She cared deeply about the poor and the dispossessed and campaigned fiercely on their behalf. She fought against racism in all its forms consistently. She opposed war and violence as a solution to the world’s problems and demonstrated against them.
She was actively opposed to nuclear weapons and power as her membership of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Labour CND, Labour Action for Peace and Campaign Against the Arms Trade showed. She went to all the anti-war rallies and took part in many ways in the fight for peace.
She was always there to ‘do her bit’ and she was always prepared to hold the banner. She was also prepared to help in the more mundane essential tasks such as addressing envelopes for mailouts.
Rhona’s great value was that she was totally reliable. No matter what the weather was like, no matter how she felt, she turned out in her sensible waterproof outfits and stayed the course.
She was a member of the Labour Party and a committed socialist. It wasn’t always easy to be both but she remained loyal to the end. She was an active trade unionist.
She was a committed anti-racist and supported all the demonstrations involved. I remember being wwith her outside South Africa House in the days of apartheid. I also remember her work with the Newham Monitoring Project in her own area.
I knew Rhona as a member of the Labour CND executive. She served as a hard-working treasurer for some years and took her job very seriously. Her health finally forced her to give up the job but she continued as long as she was able. I last campaigned with Rhona at Aldermaston in the pouring rain a few years ago. She stood soaked to the skin though she wasn’t well – at that time she was in her eighties!
Rhona was not just a political activist. She loved travel and went all over the world, desperately trying to see everything before she died. With her went her beloved old-fashioned camera. Her bookshelves were filled with albums of photos taken on her journeys to Africa, Europe, Asia, South and North America and New Zealand. She loved art and culture in all forms and visited art galleries and museums constantly. Music was another great love, she went to concerts, particularly to hear Bach. She was an avid reader, not just of political books. She loved the Victorian novelists, particularly George Eliot.
She was a socialist, humanist and peace lover – but never a complete pacifist. She was unique and did things her way, often alone but most of all, she was an intrepid campaigner who we all miss.
By Mary Ogbogoh
- Rhona’s green funeral will take place at 2pm on the 23rd January, at Herongate Wood, Billericay Road, Brentwood CM13 3SE [map].