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To those of us in Northfield Constituency Labour Party, he was just “Stan.” You never needed to use his surname; everybody would know who you were talking about.  Stan was always there, maybe in more in the background in recent years than he had been before.  But always  there nonetheless  -for advice, for wisdom, for friendship and for reliability in everything he did. Stan died on 22nd July and I think we are all finding it difficult to comprehend that he won’t be with us any more.

Across Birmingham, Stan was  perhaps best known  for his 19 years as a Labour Councillor in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, and  for the range of  positions he held on the Council during that time. In recognition of that service he was made an Honorary Alderman in 1992.  He was also Governor of Bournville College for many years too, serving as chair through to 2000.  For this and so much more, Stan’s MBE was well deserved.

Maybe I ‘m biased but for me, though, Stan’s greatest contributions -and I think his greatest passion- were in his local community of Longbridge. He served local people as their Councillor for nearly two decades and, when the electoral dice finally rolled against him in 1992 he just continued to serve people in other roles. Always voluntary, always thorough, always dependable  – whether on the Board of South West Birmingham Community Association, as chair of the South Birmingham Young Homeless Project, through his church, as a Labour activist. There was no pretension or “side” to Stan.  He was as committed as a grassroots Labour leafletter and canvasser as he  was a senior councillor. He had the respect of political foes as well as the affection of his comrades.

For so many of those years of service, Stan was part of a double act with his  late wife, Margaret. So what I said at the start of this piece wasn’t quite right. In those days you didn’t just refer to “Stan”. It was “Stan & Margaret”. The words went together. They were a team. And when Margaret’s health meant she could no  longer be as personally active as she  once had been and she relied on Stan for so much more,  the team was still there. Life changed but Stan just got on with it.  He did the same some years later when his own health meant  he had to spend hours every week on dialysis.

The words “loyalty” and “public service” were made for Stan. He was a lovely man and a good friend. I will miss him.

Richard Burden MP

Stan’s funeral will be held on Wednesday 1st August, at Our Lady of the Perpetual Succour, Leach Heath Lane, Rednal at 9.30am, and then at Lodge Hill Cemetery and Crematorium in Selly Oak.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Death leaves a heartache none can heal
    Love leaves a memory nonone can ever steal
    Our community will miss you Stan a wonderful man

  2. Stan was a great man and was a great councillor to the Longbridge ward and the city of Birmingham.
    MBE…. Honorary Alderman the list is endless he was such a true leader and a gentleman.
    I am so proud to have known Stan and be a councillor in the Longbridge ward where he gave so much.
    You will be missed so much.
    councillor Andy cartwright
    Longbridge ward

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