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Vale Marjorie Hatten

We would like to recognise the life of one of our lifetime members, Marjorie Hatten, who passed away in July 2020.

Marjorie became a member of the Alliance Française de Melbourne in 1956 and actively participated in the Maison de France - a group created to raise funds (through breakfasts and lunches) for the purchase of a property in Armadale for AFM. She attended the Maison de France’s conversation mornings for many years and was in charge of organising their morning teas and Christmas lunches.

Marjorie was also an animatrice of a conversation group at the Alliance Française de Melbourne for approximately nine years until about 2009.

Merci beaucoup to her daughter, Marian, for providing the below information on Marjorie's life.

Marjorie was born in England in March 1922 and when she was five her father was transferred to work in Paris.

The following excerpts taken from her own notes:

"We lived for six months or so in a pension at Saint-Mandé near the Bois de Vincennes, Paris.

Here I started school. The problem was, everyone spoke French and I could only speak English... A few months later I recall translating for my mother, and my sister and I even quarelled in French.

In 1932 at 10 years of age we moved to Mauberge, near the Belgian border.  We lived in a nearby village, Rousies, in a large house the locals called "Le Chateau des Anglais". Not a chateau as we know it but a larger house than those around it. 

After I completed junior school in 1934, I was sent to boarding school in England and could not write English, only speak it.  But I caught up to my age group in only four terms.

In 1936, my father was posted to Australia and we sailed to Adelaide where we were quickly enrolled in MLC ladies college.  I was fortunate to be placed 1st in the state (South Australia) for French (1939 and 1940). I then studied shorthand and typing during which I was asked to be secretary of the Free French Movement which worked to raise money to help General de Gaulle with his effort to continue the fight against the Germans."

See attached photo and newspaper article of Marjorie as Secretary for the Free French Movement.

Marjorie married and moved to Melbourne where she raised her family while continuing a career teaching French, in schools and private classes in her home, and at the Alliance Francaise. She was also very involved with fundraising for the Alliance, organising many a luncheon, including catering the events.

I know Marjorie loved her days at the Alliance Francaise, and the groups she taught. 

Marjorie was thrilled when she became a life member of the Alliance.