On March 2nd in early morning, our dear Fred Marks passed away at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, Great Ormond Street, London. Fred had not kept well since he gave that wonderful Baba-filled talk to us at Hammersmith Grove, on November 10, 1984, demonstrating his love and attunement to his Beloved Baba. The last few months he had been looked after devotedly by his close group.
Below is a telegram received from Meherazad on Wednesday 6th March:
"Dear Fred has gone home to his precious Lord Avatar Meher Baba, after
life lived totally in Beloved Baba's service. We know that all hearts he had
lighted with Meher Baba's love will miss this 'Grand Old Man' of England,
but will rejoice in his well-earned joy and bliss of reunion with the Lord
Avatar Meher Baba. Ki Jai."
To many a sweet old gentleman, to some, an inspiring example and a truly gentle man, to those who knew him well a selfless servant of his Beloved, and Baba's "very good boy", was a true mystic. His perspective on life reflected this and he was not always understood as a result.
Outwardly, his life was "filled with people", his roles varying from a life in The Guards (he bought himself out), art dealer, gardener at a remand home, and school master at a large public school. He became sick of his worldly life and gave away his wealth realizing his true spiritual longings on seeing Lord Jesus during the Second War. When he met Meher Baba, The Master told him, "You know who I am."
But inwardly, Fred was a very private person, with fiercely held views and very independent. He once told me that simple thoughts were the most powerful and judging by his example, pertinent and easily grasped comments revealed his penetratingly beautiful perceptions of the underlying truth to be found everywhere. He was a simple man, delighting in nature and tranquility, a beacon of peace and surrenderance to the Will of his Beloved. Believing that it is one of the hardest things to help another, he advocated a kind word, a smile and silence as a comfort to those in distress. So very many knew him as a comforter, and as a true lover of Meher Baba with the common touch, his pure wish was to whisper for only Baba to hear, "Darling I love you!" He is now safely in His arms forever.
The first time I saw Fred Marks was at his tiny flat in Putney, a suburb of London, in the spring of 1982. Fred was getting on, you see, and was recovering from illness. When asked if his doctor approved of his walking in such cold weather, he replied quickly, "Baba approves!”"My friend then introduced me, and Fred stood up. He took both my hands, looked directly into my eyes; his face dissolved into a soft smile and he said, "I remember you!" That touched me, of course, for I had never seen him before, or indeed, anyone like him!
So off we went in the car to Richmond Park for a walk, Fred using only one cane at the time. As we walked up a small rise of that vast parkland, Baba put on a spectacular show complete with thunder (which Fred described as the wrath of God), lightening, and a lovely rainbow, the sign of hope. Just as we turned around to return, we spied a fine lady upon a white horse. Jai Baba! Fred certainly enjoyed that and his outing in the fresh air did him a world of good.
During the most welcome tea, Fred told me that he was 82 then and that Baba had prolonged his spiritual life so many times. And just before we left he said that England is definitely a spiritual centre and that right now Meher Baba was revitalizing Christianity.
So it was that in November of 1983, Fred Marks came once again to India with a small group of Baba lovers to bow before the holy tomb-shrine of His Beloved Baba. This time, unfortunately, his chronic arthritis had worsened and he used two walking sticks. It was an ordeal for him to get down on his knees inside the Samadhi and painfully awkward to rise. Yet he carried on, undaunted.