Obituary: Marion Morton, former Deputy Lord Provost, 78

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A FORMER Deputy Lord Provost for the city and active member of the Quakers Church has died at the age of 78.

Marion Morton, who lived in Trinity with her minister husband Andrew, passed away on September 11 after battling cancer.

Tributes to the former Fountainbridge Labour councillor were led by Councillor Eric Milligan. Mrs Morton acted as his deputy during his tenure as Lord Provost between 1996 and 2003.

He said he would remember her “with great fondness”, adding: “Marion was my deputy and stood in for me on occasions. I had no hesitation about this as I knew Marion’s warm personality, intelligence and willingness to do a good job would be recognised.

“I am very sorry to hear of Marion’s passing.”

Following her graduation from the University of Glasgow, Mrs Morton worked as a teacher, beginning her career in 1957 at Eastwood Senior Secondary in Renfrewshire. She also worked in London, as head of English at Charles Edward Brooke Grammar School and Rowan High School.

Mrs Morton was first elected to the council as Labour member for Fountainbridge in 1995.

Three years later, she became city licensing convener and later took charge of the council’s race equality sub-committee, which was set up in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry.

Among her duties as Deputy Lord Provost was receiving the Millennium Flame when it arrived in the Capital in December 2000 as part of its 17-day, 2000-mile journey to light up beacons across Britain in celebration of the end of the year.

Mark Lazarowicz, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, said: “It was sad to hear the news of the death of Marion Morton. Strongly committed to her constituents and to public service, she was always kind, courteous, and considerate, but also firm in her views and principles.”

Mrs Morton stunned colleagues in 2003 when she announced she would not be standing for 
re-election, saying she wished to make way for younger people to enter politics.

She said at the time: “I’ve decided to stand down to make way for new blood on the council and give the younger generations a chance.

“With no-one under the age of 35 on the council, it’s really not properly representative of the city. I’m also probably around ten years older than any of my Labour colleagues.”

Away from work, Mrs Morton was a member of the Quakers in Edinburgh, serving in many positions over the years.

Alan Davies, a spokesman for the Edinburgh Quakers, said: “Marion was a Quaker of many years’ standing. She went out of her way to make visitors feel welcome.

“She was what is sometimes referred to as a seasoned friend, well-versed in Quaker thought and practice and will be much missed.”