Margaret Points (1927 – 2017)
Margaret Points, the wife of the former Headmaster Peter Points, died on 23rd January, 2017 aged 89 following a stroke. Her funeral was held on 21st February at Holy Trinity Church, Wonston, close to her retirement home in Sutton Scotney, Hampshire. Robin Paterson and John Fisher represented the OP Society and there was a large turnout of one-time College colleagues including Peter Politizer, Ian Busby, Jim McBroom, Peter Laverack, Diana Seidl and Don Somner.
The Tribute, on which this obituary is based, was given by the Rev. John Spriggs, a teacher at Pangbourne for 23 years and Chaplain at the College 1994-97.
“Gracious, kind, sensitive, loyal – a woman in her own right” is how John Spriggs summed up Margaret. “My overriding memory,” he said “is of someone who was really interested in other people. She was sympathetic and caring and got on with everyone while being a bit of a rebel at heart.”
Margaret Points was born into a Lancashire family, the daughter of an architect who moved around the country with his job. After attending nine schools, she went to St. Martin’s College of Design and Fashion in London foreshadowing a lifetime interest and involvement in design, theatre and the arts. In 1953 she married Peter and later had two children, Simon and Joanna.
Arriving at the newly-named Pangbourne College with her husband and young family in 1969, Margaret quickly became “very much more than a headmaster’s wife.” Soon she was taking part in numerous school activities including teaching an art class, singing in the newly-formed Pangbourne Choral Society, designing stage sets for school drama productions, cooking meals in short order for the many unexpected guests who visited Devitt House.
In particular, she proved a huge asset in the transformation of the College into a much wider, more sensitive and inclusive school. In John Spriggs’ words: “Her charm and resilience were essential assets in an ever-changing cast of characters and situations… Entertaining preparatory school headmasters and wives was her smooth and effective way of marketing the new ‘enterprise’. She was a key player.”
Wearing a hat on all occasions and always looking correct, he added, were other typical characteristics. “Margaret had an inquiring style. She was always quick to spot pupils or inexperienced staff who felt lost or isolated. Many were the occasions when she propped up others and gave them encouragement.”
In 1988 the Points retired to Wilmington in East Sussex. Here, at Lilac Cottage, Margaret’s love of gardening, love of dogs and abiding interest in the welfare of her five grandchildren had full play. The couple moved to Sutton Manor in Sutton Scotney in 2013.
A poem called ‘Afterglow’ written by Helen Lowrie Marshall and read at the funeral by granddaughter Sophie Daniel, aptly summed up Margaret to all who knew her. It goes: “I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one. I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways of happy times and laughing times and bright summer days. I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun of happy memories that I leave when life is done.”