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Obituary: Margaret Daniel

06 March 2015

Dr Bernard Palmer writes:
A VALUED former member of the Church Times editorial staff, Margaret Daniel, died on 11 February. She was the widow of the Revd Michael Daniel, and the mother of five children. She, joined the staff in 1974, and became the editor's secretary.

Although she came in on only two days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), she contrived to cram into those two days almost as much work as a full-timer would have managed in a full week.

She was very much more than a highly competent shorthand typist (though she was certainly that). She could keep my would-be critics at bay on the phone indefinitely, or charm an article out of the most reluctant contributor.

She could also write like an angel, and would exercise her literary talent in both signed book reviews and innumerable unsigned shorter notices, combining shrewd critical judgement with a refusal ever to be unkind or malicious as an author.

Not the least of her many qualities was to act as an agony aunt to the office staff, devoting endless lunch hours to sorting out their emotional problems for them.

John Whale, my successor as editor, was unable to persuade her to stay on as his secretary beyond the end of the year 1989. The paper was the poorer for her departure.

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