Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jack Jones

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Jack Jones, the former TGWU leader once regarded as 'more powerful than the Prime Minister' of the day. Jack remained a stalwart member of the Labour Party right up to his death, and will be particularly remembered in South Camberwell where he lived in Ruskin Park House for many years.

I met Jack on a number of occasions since becoming a councillor in the ward in 2002, and throughtout that time he was always courteous, friendly and supportive of all that we did. He always made an effort to attend our Christmas social gatherings. He was always such a gentleman that it was hard to realise that this was the same man who was treated with such discourtesy by the press during the 1960's and 1970's - although that probably says a lot more about our press than it does about Jack.

Jack had a wonderful life and career, from his days fighting with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, right through his Union heyday, to his leadership of the National Association of Pensioners.

He was made a Freeman of Southwark in 2004, and I was delighted that he was able to attend that ceremony and speak there.

The photo is of Jack from 2006, which I took for use in a local election leaflet we produced then. He really will be missed by his many friends and admirers.

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