JIS News

Hundreds of persons filled the St. Aidans Church in Leeds for a Thanksgiving Service to commemorate the life of long standing Councillor and community stalwart, Jamaican born Norma Dell Hutchinson.
Remembered as an outstanding trade unionist, Councillor and community activist, Councillor Hutchinson, who died on February 7, was eulogised by Member of Parliament for Leeds North East, Fabian Hamilton, as a strong defender of racial equality and workers’ rights.
He said that she had made an outstanding contribution to the city of Leeds and had enriched the lives of all she encountered.
Tributes were also paid by her fellow Councillors, including the Mayor of Leeds, Neil Taggart; Leader of the Leeds City Council, Keith Wakefield and Councillors Gerry Harper and Michael McGowan.
Councillor Hutchinson who represented the Chapel Allerton Ward for nearly 13 years was originally from St. Mary in Jamaica. She arrived in Leeds as a 17 year-old student in 1965 and worked as a nursing assistant. She became the first black shop steward for the then National Union of Public Employees.
She was also an active member of the British Labour Party and was heavily involved in many community activities aimed at improving the conditions of the Afro Caribbean community and young people. Councillor Hutchinson was Chairman of Leeds Racial Equality Group and worked closely with the West Yorkshire Police Force to improve community policing in her ward.
Councillor Hutchinson’s close friend, Kath Copeland, a founding member of the Diabetes Association of Jamaica City of Leeds Support Group, remembered her for her sense of humour and her capacity to love and show concern for people. She described her as a true and dedicated friend who was fiercely loyal to her friends and steadfast in her convictions.
Tributes were also paid by the Community Relations Officer of the Jamaican High Commission in London, Delores Cooper, who described her as a true daughter of Jamaica who never forgot her Jamaican roots and who also did much to support many children in her homeland.
Councillor Hutchinson will be buried in Jamaica later this month.

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