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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

I - Independent Me

Marjorie Keith Lyon (her middle name was given to her for her uncle who had perished in North Africa during WWI which may give you an idea of how different her parents were) was born in January 1924 and was the eldest of four siblings - two sisters and a brother. All four were extremely forward-thinking and accomplished in their chosen fields.Her parents were strict and had boundaries as well as specific guidelines in place. What else her parents had, was a healthy appreciation for the ability of everyone to do and be whatever they wished to be. Bear in mind that this was 1924.

Whilst still a teen, Marjorie got her pilot's licence and was, by all accounts, an outstanding pilot. She loved flying and that love never left her. She would often tell us stories about her flying days and the mad, mad group of which she was a member. This site explains better than I can what Marjorie meant. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/reasons-you-should-become-a-pilot-282893.

Majorie was also a South African ballroom champion in 1950. She and her dancing partner, James White Maritz, were married in 1951 and had five children of their own; all of whom were encouraged to be whatever they wanted to be. Yes, the girls were taught how to be ladies and the boys, how to be gentlemen. This enhanced, rather than detracted from our ability to achieve success in our chosen careers.

Marjorie was an accomplished artist and painted, did pottery and copper work merely as a hobby. She never sold any of her work and these have remained treasures in the family.

All of tthese accomplishments were achieved during a time when the world would have us believe that women were oppressed. 

My beautiful mother was married to my father for 25 years until his untimely death in 1978. Never once did Marjorie feel that she was in the least bit oppressed and, to be honest, neither have I. 

We all love and miss you, Mom.


When you asked me why I stand so tall
When you wondered why I never fall
You didn’t expect the answer I gave
Did you?

Well, tall has nothing to do with height
And fall often means taking wrong over right
So here I am living as I wish to live

When I got myself right out of that bind
When I first said ‘No’ and then changed my mind
You didn’t expect that behaviour
Did you?

If I don’t take charge and fulfil my pledge
How will I ever survive at the edge?
So here I am living as I wish to live

Marjorie Keith Lyon (1940s) [Source: Own Photograph]

Marjorie Lyon and James Maritz - National Ballroom Dancing Champions 1950 [Source: Own Photograph]

Marjorie Keith Lyon Rocking Durban Harbour (1940s) [Source: Own Photograph]

Marjorie Keith Maritz (Nee Lyon) and Colleagues (1950s) [Source: Own Photograph]

Marjorie Keith Lyon - Qualified Pilot (1940s) [Source: Own photograph]

Marjorie and Fellow Pilots (1940s) [Source: Own Photograph]

Marjorie Keith Lyon (1940s) - Natural Beauty [Source: Own Photograph]

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