Monday, 11 May 2009

Laurie Pocock

Those people who went to Malcolm's funeral yesterday will aready know that many of us were unable to get inside the chapel for the service.

I was a long standing colleague of Malcolm in the Croydon Unison Branch. I would affirm comments already made regarding his steadfastness, and devotion to the cause of trade unionism.

However, I felt his trade union minded instincts came from a sensce of fairness generally, and a deep humanity.

My first contact with Malcolm was that when I had recently started work at Croydon Council and having been made aware of the existence of a UNISON Social Club I went down there with another colleague. Neither of us were at that time UNISON members.

I had only just started work at the Council and was considering which union to join (having been previously a member of a print union) I wasn't sure that UNISON was for me.

Malcolm was sitting by a desk as we came in to the bar, there was a UNISON sponsored disco on that night, and he was checking membership at the door. He couldn't have been busy as only a small handful of people were there, and it was already quite late. He had a pile of cards which could be exchanged for a drink, and despite the fact we really had no right to be there at all, he signed us in and and gave us a card for a free drink. That was the sort of man he was generous and kind to strangers, (the slogan of the CIU) in practice. My mind was made up that night to join UNISON and since then I had many dealings with him as a Steward, Branch officer and as a member of the Social Club Committee.

I'm not sure it was the case, as somebody elsewhere in the tributes made to say that "Malcolm was not a joiner of things" he not only joined things he also joined them up himself and with considerable energy.

Above all, he had a great spirit of community be it at work, or at home or in the branch. I was personally aware yesterday that the pub we went to afterwards had that spirit of community.

I'm personally saddened that the community we have has lost such a great asset.

Laurie Pocock Croydon UNISON

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