Margaret Helen Doreen Guest (1921-2015) d. 4 September. Doreen was born in Edinburgh on the 26th of March 1921 to Pastor Samuel George Hyde and his wife Marjorie (née Keough). Doreen, the eldest of three daughters, took on early responsibility for her sisters June and Jacqueline.
By nature of her father’s ministry, the family moved frequently to different parts of the country. Always willing to help out, Doreen, aged just three, was known to fetch bread from the local baker’s in Brighton. Growing up, Doreen was also keen to lend a hand at her father’s evangelistic meetings, where she utilised her extensive skills as a keyboard player by playing the piano.
As well as being musically gifted, Doreen was highly academic and went to Cardiff University aged just 17, emerging with a double first in French and Latin. She continued to develop her piano playing before receiving the accolade Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM).
She loved to sing and was an accomplished soloist and pianist. Doreen’s talents in music were also used in evangelism. As a child she sang and played the piano for her father Pastor George Hyde’s campaigns at Cardiff, Ipswich and Oxford. She was a frequent soloist at Stanborough Park Church. She sang at the New Gallery, when Leslie Riskowitz and Malcolm Taylor were in charge of the music there.
One day in 1936, Doreen went to visit her grandparents in Watford and, at a meeting with her old friend Maybel Throssel, met Jim. A romance began with this tall handsome man and, in 1942, Jim and Doreen were engaged. Jim was drafted into the army and was on overseas service for a while. When he returned in 1945 they got married.
In 1942 Doreen began a long and distinguished career in teaching. Although she began her career in a secondary school, she spent the majority of her time teaching in junior schools, specialising in music. She also taught at Hyland House Church School, becoming headmistress for a short time.
Doreen was Head Deaconess at Stanborough Park and was also a dedicated Sabbath School teacher. In retirement, she volunteered in the Stanborough School Library.
As well as a mother, Doreen was a loving grandmother of seven, and great grandmother of two, who all knew her affectionately as Gran. Doreen spent much of her later life dedicated to each of her rescue dogs, the last dog being her close companion right until the end.
Later, when her health prevented her from attending Stanborough Park Church, she enjoyed watching the Church service on Livestream. She also became fully involved as a Prayer Warrior, a duty she carried out to the very end of her life.
Memories Of Doreen
“I have known Doreen for over 25 years… as a colleague at Stanborough School where she served as a librarian during my time. I have fond memories of the visits to the last night at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall which Doreen used to organise for the staff and students of Stanborough School and singing hymns around the piano which was a love of hers… I feel bless to have known her.”
– Kish Poddar, Stanborough School Teacher
“An amazing friend of God, loving, caring, thoughtful.”
– Lydia Dean, Former Student
“My personal recollection of Doreen Guest is her consistent sweet smile, gentle but firm, which I presume was formed during her teaching career.”
– Johnson Wong, Friend
“I remember Doreen Guest as the quiet, unassuming and obliging school librarian who found space to house the science department’s collection of back copies of the New Scientist magazine.”
– Phillip Richards, Colleague
“After Mrs Guest retired from teaching, she and her husband travelled regularly from Ruislip to help the students at Stanborough School. They transformed the library: all the books they catalogued professionally. The same standard of excellence was evident in other areas. Mrs Guest taught music, conducted the chorale and accompanied the choir. It was a privilege to work with such a talented and gracious lady.”
– Ms Nan Tucker, Colleague
“Doreen Guest was the receptionist when I was the Bursar Stanborough Park Primary and Secondary Schools during 1999/2000. ‘Sister Guest’ was kind, helpful, friendly and strict all at the same time, not just with the students but me too. Being new to Stanborough Doreen took me under her wing… She was jolly and full of laughter, we laughed together many times.”
– Naomi Watson, Colleague