Memoriam Irene Simkin

Irene Simkin (born Marshall)
April 15, 1927 (Sheffield, England) – May 28, 2017 (Canberra, Australia)

  • Daughter of Lotti & Ernest Marshall;
  • Sister of MargaretErnest & Eric;
  • Ex-Wife of Max;
  • Mother of Richard, Mandy, Tim and Toby;
  • Grandmother of Michael, Ashley, Troy, Emma & Brett;
  • Godmother to Mandy Vilimaa-White.
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Irene Simkin Memorial Poster recent Irene Simkin Memorial Poster 1940s Irene Marshall Simkin 30 minutes after OCTU graduation Mum WWII Parachute with Medals hanging on wall WWWIrene Simkin Memorial Family coin Irene Simkin Photo Board

Memorial Service

Irene Simkin Memorial Invite

June 2, 2017
The Chapel
101 Nettlefold St
ACT 2617

80th Birthday

Irene Simkin 80th Birthday Group


Irene Simkin Memorial Painting South Pacific

Painted by Irene in 1976 aboard SS Mariposa

Irene Marshall Simkin Timeline

Memorial Service Key Video

Abide With Me:  Featuring a rough timeline in photography of Mum’s life, set to a special mix of “Nimrod” Variation IX (Adagio) the 9th variation on the 1899 Enigma Variations (performed by The London Symphony Orchestra) c. Edward Elgar; and “Abide With Me” is a hymn by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte, composed by William Henry Monk, performed by Emeli Sandé. Lyte was dying of tuberculosis as he wrote it which celebrates human endeavour with a reminder that we need God’s help and comfort.

Full Service Video

Video of the complete memorial service for Irene Simkin, from June 2, 2017 at The Chapel, ACT, Australia. Led by Duntroon Military Chaplain, the Reverend Peter Rose, OAM, with an audience of approximately 50 close family and friends.
[We apologize for the audio quality of the service video , this was from our “backup” video. The primary video unfortunately was not saved at the Chapel, since the grossly inefficient Tobin Brothers staff at Belconnen Chapel did not save the video to disc. As a result, the primary video has been lost forever. Therefore, this backup video I decided to shoot anticipating problems with Tobin Brothers is all that remains. With special thanks to Andrew Dell for setting up and operating my GoPro camera. I used a parabolic equalizer to improve the audio quality as best as I could.]

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Videos & Music used in the Memorial Service:

Pre Service Arrivals

Entry Music (sequence) – The Funeral Hymn “/ “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (1978 film “Cry Freedom”) c. George Fenton, Jonas Gwangwa and Thuli Dumakude [in tribute to her South African family members]; “Ave Maria” (Peter Jobach) c. Franz Schubert; “Panis Angelicus” (Choir) c. César Franck; “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past” (King’s College Choir Cambridge) c. William Croft & Isaac Watts [in rememberance of her attending the funeral of Sir Sir Winston Churchill in 1965]; “Even Though You’re Gone” (Angelis); “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (Broadway’s “Carousel”, performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) c. Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein [representing her love of musical theatre, and particularly this song]; “Crimond / Psalm 23”: “The Lord Is My Shepherd” (Choirboys: Patrick Aspbury, Ben Inman & CJ Porter-Thaw) c. Jessie Seymour Irvine; “Ave Maria” (Petter Bjallo) c. Franz Schubert; Ending with “Panis Angelicus” (Aled Jones) c. César Franck.

God Be In My Head

“God Be In My Head” c. Sir Henry Walford Davies KCVO OBE

God be in my head, and in my understanding; God be in mine eyes, and in my looking; God be in my mouth, and in my speaking; God be in my heart, and in my thinking; God be at mine end, and at my departing

‘A’ Your Adorable

A personal reflection based on a song that both Irene Simkin and her granddaughter, Ashley Jeanroy, often shared. “’A’ You’re Adorable” (performed by Perry Como, with The Fontane Sisters) c. Sid Lippman and lyrics by Buddy Kaye and Fred Wise.

Abide With Me

Special mix of “Nimrod” Variation IX (Adagio) the 9th variation on the 1899 Enigma Variations (performed by The London Symphony Orchestra) c. Edward Elgar; and “Abide With Me” is a hymn by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte, composed by William Henry Monk, performed by Emeli Sandé. Lyte was dying of tuberculosis as he wrote it which celebrates human endeavour with a reminder that we need God’s help and comfort.

Time to Say Goodbye

Recessional Music: “Time To Say Goodbye” (Andrea Boccelli & Sarah Brightman) c. Lucio Quarantotto & Frencesco Sartoni; “Walking in the Air” (Aled Jones) c. Howard Blake.

