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Philip Evans


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HONITON: Remembering Tony Benn

Thursday, 27 March 2014

n Members of Honiton Senior Voice (HSV) have paid tribute to Tony Benn and recalled their 2011 meeting with him.
The former Labour MP and Cabinet minister died on March 14th, less than three weeks before his 89th birthday.
HSV member Tony Simpson recalled meeting Mr Benn in Ottery St Mary three years ago.
Mr Simpson said: “We who were there will never forget our day with the late Tony Benn.
“Elli Pang of Ottery Later Life Forum kindly invited us to join Tony Benn in a forum on Democracy and Older People.
“Tony had retired after 50 years in Parliament’in order to devote more time to politics’.
“For him, this meant talking with groups all over the country.
“Those who were there may recall that Tony Benn was very tired when he arrived at Ottery from London.
“It is a long journey for an 86-year-old suffering serious heart disease, however spirited.
“Yet after a cup of tea and picnic lunch, all the while talking around the table with us, he recovered and gave an upbeat talk to a packed audience at the Ottery Institute.”
Mr Simpson said that Mr Benn's speech heavily featured the achievements of ordinary people, not those of kings, queens or politicians.
Mr Simpson added: “After further tea he spent time talking with us.
“Those who met him that day will know they were in the presence of a remarkable human being.
“We salute Tony Benn but, as he would wish, let us not mourn him but organise for a better future.”

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