Mariola Summerfield has sadly passed away. Mariola belonged to Gibraltar’s beloved generation that suffered the evacuation during World War 2 and the Spanish blockade to strangle Gibraltar economically.
After living through very dark times during the Blitz in London and the Nazi threat, she was a member of the generation that survived tremendous challenges to return to their Rock.
In 1969, when General Franco closed the border, she was a founder member of the Gibraltar Housewives’ Association formed to support the efforts to maintain our economy going when Spanish labour was withdrawn.
Mariola was also prominent in organising a petition from the Housewives’ Association to Her Majesty the Queen pledging to stand by the 1967 referendum and our wishes to live in peace, in friendly coexistence with our neighbours, without severing our links with the United Kingdom.
Mariola was a tough lady despite her personal charm and great sense of humour. With her passing Gibraltar loses one of its great patriots.
The Chief Minster, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP said: ‘Mariola was a national treasure. She was well known to me as a great friend of my own mother from the time of the Housewives’ Association. She represented a generation of great Gibraltarians, in particular a generation of ‘stand up and be counted’ women who were not prepared to see Gibraltar harassed by the the Franco dictatorship. We have lost a ‘one of a kind’ lady. She will be sadly missed. With her dies a little bit of Gibraltar’s post-war political, social and economic history. Rest in Peace Mariola. I extend my most sincere condolences to her family to whom I have also written privately.”