Abkhazi, Peggy, 1902-1994

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Abkhazi, Peggy, 1902-1994

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  • Carter, Marjorie Mabel Jane

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1902-1994

History

Peggy Abkhazi (1902-1994) was born Marjorie Mabel Jane Carter in Shanghai, China, on December 12, 1902, the daughter of Mabel and William Carter. Her mother returned to England in 1906 with Peggy. Mabel died there that summer and Peggy’s father died shortly afterwards in China. Peggy lived for a time with relatives in England before being adopted by a well off couple, Thomas and Florence Pemberton, who had returned to England from Shanghai. She took the surname Pemberton.

Thomas Pemberton died in 1918. In 1920, Peggy and Florence Pemberton went to Shanghai where they lived intermittently until Florence‘s death in 1938. They returned to Europe in 1922, living in England and Paris then went back to Shanghai in 1923 and 1924, via Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. Between 1927 and 1938 they traveled between Shanghai and Europe. During that time, about 1930, Peggy was married for a short time in Shanghai, and subsequently divorced. Florence Pemberton died in China in 1938 leaving Peggy financially independent.

After her adoptive mother’s death, Peggy took the surname Pemberton-Carter. She continued to live in Shanghai. In 1940, she visited Shanghai friends, the Mackenzie, in Victoria, where they had retired, but returned to Shanghai. She was interned there by the Japanese from 1943 to 1945. This experience forms the basis of her book A Curious Cage, published in 1981. At the end of the war Muriel Mackenzie established contact with her and Peggy came to Victoria and in early 1946 bought property on Fairfield Road.

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