Sunday October 22, 2017   Last updated 21:03PM
max
°
min
°

On Air Now | Radio Waatea

06:00pm - 07:00pm
Saying goodbye to Helen - The Helen Kelly memorial service

Share to Email
Share to RSS
Share to Print

Saying goodbye to Helen - The Helen Kelly memorial service
MARTYN 'BOMBER' BRADBURY

The Michael Fowler Centre was full. Unionists, activists, politicians, bosses, Government MPs, men, women, children, Maori, Pacific island, Pakeha, Indian, Academics, working people, young, old, Gay, straight, Trans - everyone wanted to pay their respects to Helen.

Everyone knew she was dying, but for her to actually leave has left a void on the progressive side of politics that is yearning to be filled.

It was somber.

REM played in the background as shell shocked grievers filed in. It was the enormity of what NZ had lost that pressed down upon everyone.

Photos of Helen at various stages of life were displayed. At her height of activism, from her youth and from her illness. The most poignant were those of her with her father. Her deep solemn eyes unflinching in their gaze almost as if even as a child, the weight of a world of injustices were already deep within her alongside the devotion she had for her Dad.

Russel Norman MCd and words of kindness given by CTU President Richard Wagstaff, ITU Confederation President, Sharan Burrow and Australian Council of Trade Unins President, Ged Kearney.

The passion with which Helen fought her battles and the deep kindness she used to build support were constant themes.

The music played a powerful role. The Union anthem Joe Hill, a song sang by her son and Don McGlashan leaving no eye dry with his haunting rendition of Anchor Me.

People grieved, because there was much to grieve.

Robyn Malcolm spoke of the horrific way Helen was attacked over the manufactured crisis at the Hobbit. She reminded us of the loyalty and warmth that embodied Helen not just as leader but as a person.

The pain of the Pike River family tragedy was articulated best by Trevor Mallard in what was one of the best speeches of his life. Trevor reflected through a shaking voice how he had sat down with Helen and asked what he could have done differently in regards to oversight. His level of self reflection was honest and raw and it was the kind of authentic response that Helen was able to create in others.

The final word went to the woman many hope will have the empathy and compassion to take up Helen's leadership, PSA National Secretary, Erin Polaczuk. Erin asked anyone to stand who had been taught something by Helen, and the room as one stood.

It was a poignant moment in a memorial that left everyone in wonder not by the fights Helen fought but the fights she might have gone on to win.

NZ lost a Great warrior and buried one of our great civil rights activists.

The seeds are there for us to do her proud.

Martyn Bradbury

Editor - TheDailyBlog.co.nz

Waatea 5th Estate

twitter.com/CitizenBomber

Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com

TWWoA RadioWeb 300x150-Waatea
Rheumatic Fever
2017 Te Wero
E-Tangata-151017
Waatea TV
 
Irirangi Waatea Kaiwhakahaere Bernie O'Donnell, Te Ati Awa
Huhana Lyndon Nominated for Whangarei Byelection
Nominations for the byelection in Whangarei's Denby Ward have been received with 2 nominations.
John Fenwick Chair of Waikite
John Fenwick's links to the Waikite Rugby and Sports Club stretch back to the 1970's when as a 10-year-old he'd help his dad, the then treasurer, count the previous night's bar takings and raffle money.
Phil Anderson Customers Manager Callaghan Innovations
A full house turned out at the Succeed in a Changing World event hosted by Callaghan Innovation and Activate Tairawhiti and designed to inspire innovation.
Glen Katu Maraeroa CE
A South Waikato ginseng producer is ready to approach potential investors to increase its production and exports with the help of funding of up to $40,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Boyd Broughton from ASH
An updated version of Auckland Council's 2013 Smokefree Policy was presented to the Environment and Community Committee on 17 October and the committee adopted the amended policy and implementation plan.
Mana Party Leader Hone Harawira
Breakfast Host: Dale Husband
Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern
Winston Peters decides the government this afternoon.
3 Wiremu Huta Martin | Te Kupenga Paa
Hei teenei wiki mutunga nei ka whakamauhara taatou i te pakanga nui i tuu ki te paa o Te Kupenga. Kei a Wiremu Huta Martin te roanga o ngaa whakaritenga mo teenei kaupapa
As we celebrate a magnificent political win let's remember those who could not survive National
MARTYN BOMBER BRADBURY: As we celebrate a magnificent political win - let's remember those who could not survive National's 9 years in office We should be ecstatic. Big money, big corporate farming and big business interest...
Don't put the blame solely on Winston !
JOHN TAMIHERE: I can recall carrying a cardboard cutout picture of Winston Peters around the Otara Flea Market in 1999 pretending to debate him. Why? Because he wouldn’t enter into a debate with me.
Metiria Turei vs Jian Yang - Compare the media values at work
MARTYN 'BOMBER' BRADBURY: There are times when the mainstream media coverage of two events manages to say more about the real bias at work within the media than the news worthiness of their focus.
0
TMP2
p waateap listenp podcastp rssp facebookp twittercontactus

Submit


Glossary

Subscribe

To receive regular updates from Waatea News.