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Awarded for service to the Community, service to the Arts
Born: 1917 Died: 24 September 2013
Entered on roll: 2005
Marjorie Bligh’s father died when she was three years of age and her mother raised her three daughters on a very limited income. Marjorie attended Ross State School, seeking permission to continue her education after her 14th birthday (then the school leaving age). During her school days, Marjorie contributed to the family income by taking in dressmaking, knitting and crochet work as well as cleaning the school and the teacher’s home.
After leaving school, Marjorie worked as a domestic and cook on several properties in the Campbell Town area. She married in 1938 and had two sons. In 1946, Marjorie became the foundation member of the Campbell Town Country Women's Association (CWA). She assisted with catering at sheep sales, demonstrated craftwork at meetings and was a delegate to State Conferences. She won many prizes for her handicraft. In the late 1950s, Marjorie started work as a correspondent for the three Tasmanian newspapers and the ABC, contributing news and events from her local area. Marjorie was also a regular exhibitor at the Campbell Town Show. In the 1950s, she took home hundreds of prizes, including six silver cups. She also judged at many shows around Tasmania.
Through her writing and demonstrations, Marjorie promoted a strong and proud tradition of home handicrafts including cooking, gardening, knitting, sewing and crochet. She had a strong interest in recycling, and finding alternate uses for common household ‘waste’ materials. For many years, Marjorie shared her knowledge and experience through her ‘Home Hints’ column in The Advocate newspaper.
Her first book, At Home with Marjorie Blackwell, was published in 1965. Marjorie shared her practical knowledge, life experiences and unique philosophy in six self-published books including: At Home with Marjorie Bligh, Marjorie Bligh’s A-Z of Gardening and Life is for Living.
In 1967, Marjorie moved to Devonport with her second husband. Widowed in 1971, Marjorie married for the third time in 1976. Marjorie’s resourcefulness, energy and talent contributed greatly to the communities in which she lived. She was an active member of the CWA and participated in community endeavours and fundraising activities.
Marjorie was also an active member of the Devonport Garden Club and the Friendship Club.