It is with great sadness that we report the passing away of long time Folk Club member Marie Inzitari (Phillips).
She was a great cultural icon with her active participation in the folk scene from her teenage years. Marie joined the Newcastle Folk Club in her own right in 1986 but was present under her mother’s (Mary’s) membership for quite some time before that.
Marie held the Folk Club Committee positions of President, Vice President, Coaldust Editor, Publicity Co-ordinator, Bookings Officer, and Membership Officer at one time or another. Marie was a very active member of the Club until the last few years when work commitments made it difficult for her to attend regularly.
Marie was also regularly seen performing at sessions and parties as well as on the stage, including as a founding member of The Collectables group. She was also an entrant in the various Chorus Cup teams representing the Newcastle & Hunter Valley Folk Club at St Albans Folk Festivals over the years.
Marie was also a member of Newcastle People’s Chorus with 24 years of involvement and she held the position of deputy musical conductor for much of that time. It was Marie that admirably led the Chorus on its epic tour of the UK and Ireland. She performed with the Chorus at various festivals including the National Folk Festival. She participated for decades in nearly all the various labour movement milestones such as May Day rallies, demonstrations and union picket lines.
In keeping with her values and commitment to the community, Marie was one of the earliest members of the (Newcastle) Progressive Labour Party and joined not long after it formed.
It is a terrible loss to the community at just 42 years old and our hearts go out to husband Frank, mother Mary and sister Anna. She will be remembered.