were recipients of her love and innate kindness. Our parents, Joe and Laura Carver, appreciated Marina’s healing words and uplifting advice. They held her in great esteem and we, their three daughters felt the same.

Marina generated joy and warmheartedness and seemed instinctively to know the right thing to say and the right thing to do.

She was always supportive of others. When our dad passed away, Marina was so kind to our mum  and made calls to check up on her and wrote her beautiful letters, and when we lost mum, she showed concern for us even though she was poorly herself.… Read the rest

Alain Bertrand Lazaret

I lack words to convey the magnitude of the pain I am feeling when I heard about Mama Marina’s passing away. She just left a big void….as if I knew her since I was born; but the legacy of faith, commitment and love for the Lord she gave me is far greater than the void of her departure from this world.

The wise and powerful pieces of advice and words of consolation Mama Marina always give to me and my family when she sends me emails have sparked a flame in my heart that will never, never, never be put out.… Read the rest

Lee Liberman AM

On behalf of USC Shoah Foundation’s Board of Councilors, I’m writing to express our deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear mother, Marina Smith.

Marina was an educator, a storyteller and an archivist of memory. She devoted her life to building understanding and empathy between different communities of people. The stories and memories that comprise the tapestry of her life include you and your children, and are a gift for future generations to come. Even your family home became a place for children to connect with history through the story of Leo and his journey.… Read the rest

Joan Winspear

I first met Marina and her family through Abbey Street Methodist Church in Dublin, Eire. We also attended the same Wesley Methodist College.

Marina visited our home many times and always came up the stairs to say goodnight to me, tuck me in and talk a while. Her words to me stuck with me “Joan, you’re a nice girl, you wouldn’t lead a boy ‘up the garden path’ would you. Marina was only 4 years older than me and I was about 14 at the time.

I think maybe Mum and Dad had mentioned the many boys who took me out!… Read the rest

Chris Walker

Posted by Chris Walker – A Remarkable Lady,

This is a very brief thank you to Mrs Smith for giving me a fantastic purpose filled life, rich in meaning, a rare exquisite gift beyond value. Thank you, Mr Smith, Stephen and James, thank you for sharing you wife and mother, with us all.

My mother was a depressive and was helped by Mrs Smith, Methodist’s wife in the Ashbourne circuit. Forty five years later towards the end of Mum’s life, I remember them sat together, Mrs Smith holding Mum’s hand.… Read the rest

Richard Newell

Yom Ha Shoah (around 2012)

In the run up to the event, Mrs Smith had written and issued the invitations (despite being ‘retired’ for roughly 7 years already) and acted as the coordinator with the Holocaust Centre for the Survivors and their families.

Every invitation email/letter she had sent, to over 100 people and their families, had been answered by someone saying they could, or couldn’t come. They had shared their latest news, asked for news on Aegis, James, Stephen, the grandchildren, asked for help.… Read the rest

Nathanael Boarer

Writing a concise tribute, having had the privilege to know Mrs Smith all my life, was always going to be a tall order. I’ve written, deleted, and edited many times; however, had it not been for Mrs Smith, I wouldn’t be writing this tribute. When I entered Woodlands school (Mrs Smiths school), my English was beyond pathetic. Mrs Smith coached me through the 11 plus, not only helping me to pass it; she went on to organise private tutoring to help me get through GCSE English in my teens.
Read the rest

Jackie Field

I am writing as a member of the Yom Ha Shoah Manchester Committee who were honoured to have Marina as one of our patrons. Her conviction and commitment always inspired us and she will always be a shining light to us. On a personal note, Marina was a good friend to my parents, my father being one of The Boys and the 45 Aid Society. We are sure her legacy will live on and the Smith Family will continue her work. We will treasure the time we spent with her and remember her calm, sweet smile. “Long Life” to all the family… Read the rest

Sarah Jeffcoat

How do you thank someone who has given you so much? Who has gently, firmly, moulded you into the person you are? Who has shown you right from wrong and given you the values you try (and all too frequently) fall too short of? Words don’t seem enough.

It has been an honour to know you Mrs Smith. You touched so many lives, and your love shone out in everything you did.  I don’t think it has even properly sunk in yet.  I hold the memories I have with you close to my heart. Through my earlier years, reading time at School, your voice ringing out “”TOM!”… … Read the rest

Simon Winston

So sad that Marina has passed away. She was the inspiration and heart of Beth Shalom, a place which allowed me to release my demons. She was compassionate, caring, welcoming, a good listener –  she was my friend. It will take me a long time to read through the plethora of lengthy, beautiful tributes above, but they were so moving and told me a lot more about Marina than I already knew. Most interesting was Eddie’s story, talking about his wife, it made me cry. Rest in peace, Marina, who knows, we may meet again.… Read the rest

Nicholas Aru Maan

I met Mrs. Marina Smith at her house in 2016. I was invited by the Chatham House in London to go and give presentation on the future of youth in the horn of Africa.

Before I could leave South Sudan for London, I informed Glen whom I met in Kigali Genocide Memorial centre in the previous years working for the Aegis trust. I also met her son James Smith, a leader with a heart for humanity.

After my presentation at the Chatham house, Glen asked me to go and visit James’ mother and the National Holocaust center.… Read the rest

Helen Drummond

Dearest Mrs Smith

I can’t quite believe we will never see you again on this earth. But what an amazing legacy. The amount of lives all over the world you have touched over all of these year. The heartbreak you have helped heal and mend with your love, compassion reaching out with Grace.

Thank you for all you have done for the World, for me and my family. I am so blessed and grateful for all of the love and patience over the years and the privilege of learning and being taught by you over the many years, especially during the time I was privileged to work with you and your amazing family all those years ago.… Read the rest

Gillian Perry

Last time I was with Marina, it was at the CCJ conference, where I was one of the speakers, and had arranged to pop in to spend some time with Marina in the early afternoon. It was my folly to have had lunch at the centre before
I went over to Marina’s for 2.00 pm, as she had laid on a beautiful lunch for me! We had a wonderful conversation, which of course culminated in a tour of her beautifully abundant spring garden.
I will never forget Marina’s care and kindness towards me when my husband Tony passed away in 2006.… Read the rest