Kathy died on 9 December 2015 during the day, while she was resting; she was 62 years old. It was shocking news, almost unbelievable, that someone who a number of us in Old Swan met perhaps on average three times a week, each week for the last three years, was dead. Our sympathy goes to her partner, daughter, grandson, sisters and brothers.
For us it feels like a figure has been cut out of a Monet painting, something is wrong, she should not be gone!
However, our feeling of loss is expressed it is obvious from the conversations and messages that we are receiving that many other fighters against austerity and war feel the same shock as we do. She was loved beyond the area of Old Swan.
She not only attended all the meetings she could but she was a doer, a front line fighter. Each of us brings something unique into the struggle because we express our love of humanity and our passion for a better, socialist working class world through the prism of our life experiences.
We will publish a tribute to her and choosing photographs will not be difficult because she is in the great majority of them.
Kathy was a member of Old Swan Against the Cuts and the International Socialist League and she hardly missed a meeting of either organisation and was devoted to both. For OSAC she became the minutes secretary about two years ago. She agreed to become the minutes secretary before she really knew what that meant but within two meetings, she understood and carried out that task with great pride and seriousness. When asked after a year if she would prefer someone else to do the minutes, she replied “that is my job”. That was true, she made it her job and everyone was thankful to her for doing it.
She not only attended almost every meeting she took to the streets helping OSAC run our stall in Old Swan, and attended many demonstrations and meetings. She loved the sight of people mobilising and new people getting involved and she knew what the working class had to do in the fight against austerity.
She was one of the hardest workers in our campaigns and during the elections she would often go out by herself and deliver mountains of leaflets. She had no fear and she was well known in Old Swan area.
She was honest and astute. I would often ask her what she thought of a meeting or someone in a meeting and she would invariable succinctly sum up in a way that I thought was correct.
When she joined the ISL she had not read Marx or Trotsky, but she started reading. Once, when she disagreed with a point someone was making in an OSAC meeting, she said at the start of her reply that’s not what Trotsky thought! She also suggested next time we have an international meeting for example in Belgium she would like to go. And even thought about going to Brazil.
Some comrades are lucky enough to give all they can, all they have to the struggle because they have many years in the movement. But for Kathy she had started recently to be active in numerous ways that she had not done before. She told us once she asked her daughter what she thought about her joining the ISL. Her daughter said if that’s what you want to do, then do it. And when she joined her passion and determination shone through. After Bill Hunter died she helped us once a week with sorting out various archives.
She was like many working class women and we hope, and we are sure, many more will come forward as the Kathy did.
She liked being in our group of fighters and about six months ago started attending the meetings of the “exec” (as people jokingly call it) in the local pub at 9 pm on Friday night, she loved socialising and having a pint (or two) of lager.
The Saturday before she died, she was with us on the demonstration in Liverpool to oppose the bombing of Syria. Whether it was in the fight for the libraries against council cuts, outside the DWP against benefit sanctions, attending a strike rally, supporting a protest at the college or marching against bombing Syria, she was with us. With us on those occasions, and with us now, for always.
Always with Kathy in the fight for working class women, for all workers, revolution and socialism.