Tributes paid to community stalwart Mary Strachan

Mary with her granddaughter Olivia

By Jodie Nesling

Tributes have been paid to community stalwart Mary Theresa Strachan who died after contracting sepsis.

The 69-year-old was well known in the community especially through her capacity as treasurer for residents’ group, A Better Cliftonville (ABC).

In a statement ABC said: “(We are) very sad to hear that our dear resident, friend and treasurer Mary Teresa Strachan has lost her battle in hospital. 

“Her incredible energy and zest for life was enviable and her love for Cliftonville and in making it a happy fun place was passionate. She got really stuck in at events in the area and was an active member of not just ABC but lots of other local groups and she will be sorely missed by everyone. Big love to you Mary from ABC, Cliftonville and us all.” 

The beloved grandmother of three and mother of four was born in Stamford, London, to an Irish mother, Bridget and a Scottish father, Peter.  

Daughter Katherine, speaking on behalf of the family, remembers her mother’s zest for life and indomitable spirit  informed by the Celtic traditions she was raised with.

She said: “Mum had a deep connection to Ireland and loved the craic. In her younger days, she would be spotted at many a party, often doing the Irish gig on a table. 

“She invested in people and her neighbours were treated like family. She believed in rooting herself in the local community, wherever she lived, and her involvement in the Dalby Square Garden Project is testament to her beliefs. She took on a little project to plant daffodils, by Viking Adventure playground, with some local children. They are in flower now and are a great reminder of the brightness she brought to many lives.”

Chair of the  Dalby Square Area Residents Association (DSARA) Clare Stephens says Mary was always offering to volunteer.

She said: “Mary was always planting bulbs, litter picking and tidying up the park. My husband Paul planted a blossom tree for her in the square – it is now flowering but sadly she didn’t get to see it. But we will always think of Mary when the tree is in bloom-she will be very sadly missed.”