Magda Cross obituary


My mom, Margaret Cross, often called Magda, who has died aged 99, was a dedicated trainer, peace campaigner and Quaker, who for many years devoted a lot of her vitality to the pursuit of social justice and disarmament.

Magda skilled as a main faculty trainer at Whitelands School (now a part of the College of Roehampton), taking on her first educating submit, at Tudor Street faculty in Southall, west London, in 1944. Wartime situations meant balancing the lure of dances on the Hammersmith Palais towards the necessity to honour the night-time fire-watch rota on the faculty.

Quickly after celebrating VE Day, Magda and her good friend Grace secured educating jobs at Spryfield faculty in Halifax, Canada. At a neighborhood dance corridor there she met my Canadian father, Donald Cross. They had been married in 1950, each accepting appointments to show English at secondary trendy colleges within the West Midlands; my mom at Prestwood Street faculty in Wolverhampton.

Magda’s political outlook started to maneuver leftwards from her dad and mom’ conservatism. Because the abhorrent nature of Thatcherism turned clear to her, my mom bristled on the thought that (as a greengrocer’s daughter herself) others would possibly recommend an affinity between her and this different Margaret. In response, she adopted the moniker Magda thereafter. She had been born in Shropshire to Olive (nee Inexperienced) and Stephen Jones, who, in addition to working their greengrocery enterprise, instilled of their three youngsters the significance of laborious work and civic advantage.

Within the early 80s, as Conservative funding cuts hit faculty budgets, Magda volunteered to take early retirement. Donald did likewise and, nonetheless of their 50s, they started a long time of energetic non-working life. Dedicated Quakers, they turned the primary resident associates on the Charney Manor Quaker retreat in Oxfordshire, later transferring to Dundee after which Brighton to stay near my sister, Jenny, and her household.

Because the chilly battle intensified, Magda grew annoyed on the unwillingness of politicians east and west to know the alternatives for de-escalation. She turned a passionate advocate for citizen-based peace-making. Via the Moms for Peace group (later Ladies to Ladies for Peace), Magda sought out direct contacts with like-minded people in different nations, turning into a fluent Russian speaker within the course of.

Bypassing official state our bodies, she joined quite a few peace-making visits to each Russia and Ukraine, staying with peculiar households whom she would then invite to go to the UK. These endeavours later encompassed exchanges with peace-seeking activists within the US, Cuba, Israel, Palestine and elsewhere.

In her mid-70s, Magda started learning with the Open College, addressing the qualification hole that had capped her educating profession at deputy head at Montgomery faculty, Exeter. Her delight at graduating with a BA Honours within the social sciences was enhanced when, in 2017, her Whitelands certification was additionally upgraded to diploma stage by Roehampton College.

As her well being declined, Magda continued her activism on-line, displaying spectacular IT expertise for a ninetysomething. She displayed attribute resilience when Donald died in 2005, after which Jenny in 2012.

Magda is survived by two youngsters, Jonathan and me, and her granddaughter, Jessica.


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