Molly with Jock in 1990
Molly Sutherland, wife and widow of Jock Sutherland, our founder and ever present spirit in SIHR, died peacefully in hospital on 19th April 2002, having outlived Jock by nearly eleven years.
In the latter five years she had left Edinburgh to be with her daughter Anne in Ballater and then in a residential home nearby, where she had Anne's constant companionship and support and was also surrounded by her four grandchildren.
I repeat wife and widow because Jock and Molly were always coupled together by name and complementarity in their extensive social, public and private lives, whether in London, at Tavistock, in Edinburgh and through their long links with the States and with Menninger. They were never separated in their lives nor by his death. You would never say that Molly lived in the past, for she continued to the end to have great lively and humorous interest in what went on around her, but her long and happy life with Jock was always present in her in a singularly uncomplicated and wholehearted way.
They were not separated by any career of hers and yet she had a career, that of never failing help-mate. Even after Jock’s death this was a familiar note: at an anniversary dinner in SIHR not very long after Jock’s death, Molly was sitting on the right hand side of Megan Browne OBE, founder member of SIHR, who was speaking from after dinner notes. At one point, Megan, quite unruffled, said I seem to have lost a page. Molly, equally unphased, replied “There it is, Megan.” and pulled it from her pile.
Molly was also a tireless and gifted giver of hospitality. This she only gave up when extreme pain from wear and tear in joints forced her to do so. It was in her bones almost literally.
Nevertheless, I know that one of her regrets was giving up her public persona as committee member in voluntary activities which she had developed in Radlett near London and which could not be renewed in their retirement to Edinburgh.
She had a very public and private self-respect. Not too many newer and younger members in SIHR now would have known Molly, but those of us who do would celebrate her long full life and are saddened by her passing.