MANY of us - young and old -are saddened to learn of the death of veteran Joe Harris, long-time chairman of the Solihull Pensioners' Convention. As a joint original member and former press/meetings representative for five years, I and my colleagues always greatly respected and admired his passionate crusade on improving financial and social treatment for senior citizens - not only locally - but throughout the UK. No government, Tory or Labour, could permanently ignore our constant campaigns for fair, but not excessive benefits including free bus, rail and Metro travel in the West Midlands and now thankfully the whole country.
Joe was a great supporter of our local NHS hospitals and told me how much he appreciated their expert kind attention to him, both as an out and in-patient. He was pleased that any perceived age discrimination was being eliminated.
Though a lifelong, well meaning communist (but later disillusioned) he staunchly - as a union official - defended Land Rover workers' pay and conditions. We sometimes disagreed, but Joe was a sincere champion of the people who will be remembered with much affection. He did not really believe in heaven, but would certainly qualify for admission by St Peter.
Finding an equally able, dedicated successor chairman will be difficult, but essential.
Don Bargery, Solihull.