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The Cybec Foundation

John Knyvett Marshall 14.2.1922 - 19.10.2005


John with grand-daughter Briohny at her wedding to David Schar.


John Marshall was born in London in 1922. He went to a preparatory School in Scarborough, and then to Winchester College. He then studied for a BA in Mechanical Engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1942, and was directed by the Ministry of Employment to Vauxhall Motors at Luton. Vauxhall were building Churchill tanks and other army vehicles, and John spent quite a lot of time testing them with the army.

In 1948 he married Helen Hunter, whom he had met at work. Her father was born in Australia, and her family emigrated to Australia shortly after the wedding, so when John was offered a position as an Assistant Experimental Officer with General Motors Holden at Fisherman's Bend, Melbourne, he quickly accepted. He and Helen sailed to Australia in 1953 on the SS. Strathmore, with their two children Geoffrey, aged three, and Sheena, 10 months. Their second son Christopher was born in 1958. It was a happy move, and John remained with GMH for the rest of his working life.

In April, 1976 John was assigned to Opel, near Wiesbaden, for two years as Liaison Engineer for the new Commodore. This was a very happy time for them. John retired in April, 1980, and took up wood turning as a hobby. He often combined his work with Helen's pottery.

John and Helen have eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. John thoroughly enjoyed his time with his grandchildren and encouraged them in all their pursuits. Unfortunately he became ill before he was able to get to know his great grandchildren, who live in Sydney. Their son Geoffrey and grandchildren Briohny and David, all engineers, still work at GMH. Sheena studied Social Work at Melbourne University, and Christopher is VP Information Technology with Hilton International (The Americas).

Helen and John enjoyed travel, and after he retired they visited Christopher at hotels in The Bahamas, Hong Kong and Egypt.

John was very much a family man, and kept in touch with his family in England. He loved children, and they loved him, and was always willing to join in their activities. He also loved poetry, and was always quoting poems, some of which he had written himself. One of his favourites was Max Ehrmann's Desiderata:

'Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

Even the dull and ignorant;

they too have their story. ....'

John developed multiple myeloma late in 2004. Although he suffered considerable pain, he remained cheerful and optimistic until the end. He was inspired by the positive attitudes of his fellow patients, and of the staff, and was in turn an inspiration to those around him. He had always wanted to know how things worked, and became very interested in the procedures used in his treatment. He found the treatment very tiring, and would have been very interested in the outcome of this research project.

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