THERE was a huge turnout at the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul for the funeral service for Diana Hale who was, at the time of her death, the Labour Party Councillor for Stifford Clays.
The turnout clearly demonstrated the high regard and affection many people had for her both in her public and private life.
Moving, but also amusing, personal tributes were made by Diana’s younger sister Pam Adams from whom we heard about a side of Diana very few of us would have expected as they capered about in bikinis in foreign lands and Wendy Armstrong, a close friend, recalled their time together as teachers.
The Leader of Thurrock Borough Council, Cllr John Kent, also paid a personal tribute to Diana saying “She would have been thrilled to see so many people here today and know how well she was regarded across Thurrock, looking at the sheer number of people here is a far more eloquent tribute than words can ever say”. He also paid tribute to Diana’s ”commitment to the Council and the community”. He ended his tribute saying “Diana never lost a battle in her life. We lost a good and loyal friend and we will all miss her dreadfully”.
My personal relationship with Diana Hale as a fellow member of the Labour Party, was never close and there were times when we clashed over issues such as positive discrimination. At times she was abrasive and “head-teacherish” but never spiteful. I had great respect for her and will miss her.