Sunday, 14 May 2017


Who died last week

Margit was a sensible, purposive and popular force in the development of Conductive Education. She died from cancer, on Friday 12 May. She was 66. From 1992 till her retirement she had been Librarian at the PAI in Kutvölgyi út.

I learned of Margit's death on Sunday, through Gill Maguire's Conductive Education Information. See what Gill wrote here, in full:

The last person left working at the Library who had worked with Margit  had been conductor Judit Szekeres), who left in January. On Sunday, she wrote on her Facebook (my rough translation) –

Gone for ever is Margit Balogh, libraian. She it was who created the Pető Institute's Library out of rudimentary conditions. She was a professional who built up the literature of conductive pedagogy, and cultivated and consolidated the intellectual legacy of Pető and Hári. The Library transferred to worthy premises in 2007. I had been taken on as a colleague in 2002 because she knew she needed a conductor's nose in the Library. I will be for ever grateful to her for being able to take part in that great join work till she had to retire in 2009. Her successor, my friend Bea Tóth, tried to keep up her spirit and the results that she achieved, but received less and less support from her superiors. None of us now work there. Margit's 24-year work, her struggle, fell victim to incompetence: I do not think that she deserved that. She was not a conductive professional but her former colleagues are sure to be grateful and always appreciate her. I am very sad for her family. Rest in peace, Margit.

(I hope that I got this about right and as ever welcome correction.)

Like Gill I regarded Margit's as a bright point in my communication with the PAI – for some years one of my few points of contact.

I consider libraries and librarians to be very undervalued in Conductive Education. Margit made a real difference to me and I appreciated this.  It has been therefore heartening to see the appreciations of Margit's personal and professional contribution expressed on Facebook. Amongst these is one from her successor Bea Toth –

I learned a lot from her. I once heard how crucial is one's first boss.. I was lucky that she my first boss. I still apply her 'teachings', her work still has an impact. She was someone who was experienced, highly regarded, very pragmatic, forward-looking, humane, and socially sensitive. She always went and took action, whether a problem was business or private. I'm so sorry that she went so soon.

Now one is reminded of the vital question of what will happen to that Library and its Archive collections, and their proper staffing, in the light of the merger with Semmelweis University. This is a concern that extends far wider than the immediate needs of the students and staff of the PAF, but requires attention to professional and scholarly interests in the world as a whole. Perhaps now at last some of Margit's hopes just might  be realised.

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