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                                                    Muriel Rosin 


     It is with  sadness that we record the passing of one our most  distinguished and eldest members of our congregation Muriel Rosin who passed away shortly after her ninetieth birthday.  Muriel Rosin was a member of the Southern Rhodesia parliament under Garfield Todd.  She also opposed the  Ian Smith’s UDI  in the 1970’s.

    When she arrived in 1932 as a young bride, to marry Mr. I. R. “Kipps” Rosin,  she was recruited by her father-in-law the Rev. J. J. Rosin to join the Board of the Rhodesia Children’s Home.  She was still the Home’s much esteemed Life Patron at the time of her death..

    It was countless committees, boards and charitable organisations she joined, and very often led which prepared her for her role as one of  only three white women  ever to have entered Parliament before independence in 1980.  Dian Mitchell,  Muriel Rosin’s biographer recalls  that it  was her greatest triumph to break through into the all male preserve.  She is still remembered for her determination to enforce the wearing of crash helmets by motorcyclists.

     She also regretted the failure of the Federal experiment from 1953 to 1963.  “To think that we ran the whole Federation- not just S. Rhodesia - on seven cabinet ministers and two deputies!!”   Muriel’s  two terms on the electoral Supervisory Commission after independence (1985 and 1990) ended her formal association with politics.  She was always at ease in parliament, and at her funeral she was affectionately known “as the only man in Welensky’s party.”

     Muriel’s  British parents, who were from German and American backgrounds, raised her and her brother in  “Reformed’ Jewish congregation of London’s Hampstead, where she was born and where she learned the duties of the privileged  - to give service where ever she could.  She loved the great traditions of her religion.  Before and after independence she served for decades on the Central African Jewish Board of Deputies as a representative of the Sephardi synagogue  and congregation her husband guided.   She was also a foundation member of the Union of Jewish Women.

     At her funeral there were many distinguished personalities who represented the relics of organisations she had been involved with - the United Party, the post-UDI Rhodesia Party - Jan Savoury was there as was the CCJP’s Mike Auret who had fought RF with them in the 1970’S. Also there was Bob Stumbles, formerly of “The Pledge”; Old friends such as Harry Kantor, the Kaplans, Cynthia and Mike Hind, Justice Nick McNally and Kiki Divaris of the Greek community.  Widows Tomi Samkange and Victoria Chitepo also paid homage.

    Farewell to a grand old lady and the end of an era.        

     With acknowledgements to Diana Mitchell


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