|Reg Copley, Julian Ware-Lane, campaign planning|
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Reg Copley. He has been a big figure in Southend Labour for many years; I believe Reg's activism began with the 1945 General election, and ended last year - an impressive 71 years.
I have known Reg for something like 20 years. We became friends and comrades, and he was always a source of encouragement for me, as well as sound advice. I hadn't seen him for a while, but he was always welcoming when I popped up to his home, and tea and chatter was routine.
I helped Reg with his campaigning in later years when his age and failing eyesight were beginning to catch up on him. He was writing copy for leaflets, and I am pleased that on many occasions I helped knock these into actual Labour leaflets for him. I delivered many hundreds of them for him too.
He was a councillor for more than 40 years, and served as mayor. I recall that he had the animal fur removed from the mayor's robes. He had strong views about what Labour in Southend should be doing, and always supported me in my campaigning. My selection photograph in 2014 has Reg sitting beside me.
Reg eschewed honours, although this did not mean he was not proud of his achievements. Reg had a hand in much of what is modern Southend and this will be his testament. He made Southend a better place.