Reverend Peter Rose OAM entering the Memorial Service for Irene Simkin on June 2, 2017
Eulogy by Toby Simkin for Irene Simkin Memorial
Mandy & Emma, Toby & Troy embrace at the beginning of the recessional at the Memorial Service for Irene Simkin on June 2, 2017
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Favorite Things

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Brandy
  • Spicy Curries
  • Cheese
  • BBC TV Dramas
  • Andrea Bocelli
  • Turquoise Colour
  • Aled Jones
  • Asian Food
  • Parachuting
  • Cruise Ship Travel
  • Classical Music
  • ABC Comedies
  • Smell of Cigars
  • Iced Coffee & Nutmeg
  • Musical Theatre
  • Future Technologies
  • Black Coffee
  • Good Friends
  • Family

Irene Marshall Medals Irene Simkin commonwealth games

An International Life

1927 born in Sheffield, England
1933 age 6 fostered by a defacto mother – Paddy.
1934 age 7, conducted 22 piece school band
1943 joined the R.A.F. during World War II
1945 comissioned in the Royal Air Force
1945 Asst. to Marshal of the R.A.F. at Whitehall
1947 posted to Singapore
1948 awarded the Malaya Medal
1948 posted to England
1949 posted to Bushy Park, England
1950 met her future husband parachute training
1952 resigned R.A.F. commission & moved to Sydney
1954 gave birth to Richard Maxwell Simkin
1956 gave birth to Amanda Jane Simkin
1957 moved to Penang, Malaysia
1959 gave birth to Timothy Alexander Simkin
1959 moved to Melbourne, Australia
1960 moved to Wagga Wagga, Australia
1961 moved to Latimer, England
1964 gave birth to Toby James Simkin
1965 moved to Canberra, Australia
1972 moved to Brisbane, Australia
1973 moved to Washington DC, USA
1976 moved to Brisbane, Australia
1979 began management at XII Commonwealth Games
1980 divorced Brigadier General M.B. Simkin
1988 produced radio shows in Brisbane, Australia
1991 moved to Crownsville, USA
1993 moved to Toronto, Canada
1993 became Canadian Landed Immigrant
1996 moved to Canberra, Australia
2017 passed away in Canberra, Australia
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Irene Simkin

Max Simkin Irene Marshall dating in London Max Irene Simkin Wedding Swords 5 Mandy 2 Epson 20170429195716 Irene and Max Simkin Washington DC uniform Irene Marshall and Max Simkin in Melbourne backyard Mum and Dad on steps of Seymour Home 4 Richard 3 1950 1964 Simkin Family 082 Irene and Max Simkin Washington DC Max Simkin 80th Birthday surprise from Toby with Irene Max Simkin 80th Birthday surprise from Toby with IreneLollyGag Animals Cow Andrea with Mum SKYDOME OPENING 1989 Toronto photo 31 Toby with Mum Surfers Paradise 1973 Mum Toby Mandy night before leaving for USA at Pizza Palace Mum 80th South Pacific Tahiti Mum Leaf Hat Mum 80th South Pacific Tahiti Mum Coconut Bra Mum 80th South Pacific Moorea Mum in Flowers Mum 80th South Pacific Cruise Ship Tahitian Princess Simkin Wizniak Mothers Toby Mum 80th South Pacific Tahiti 86 Mum 80th South Pacific Bora Bora Yellow Submarine Mum Mum 80th Party Jeanroy Family Toby Mum 80th Party 396 Richard Simkin Bli Bli Mum Richard and Toby


Logo Heart to HeartCharity H2H Child Sponsored for Irene SimkinThanks to the generous donations from Elaine Beaumont, Gloria Marshall, Stella Wizniak, DJ Wizniak & I,  a 14 month girl named Wei Shunmei from the Miao minority in Guizhou province had much needed open heart surgery on November 27 and has been given new life in my mothers name.

Update from Heart to Heart Shanghai (Jul 2018)

Photos and video received from the grateful father of Wei Shunmei to show how she is stronger every day, and has new life thanks to generosity of donors to the “In Memory of Irene Simkin Fund”. H2H WeiShunMei2018

Update from Heart to Heart Shanghai (Oct 2018)

H2H WeiShunMeiOct 20181DJ and many Heart to Heart volunteers visited Wei Shunmei in Guizhou.  She is now 2 years old. Wei Shunmei and her grandparents were at their home when they went to see her. Her 10 year old brother was in school. Her parents were working.  Wei Shunmei was upset almost the whole time we were there since she was a bit overwhelmed. However, she was doing quite well. Her coloring was good and she is obviously growing. Her grandmother said that she is healthy now and never gets sick any more. The grandparents were quite happy about the outcome of the surgery. H2H WeiShunMeiOct 20184Wei Shunmei and her family live in an old style Miao home that was built by the grandfather’s great-grandparents. (see photo on left)  It is kept very well – neat and clean inside, but is in real need of repair. There are holes in the walls wooden which are simply patched with newspaper from 10 years ago. The concrete floors have a hole in each room to build a fire in the winter. The main room is full of rice drying on the floor. Despite the hardships that they obviously face, they are looking forward to a great future. Since both parents are now working things should get better for them. Heart to Heart gave the family a large bag filled with clothing, toiletries, toys, etc. They were well received. They also gave them a large hongbao (money) to help with expenses and Wei Shunmei’s education. They were extremely happy to receive it.

H2H WeiShunMeiOct 20182 H2H WeiShunMeiOct 20183

Update from Heart to Heart Shanghai (Feb 2019)

H2H WeiShunMei2019

Wei ShunMei’s family sent this lovely photograph of her at the beginning of Spring Festival (February 2019) in her hometown in Guizhou province.  She is obviously doing very well.


Irene Simkin Memorial PlaqueMelbourne Springvale Cemetary Family Tree Memorial Family Tree Springvale Memorial Cemetery Victoria Australia Map Springvale Memorial Cemetery Victoria Australia

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