In January, FINIA lost a long-term member and supporter, Marion Anderson. She died too young, aged 70, after a fierce battle with cancer.
She grew up fighting and competing with two older brothers, which toughened her, while the unconditional love of an older sister with Downs Syndrome softened her.
Marion loved her family. She raised two daughters who gave her six grandchildren between them. Two of her grandchildren each gave her a great-grandchild. She and her husband David quietly celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary last year.
“Because of Marion, we went to live on K’gari (Fraser Island) in 2007. I was having difficulty coping with a stressful situation at work. My doctor advised me to leave. Marion said to me: I would rather live with you in a tent on a riverbank than have to visit your grave.”
David suggested that they move to K’gari, where his father built Eurong’s first house in 1964 and where the couple had spent many family holidays. Marion agreed. When they moved to the island, Marion helped heal a rift between the National Park rangers and the community at Eurong. She insisted that “neighbours should be neighbourly.”
Marion and David both became registered National Parks volunteers. Marion helped with office work, and before her arthritic knees slowed her down, she worked on weeding outings, the Bitou bush bash, rubbish and dingo scat collections.
“We would go to the ranger station at Eurong for an occasional morning tea, and Marion would take a batch of her scones. She was also a regular cook at the Fraser Island Association’s annual community barbecues.”
Marion appreciated the work of the QAS paramedics on the island and helped set up the Fraser Island Local Ambulance Committee. She became the inaugural president, an office she held until she died.
Marion worked with a Police-Community Grant providing reflective tape marking camping grounds and posts with reflective tape marking track entrances for night travel, especially for emergency crews. Marion was also a member of the Eurong Rural Fire Brigade and assisted in the flood clean-ups in Maryborough, Gayndah and Mundubbera.
“She opened our home and catered for various evening barbecues and morning teas for workers and volunteers from National Park, Natural Resources, Fraser Coast Council, FIDO and even FINIA. But, most importantly, Marion supported me, allowing me to pursue my endeavours on the mainland and the island.”
A woman of passion, who enjoyed a joke, Marion wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion or roll up her sleeves to help. Marion will be sadly missed by us all. Our condolences are extended to her husband David, family, friends and many colleagues.