Shamea Lee

I was very fortunate to have already met Mrs Marina Smith before the loss of my parents. My sister had encouraged me to spend my holiday at the retreat house that Mrs Smith was running. It was 1979 and I was in my first year of nurse training. Subsequently, in later years when first my mother, then my dad passed away, Mrs Marina Smith helped me to heal. She enveloped me in her love, picked up the broken pieces and skill fully made me whole.  She had also helped me so magnificently in every aspect of my life’s journey just as she had helped countless others. She always made it so personal, so individual, such is her understanding, skill, generosity of spirit and a willingness to give of herself. If something needed to be done she would see it through, with great attention to detail, leaving no stone unturned.

A deep gratitude goes to her husband of 58 years, Mr Smith, her two dear sons, Stephen and James for sharing her so graciously and so generously.  Thank you too to her beloved grandchildren, Natalia, Stephanie, Aaron, Ariella, Seth and Sebastian for sharing their Safta . Mrs Marina Smith loved her family deeply and was so proud of each of them, celebrating their milestones and achievements and always so supportive of their respective undertakings.

Mrs Smith and her family created such a special place – the Holocaust Memorial and Education Centre, now the National Holocaust Centre. The ethos, principle and philosophy upon which it was conceived and built is so beautiful and pure born out of their core belief and value system. It is how Mrs Marina Smith lived out her life and how she valued and treated people. (It is only natural that Aegis Trust was created soon after as the Smith family is only too aware of a suffering and volatile world. There was no resting on their laurels).

When news reached me that our dear Mrs Marina Smith, Mother to so many, Matriach of the Holocaust Centre had passed away, yes, my heart broke, but there was also calmness, quietness and a peacefulness. Her work is completed. She always leaves one a stronger, better person than when she first found you. “Parting is such sweet sorrow”…..yet the comfort is knowing it is only temporary, there is the assurance that we will meet again. She has fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. What a woman of faith and prayer. A woman of valour.

Thank you Mrs Marina Smith, my best friend, mentor and wise counsellor, you have been truly inspirational and been like a mother to me. Thank you for leaving us stronger than when you found us. What a legacy you have left.