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Privileged that my closest colleague was Dr Marjory Foyle

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    When I returned from seven years in India and was asked to lead an organisation shortly to be called InterHealth, I was privileged that my closest colleague and co-leader was to be Dr Marjory Foyle.

    I had previously met Marjory when she was making a name for herself working in Nur Manzil Psychiatric Institute in India. There she saw large numbers of expatriates – individuals, couples and families suffering from multiple emotional and at times psychiatric challenges. Marjory was to continue this work with great effectiveness for many years at InterHealth, also writing articles including those in learned journals, and later in her book. Her work and writing helped to underline an important agenda. She was one of the first to point out the importance of psychological wellbeing in addition to the medical needs we tend to think of first. And crucially for mission partners and others, to realise ‘it’s OK’ to have such problems and challenges, and not a sign of weakness or lack of faith.

    I especially remember my first day at work. We had three rooms between the two of us and a nurse secretary, Jane Rymer. Before starting to see patients, it was up to me to buy furniture for my new consulting room.

    ‘Ted, you have just £100 to find adequate furniture from cheap outlets in the commercial roads nearby. We will go together and see what we can find.’

    And we did. With Marjory’s help I felt unapologetic about the room and furniture I used, when a few days later patients started to come through the door from multiple overseas locations. Often, they would see both of us sequentially for what I trust were friendly and unthreatening appointments.

    After Marjory’s retirement, not exactly an exact date in hers or anyone else’s diary, I continued to see her from time to time. Her sense of humour was never far below the surface. Marjory also had a rather naughty streak which we all loved. I remember one particular occasion when she gave me a good smack on the lips. ‘Ted you’re one of the few people I enjoy kissing on the lips.’ With her being a generation older, I considered that was an effective and enjoyable seal of friendship!

    Dr Ted Lankester, former director of InterHealth and Co-Founder of Thrive Worldwide

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