Marjorie lived a quiet, private life and was at her happiest when indulging in her passions for horticulture and wildlife. She was also a keen poet and had some of her work published. She stopped writing for a while, but it was the female osprey who acted as her muse and inspired her to put pen to paper once more.
Born and raised in Brechin, Marjorie left school at 14 years old and started working for an agricultural merchants. A few years later at the age of 20 she had her first child, quickly followed by a second 2 years later. Marjorie worked hard to provide for her two children, and luxuries were rare. She moved to Fife with her now teenage children in the 1980s. She started working in a garden centre, which allowed Marjorie to combine her work with her love of horticulture. When she wasn’t working, Marjorie also raised over 2,000 seedlings – including tomatoes, sweet peas, petunias, geraniums and begonias – every year for charity. Her daughter, Gillian, says that her mother didn’t like to travel too far from home when she was tending to the plants, and could only be tempted away by a visit to Loch of the Lowes.
Marjorie unfailingly followed the progress of the ospreys each year and, once they returned to Lowes, she would check the webcam every morning on waking, and nightly before bed. Knowing how much her mother enjoyed watching the ospreys, Gillian suggested that they apply to volunteer at Loch of the Lowes. Marjorie was thrilled when they were offered a position on the osprey watch and Gillian fondly recalls spending Saturday evenings together in the hide avidly monitoring the ospreys. During these shifts they also had the good fortune to see otters and almost every evening they saw the beaver family.
“I know how much pleasure mum got from helping out at Loch of the Lowes. She loved every second she spent there. Sometimes she would actually say it felt like she was going home when we were heading to Lowes” – Gillian Ogg, Marjorie’s daughter
Marjorie got so much pleasure from the time she spent at Loch of the Lowes. Although she liked to keep to herself, she did make some friends through her volunteering and had a great amount of respect for the staff at the reserve. Gillian admits that her mother did tend to prefer animals to people!
It was Marjorie’s hope that the ospreys would continue to return to Loch of the Lowes long into the future. This hope, along with her love of these birds, inspired Marjorie to leave a gift in her Will to the Trust to support the ongoing work at the reserve.
As summer days grow shorter, there’s a stillness in the air
A change is all around the Loch, as autumn tip-toes there
We knew this day was coming, now it’s time to let her leave
It’s sad to say “goodbye” this year, after all that she’s achieved
She takes one long flight around the loch, its beauty makes her sigh
So much has happened to her here, now to the south she flies
We wish her a safe journey, may she stay strong and keep well
Safe lodgings at her winter home where she’ll linger for a spell
We hope she’ll stay in sunny climes free from maternal chores
And fish and rest, build up her strength far from our icy shores
She may return, nobody knows, her future is unknown
If she survives the winter months, in spring she could come home
If she should fail to come back here we must not feel too sad
She’s left many lovely memories and for them we should be glad
She’s re-written all the records with her courage and her will
She deserves her place in history for she’s absolutely brill!
We can shed a tear should she not return
Or we can cherish her memory and let it live on
A new volunteer space has been created at Loch of the Lowes with the gift left by Marjorie.
Her daughter is delighted and feels it is a great lasting tribute to her mother.
Every gift in every Will, no matter how large or small, really does make a difference to the future of Scotland’s wildlife
If you are considering including a gift to the Scottish Wildlife Trust in your Will, or have already done so, please let us know. Doing so is by no means legally binding, but we would like the opportunity to thank you and to acknowledge your support. For more information, call Zoe on 0131 312 4772 or complete our online form.