Proud mother of Stanford and Graeme. Loved as Mum, Gran, Great Gran, Sister, Mother-in-law and friend. R.I.P.
We have so many fond memories of Margaret. From the time we first met in 1989 on our travels to Australia when we ended up staying for 3 months! To all the many trips Margaret made to the UK. She was a lovely, generous, kind hearted lady and we will miss her lots. With love Julie & Martin xxx
Eulogy for Margaret Harrison Friday 4 August 2017 at Ashburton Uniting Church Margaret Anne Muzeen was born on 30 November 1935 to Howard Muzeen, a Yorkshire born book-keeper with ICI, and Dorothy (nee Lewis) who was a high fashion dressmaker before she married. The eldest of three, with younger brothers John and Peter, she grew up in Glen Iris and went to Glen Iris Primary School during the war years. After MacRobertson Girls High School where she had done well, she trained as a secretary/stenographer, working from age 16. Within a couple of years she entered nurse training at Prince Henry’s Hospital where she met Frank Harrison. They married in 1956 before she completed her nursing training and Stanford (originally Geoffrey) was born that year followed by Graeme in 1958. She soon returned to work as a stenographer and moved into work as a medical receptionist at Austin Hospital. This started a career working in medical secretary and reception jobs, eventually working for three different medical specialists till her retirement at age 67. She particularly developed a strong attachment to the Cabrini Hospital where she worked for many years with Dr Rory Willis who was both an ear specialist and medical director of the hospital. Margaret genuinely enjoyed the medical reception work, which tapped into her early interest in social service and medicine. She was capable, organized and hardworking with a strong sense of duty and loyalty. After her husband Frank’s suicide in 1968 she moved with her young sons into a newly built annex in the home of her parents, Howard and Dorothy Muzeen. She raised her sons as a single mum through their teenage years, working fulltime. When her parents died she moved into her own home in 8 Johnstone Street, Malvern where she lived 15 years before moving to 1/10 Wanalta Road, Glenhuntly in 1996. After being raised a Methodist when she was young, going to Glen Iris Methodist Church, and being married in the Ewing Memorial Presbyterian Church, she rejoined the church in later years at this church, Ashburton Uniting, during the time her son Graeme was Minister, and continued attending church here till her death. Friends were very important to Margaret and she had many friendship circles. She had several friends from schooldays, including Valerie who she met at Primary School and is here today. She had work friends, church friends, interest group friends such as walking club and gardening club and more recently Probus group friends. She was a ‘joiner’ and liked socializing. In her last years she very much valued her many outings and looked forward to them with warmth and enthusiasm. Pets were a lifelong happiness for her. She owned birds for many years and a succession of much loved cats, the last being Chloe. She was a keen traveler, and from the late 70’s when she went on bus tours to Alice Springs and Cairns, she was always looking forward to the next trip. She often travelled with friends and came back excited and full of stories. She befriended her English cousins and made several trips to visit them, travelling with her cousin Pat and staying with Julie and Martin Phillips, who also stayed with her in the 1980s. While she was conservative in many things, she was very curious about the world. Recently she reviewed where she had visited in the world and it turned out to be more than 30 countries. This curiosity also translated to learning. She had always regretted not being able to study further when young and was delighted her sons and grandchildren could all go to university. She was often doing short courses herself and in recent years went to many U3A courses. She had a love of the outdoors, both gardening and nature. She always had a carefully tended garden, whether flower beds, ferns or the cottage garden style in her Wanalta Road home, and spent many happy hours in her gardens. When she was younger she was a keen walker, going on organized excursions with the National Parks Association or on birdwatching trips or on family picnics. In later life she organised outings for the Probus Club, and was often sussing out potential walks well in advance. Once she retired she still wanted to work as a volunteer and did so in a number of capacities. Right up till her hospitalization she was doing regular shifts at the Helmsmen Kiosk at Caulfield General Medical Centre, and was on its committee. Until her macular degeneration meant she could no longer drive, she was a lifelong driver and often drove others without cars to events and outings. In her last year she was really thankful that so many people offered to drive her places. For a person who expressed her love by doing rather than saying, there was no better way for her to feel valued and loved in her last year. Family was centrally important to Margaret. With two sons, two daughters-in-law, 6 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, as well as cousins and her brothers Peter and John (deceased), she has a wide family and regularly interacted with them over the years. At Stanford’s 60th celebration in Canberra in January this year and at her 80th in Melbourne in 2015 most of these came together and provided a special perspective on how large and yet how close her family was. Her sudden hospitalization on 10 July followed by a rapid decline in her last two days brought many friends, well-wishers and family to see or make contact with her. On her last day she had most of her family around her, and was even able to recognize her grandchildren in the USA and UK over Skype. Her death was from melanoma secondaries in her liver, the melanoma reflecting her love of the outdoors and sunshine, and was quick, dignified and peaceful. The care provided in Cabrini Palliative Care was exceptional. Margaret was many things - a loving mother, a hard worker, a joiner, a loyal friend, social and outgoing, an enthusiastic traveler and a constant church-goer. She is a woman who has and always will be loved. May she rest in peace.
The daffodil is an Easter symbol in Europe and speaks of new life beyond the coldness of winter death. Also reminds me of mum's love of flowers.
Michael, Katherine and Daniel with Gran-nan. Good times
Beautiful flowers from before, during and after the funeral for Mum. Thank you to so many friends and church friends.
The great British tradition of feeding the ducks!
On the Grand Junction canal, UK with Ellen & Michael
With Ellen & Michael
Visiting Waddeson Manor in the UK 2004
Margaret visiting the UK family (From left to right) Andrew, Evie, Joshua, Ellen, Michael, Julie, Amanda, Matthew, Margaret, Martin