Dear Editor,

You have reported on the death of Gerry Traynor, ex-mayor and councillor for South Ham for 24 years.

We have all lost a giant of local government and of the local community.

I learned much from Gerry as a fellow Labour councillor in the 90s and, like him, realised that there was little too local political and community involvement if you could not speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.

SEE ALSO: Tributes paid to former Mayor of Basingstoke Gerald Traynor

I saw how Gerry outworked his Christian faith in service of others and how this faith informed his voting at council meetings in favour of fair policies which supported those residents of few means and limited opportunities in life.

I am sure that those whom he served who had been the original settlers in South Ham in the 50s and 60s owed much to him.

Undoubtedly ‘old Labour’ and a strong Catholic, Gerry was, of course, fiercely proud of his Irish heritage and quickly challenging of anti-Irish discrimination wherever he came across it, as I so witnessed at first hand.

I mourn his passing alongside all who knew him.

Michael Stockwell


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