by PAT McCARTHY
Marie Quinn, an indomitable presence in Catholic, business, civic and community circles in Auckland, died on February 17, aged 86.
Her devotedness to family, gregarious nature and extensive network of contacts — in Church, community and conservative politics — were evidenced at her funeral in St Michael’s church, Remuera. The requiem Mass, concelebrated by eight priests, was attended by National and ACT Party MPs.
Mrs Quinn was a pioneer in the financial advisory industry, when it began in the 1980s, soon hanging out her own shingle in an industry in which there were few women. Her office also doubled as a political drop-in centre.
When her peers in the industry honoured her with a community service award in 2019, she was described as the “grande dame” of personal finance advice.
“Marie’s dedication to serving others, without expectation of financial reward, is unquestionable, and her commitment to her causes is inspirational,” the citation said.
In an online tribute, industry colleague John Milner referred to her as a “warrior woman”, whose strong sense of right and wrong “held the industry to account”.
He said she would “turn up late to industry meetings and ask the most excruciatingly awkward questions. The ones we would have liked to ask, but didn’t have the guts to do so”.
As an Auckland City councillor in the 1980s, Mrs Quinn argued for cost-cutting and advocated for senior citizens. Two bids for the mayoralty were unsuccessful.
In 1988, she helped introduce the University of the Third Age (U3A) to New Zealand. She was also involved with the Red Cross Meals on Wheels service, St Mary’s College board of governors, the Catholic Caring Foundation, Zonta International, and the Hope Foundation for Research on Ageing.
She served as a Justice of the Peace, was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 1977, and was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and the community in 2014.
When the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem was established in New Zealand in 2011, Mrs Quinn became an inaugural member. Promoted last year to the rank of dame commander, she was cremated in the regalia of the order.