Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for July 31st, 2007

Paying Tribute When It Matters

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 31st July, 2007

margaet-little.jpgThis afternoon I attended the funeral service for Margaret Little, the long-serving Liberal Democrat Councillor for Hampstead Town ward in Camden. It was a very Hampstead occasion, held in the parish church, followed by tea and biscuits at the Community Centre in the High Street, where Margaret used to hold her surgeries. She didn’t stand for re-election last year, because of the cancer that was devouring her. When I visited her in the Royal Free Hospital, she was remarkably resilient and cheerful. But she was saddened when our lead candidate in the ward, Ed Fordham, was unable to prevent the Conservatives snatching her old seat, despite a vigorous campaign.

The Leader of Camden Council, Keith Moffitt, paid tribute to Margaret’s commitment and service in his short address in St. John’s Church. While remembering her then, I also thought of the other two party activists whose funerals I have attended in recent days: Lennard Woods, the Chairman of Bromley and Chislehurst LibDems (who was knocked off his bicycle and killed), and Chris Gaster, the veteran councillor for what is now Crystal Palace ward in Bromley — another victim of cancer. It is right and proper that we pay tribute to such stalwarts when they pass on. But I hope we also remember to pay tribute to those who work so hard while they are still alive; a word of appreciation can mean so much, not just in political associations, but in all fields of voluntary activity.

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