The Chair of Tower Hamlets UNISON Local Government branch, Rita Ash, died on March 3 after a long struggle against cancer. Her funeral begins at St Pauls, Bow Common, corner Burdett Road and St Paul's Way, E3 4AR at 2pm on Wednesday 21 March then 3.30pm in the City of London Cemetery and Crematoria in Aldersbrook, E12.
Rita and I use to work together as UNISON assistant branch secretaries at Tower Hamlets Council. She was a school head cook and represented manual workers while I represented APT&C grades. Despite this largely artificial division, we worked together really well.
Rita was by nature cheerful, kind and supportive. She was a rock you could go to discuss all sort of problems and difficulties. She was very special in many ways, not least because of her natural decency but also her absolute honesty.
She had what we would say in Wales "no side", she was straight as a die and what you saw, is what you got.
I took this picture of Rita after the 2007 special UNISON conference on pensions in Ally Pally (Alexander Palace).
While my thoughts are with her family who she adored and will be devastated. I think there are so many people that Rita has helped and protected over the years who will also miss her.
Her family has asked for donations to St Jospeh's Hospice. Check out this Justgiving site.
so farewell Rita, you were a fine Trade Unionist and will be missed by all your fellow Unison Comrades 1st Health Brigade
...and the rest of us 1st brigader!
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