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Marion Brady was born in 1879 in Wellington, the younger daughter of John and Mary Ann Brad nee Couley, hotel proprietors. Educated at St Mary's Convent, Wellington, she travelled extensively on a world tour and on her return to New Zealand resided with her sister Mrs S J Price in Waverley. After her marriage to James Ernest Campbell, the couple made their home in Wanganui moving to Hawera around 1914.


In 1932 James became Mayor of Hawera, and Marion shared with him the responsible duties of that office in her capacity as Mayoress and particularly in the very large amount of charitable work that had devolved upon her husband, when in 1929, he assumed secretaryship of the Hawera Unemployed Relief Committee which came into being during the depression period.  Marion, as Mayoress, conducted clothes' drives with the assistance of fellow citizens and administered relief to many families.  She also had the spending of portion of the Mayor's relief of distress fund.


As first lady of the town it was her duty and privilege to extend welcomes to noted visitors, including the Duke of Gloucester, Viscount and Lady Galway and Sir Harry Baterbee.  Towards the end of her term as Mayoress, terminated by the death of her husband in August 1939, Mrs Campbell received from the Maori people a valuable cloak as a tribute to her interest in their welfare.


As a devout Roman Catholic, Marion held many offices in various department's of church activity, including the office of vice-president of the St Joseph's Tennis Club and membership of the St Vincent de Paul Society.  In community circles she held office as president from 1932 of the Hawera branch of the Women's National Reserve, was a member of the Hawera Croquet Club and the Hawera branch of the Lady Galway Guild, patroness and a past president of the Hawera Girl Guides and Brownies and a past president of the Hawera Women's Club.  An active part was taken also in the raising of funds so that Hawera Boy Scouts could attend the Melbourne centenary jamboree.


In March 1940, Marion advised the Hawera Borough Council that she wished to make a gift to the children of Hawera as a memorial to her late husband.  In 1945 a design was chosen, and in 1951 the Mayoress Mrs Amy Clapham, unveiled the bronze Wendy statue in King Edward Park. It is a companion piece to the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Garden, London. 


Unfortunately Marion Campbell never saw this statue as she died on the 17 October 1940 at Hawera and is buried at the Hawera cemetery.



Obituary "Hawera Star" 17 Oct 1940

Hawera District Centenary by A P C Bromley