Monday 23 January 2012

In Memory of NMP Supporter Rhona Badham

Sadly, pressure of work mean I was unable to attend the funeral in Brentwood today of Newham Monitoring Project supporter Rhona Badham, nor the wake held at the George pub in Wanstead this evening.

Rhona (on the left in the picture, appropriately) was a local activist and campaigner, one of those sometimes-maligned and always overworked individuals that are essential for helping in some small way to glue their community together. I knew her as a regular volunteer for NMP's Emergency Service in the early 1990s, someone who was always willing to step in if we were short of someone to cover the telephone helpline, as well as someone who I saw on numerous anti-racist and anti-war demonstrations. Rhona was also a trade unionist, a socialist and a peace campaigner who was very active in Labour CND and in Newham's voluntary sector too: running the Citizens Advice Bureau at Lawrence Hall in Plaistow during the 1970s and serving as a director of the Parents' Centre (from which Newham Bookshop was founded).

The history of resistance to racist violence in Newham is a proud one. That resistance was always made possible by the many individuals who never sought acclaim or political influence from their activism, but who worked hard to offer practical support to communities under attack. Rhona was one of those people and, speaking for everyone at Newham Monitoring Project. I know she deserves to be recognised and remembered for the contribution that she made over many, many years.

Photo: Labour CND

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