Friday, November 09, 2007

John Kelly-Chandler


John Edward Kelly-Chandler, Regional Organiser, died in service on Tuesday 9 October 2007.

John was a Regional Organiser in the Greater London Region since 1991 covering health and local government branches. In recent years he has had responsibility for the South East London Health branches.

John was diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago and had been receiving treatment during the past 12 months. Despite gruelling treatment he managed to maintain a positive and courageous attitude throughout. He was on holiday in his favourite place in Italy when he passed away.

Prior to working for UNISON, John's working life spanned numerous occupations from flour milling to merchant marine, from baker to selling cosmetics, from shoe salesman to the Elecricity Generating Board

John was a leading lay activist in NALGO’s electricity section, a Shop Steward at West ham Power Station, He rose to become the secretary of the CEGB Headquarters branch and took a leading role in the FUSE campaign against the privatisation of the electricity industry. He was elected to NALGO’s National Electricity Committee, eventually becoming its Chair and was also a member of NALGO’s NEC.

He lead his union colleagues through the convulsions of privatisation and attempts to build solidarity at the CEGB for the Miners in the great 1984-1985 dispute.

In 1991 John was appointed as a union (NALGO) regional officer, a position he held until his death.

Born in Hastings on the 11th November 1947, adopted by Hartlepool (becoming a staunch Hartlepool United FC Fan) lifelong resident of London, latterly Charlton.

Buried in his beloved Ravello, Italy.A memorial service was held at Caxton Hall, London to celebrate his life on Saturday 10th November 2007 at which the regional head of health for London Chris Remmington stated
"John's politic's was very simple, unsophisticated and non-sectarian.
Members first,
build the union,
always recognise that the future belongs to the next generation - so don't get in the way - build gateways not obstacles,no false labels of left and right, at the close of each day be clear that an advance has occurred in the ideas of progress, of collective strength, of humanity, of unity."

John was a much respected and loved member of the regional staff and will be missed by all who knew and worked with him.