Obituary: Pauline Hodge MBE, fundraiser, 89

Pauline Hodge MBE, a nationally esteemed fundraiser who co-ordinated the Edinburgh branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) for 40 years, has died, aged 89.

Mrs Hodge MBE moved to Barnton in the 1940s and her fundraising efforts for five decades placed Edinburgh as the top city outside London to support the charity dedicated to saving lives at sea.

She is remembered for her kindness and determination for fundraising.

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Born in Bristol on 18 January 1921, her father ran a large clothing business that weathered the Great Depression.

Her mother was a former dance teacher who trained in Edinburgh 100 years ago. In her later years, Mrs Hodge's mother was devoted to volunteering for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).

Mrs Hodge's ties with the south-west remained strong when she moved to London to train as a secretary. She was 18 when the war broke out, and she joined the Wrens, where she met her husband, Sandy, a young naval officer who won the George Cross.

A successful lawyer and businessman, Sandy went on to chair the board of Standard Life, and the couple moved to Barnton shortly after the war. Here, they had a content family home.

Following her arrival in Barnton, Mrs Hodge's devotion to the RNLI began. She had a systematic approach to fundraising, driving through Edinburgh's streets, noting which houses had the tidiest gardens or a boat in the driveway.

Then she would knock on the door and ask the householder if they would like to be the fundraising convener for the area.

This tenacity continued throughout her life. When her son Robin published his magazine, The List, Mrs Hodge visited newsagents not stocking it to suggest they did.

Mrs Hodge was revered throughout the city, with neighbours testifying she was a well-known, well-respected figure. One story recounted of her was that whenever one West-End traffic policeman saw her coming, he would stop traffic to let her through.

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Neighbours also noted her generosity, remembering her long Sunday lunches and how she would hand out home-grown green beans, strawberries and marmalade.

With such kindness and determination, few could refuse Mrs Hodge's pleas for funds, and the contribution she made helped RNLI save hundreds of lives each year.

Mrs Hodge died suddenly on 25 March. She is survived by her three children, Sally, Robin and Belinda, two elder brothers and three grandchildren, Godfrey, Alexander and Jeremy.