Post by Huddysleftfoot on Jun 2, 2009 22:15:29 GMT
Just wanted to share this with you as it will be published in the Sentinel tomorrow.
As my Dad, I will miss him more than anything, as an activist and campaigner the City of Stoke on Trent may not see his like again.
POLITICIANS and community leaders from across the city have described their shock at the sudden death of a Labour Party and trade union stalwart.
Harry Edwards, who died at home in Tunstall on Sunday, has been described as a man of unshakeable principle who devoted his life to helping others and whose commitment and zeal inspired others to enter politics.
Born in Mow Cop, Mr Edwards also lived in Biddulph before moving to Tunstall and was schooled in Mow Cop and Chell.
The 77-year-old was a long-standing member of the Ceramics and Allied Trades Union (CATU), which later became part of Unity, and held key positions in both.
And as a lifelong member of the Labour Party – serving as a councillor in the now-defunct Burslem Grange ward between 1998 and 2002 – he inspired many of Stoke-on-Trent’s most prominent political figures.
Stoke-on-Trent North MP Joan Walley said Mr Edwards was chairman of the constituency party when she was first elected to stand.
She added: “Like many people, I owe a lot to the values and the way that Harry lived his life.
“He was a giant of a man who lived according to his socialist beliefs and I am grateful to his family for sharing Harry with us.
“More than ever, in a time of uncertainty, we need more people with Harry’s principles which ran through him like a stick of rock.”
The city council’s former Labour group leader Mike Tappin said Mr Edwards was always a civic-minded and straightforward operator in the best traditions of the Labour movement, the like of which the city would not see again.
He added: “Harry Edwards was the most supportive and trusted critical friend that one could have and I loved him as much as my own father. He was both a stalwart of the Labour Party in Stoke-on-Trent and his beloved union CATU and I owe him a great political debt.
“He was my political godfather and through his support I was able to become a city councillor and later a member of the European Parliament.”
Mr Edwards had a passion for the pottery industry and worked at H&R Johnson as a tile selector and dipper for many years, receiving a gold watch for 25 years of service.
Unity general secretary Geoff Bagnall said that his skill as a shop steward had been exemplified during the 1980s when, as the company went through a period of change, he secured workers some of best redundancy packages in the industry.
Mr Bagnall said: “Harry was a trustee of the union for very many years. Being a trustee is one of the most important and responsible jobs within the union, because you oversee how the money is spent and invested, and he carried out his duties impeccably.
“During his time as a trustee, and a member of CATU’s national executive council, he always upheld the very highest trade union principles and I know I speak for everyone involved with the union in saying he will be sorely missed.”
Margaret Garner, from Stanfields, knew Mr Edwards, who grew up in Tunstall, for more than 50 years.
The former shop steward at now-closed Wood and Sons, Burslem, said: “It was his enthusiasm for the Labour movement that got me involved in the trade unions. He was a wonderful man and a I was privileged to have known him. He cared about people and had a word and a smile for everyone.”
Mr Edwards was also secretary of Tunstall Community Centre and a long-time community activist, working closely with groups citywide including the Greenfields Residents’ Association, Sneyd Green, which he helped form in 2002.
The father-of-six and grandfather-of-seven also acted as consort to wife Councillor Jean Edwards during her spell as Lord Mayor in 2006/07.
Labour Group leader Councillor Mike Barnes said: “He was a popular and well thought of colleague and friend. His passion and commitment for the people of Stoke-on-Trent will be greatly missed.”
Labour councillor Joy Garner added: “Harry was very affable, funny, and always made you feel welcome.
“He was very passionate about everything he was involved in, particularly the ceramics industry. He was also a well known and active member of the community and will be greatly missed.”
Details of Mr Edwards’ funeral are yet to be arranged, but the family has requested that donations be made to the Donna Louise Trust in lieu of flowers. The funeral director is McGough and Sons, Roundwell Street , Tunstall.
to harry i worked with this man for almost 25 years at h.r.johnson tiles ltd... valley works tunstall. i would like to thank youfor helping many many many people in your time as c.a.t.u union rep.... great man with great heart and honesty... i will always respect you and remember you... once agin would like to say a huge thankyou from myself and everyone that had the pleasure to work with you at h.r.j tiles .... have fun in that big dipping house in the sky... my thoughts are of you at this moment in time and my thoughts are also with your family and friends... rest in peace mr harry edwards... a true friend to everyone that worked with him and he carring about everyone in stoke on trent....... you will be seriously missed but never forgotten..............
'One moment in the first half summed up the bond that exists between Stoke's players and the supporters who follow them so fervently. To an almost bullring roar from The Britannia, Liverpool were pressed further and further back into their own territory by a chasing pack of opponents and an increasing sense of panic. The crowd loved it and so did Pulis and his players.'
.i worked with Harry down the valley for 6 years 87-93.always smiling and laughing.he stuck up for me more than once when i used to have small disagreements with the managers.deepest condolences mate,thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time.
Post by nicholasjalcock on Jun 3, 2009 15:51:58 GMT
Dear Sir, I never knew your late father but I send my condolences.
I have 39 years consecutive membership of The Labour Party. I, very briefly, very many years ago, served on The Executive Committee of The Staffordshire Labour Party.
Your late father stood for everything that is(was) best in The Labour Party:decency, integrity, knowing what is best for working people and also our country. Until the last two years, I attended The Labour Party Conference. The inexperienced, over-confident young advisers, researchers have destroyed everything your late dad spent a lifetime building up. But, your late father is not alone, many others see their marvellous, brilliant political inheritance destroyed by shallow, self-serving people.