Everyone at Spectrum has been saddened by the death of Lady Mary Holborow who was our president from 2000 to 2016. We remember her with fondness and with gratitude for all that she accomplished on our behalf.
One of her first engagements on our behalf was the opening of Sterling Court as the new location of Spectrum’s head offices. At the time, Lady Mary was also the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, a role at which she excelled. We were delighted and honoured when she agreed to be our President, which turned out to be another outstanding role.
From day one of her presidency, Lady Mary very quickly set about understanding autism and the care Spectrum provides. Her interest and concern were both very genuine and evident. Although not involved in the day-to-day running of the organisation, Lady Mary nevertheless maintained a close rapport. Spectrum’s Trustees and CEO Mary Simpson kept Lady Mary updated with major developments and issues. She often made time in her crowded schedule to mark special occasions – the opening of a new home, or the presentation of certificates. In April 2005, our educational centre, Three Bridges, was officially opened by Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, attended by her husband, Prince Edward. This momentous event could not have happened without Lady Mary’s influence in high places.
Service users took to Lady Mary and were always delighted to welcome her. Team Members were always impressed with her insightfulness and the extent to which she always praised them for their work and all the training they undertake.
Lady Mary championed our organisation in a truly exemplary manner, with good humour and a positive outlook. Her advice was always welcomed and heeded. Whenever Lady Mary was invited to ‘say a few words’ it became much more apparent why we were so fortunate to have had her as our distinguished President: she spoke not as an outsider, but as one of us, sharing our concerns, our hopes and our achievements and encouraging us to take pride in our work, to look forward to future successes.
When Lady Mary decided the time had come to hand over the role of presidency to someone else, it was easy for her to suggest the Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Bishop Tim Thornton, who did Spectrum the honour of agreeing to be her successor.
And so the time has come for us to say ‘farewell’ to Lady Mary as our former President, with our sincerest thanks for having been all that we could have hoped for and more.