Mary’s medal to honour 40 years of musical service

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Mary’s medal to honour 40 years of musical service

Forty plus years of musical service have been recognised by the presentation of a Diocesan Medal to 92-year-old Mary Henriksen on Sunday March 12 by Fr Denys Lloyd, Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Joseph Parish, Sheringham and Cromer.

The medal was presented in recognition of Mary's long service to church music in both the Diocese of East Anglia at Our Lady of Refuge, Cromer, for the last 40 years and before that in the Archdiocese of Westminster.

Since 1977, when the family moved to North Norfolk, Mary has been singing in the choir or playing the organ ' and, since 1997, she has been organist at all Masses, Benedictions, funerals and other services, as well as the weekly choir practice.

Before that, and since her marriage in 1964, Mary was playing the organ at 20 or so local Catholic and Anglican churches in the Hoddesdon area in Hertfordshire and in 1974 was received into the Catholic Church. Since the late 1940s Mary was an established professional singer including a lead operatic singer on the North London stage, and music teacher.

Mary is a highly qualified musician: LRAM (singing), LRAM (piano) and GRSM. In the 1990s when the Royal Academy became a full college of the University of London, the GRSM was replaced by the award of the BMus (London)

Mary joined the Gregorian Association in 1964 and after many decades of singing was made an Honorary Member, until it merged with the Schola Cantorum in Cambridge. When she was 85, Mary decided she would give up her last teaching post at Cromer High School, but at 92 she still gives individual lessons to choir members.

Fr Denys said: "When she was presented with the Diocesan Medal at the end of Sunday Mass on the Second Sunday of Lent, the congregation burst into a spontaneous round of applause ' a testimony to the affection and gratitude we all feel for this very remarkable lady."

Pictured above is Fr Denys Lloyd presenting the Diocesan Medal and certificate to Mary Henriksen.