‘Retirement’ was never really a word in Marina’s lexicon, however, and she didn’t slow her work rate for a moment. Every day of every week, she would be hosting visiting survivor speakers, writing and responding to an endless flow of correspondence from supporters and associates of the Holocaust Centre, and providing love, wisdom, prayer, hugs and afternoon tea to all comers who beat a path to her door, whether great or humble, of any faith or none. Her ability to understand, deeply connect with and care about people on an individual basis was legendary.
Some experienced her care for decades, but even those who first encountered Marina late in life were moved by it. Nicholas Aru Maan, a peace builder from South Sudan who helped stem armed violence by taking community leaders to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, only met Marina once – for afternoon tea on a visit to the UK with the Aegis Trust – but she stayed in touch, and was very encouraging to him in his desire to do more for peace in South Sudan. “I connected so much spiritually,” he says. “Marina Smith is the World’s humanity icon.