I have just heard that Joan Donald, the President of the Uxbridge Conservatives, passed away yesterday. Joan was a remarkable woman in all senses and was my political mentor in the early years. She had a wicked sense of humour and such a passion for life, travelling extensively and more often than not putting her friends and family first. She was utterly dedicated to the Conservative cause and put the party way before her own needs, never seeking office but always being the first out with bundles of leaflets or canvass cards. When I marched into the Uxbridge Tory office in January 1995 to join up, Joan was the first person I met. She whipped my subscription money off me and within half an hour I was a member of the Ickenham Committee, such was her drive and commitment. We really got on well – Joan took a deep interest in my personal as well as political life. Always corresponding, the last time I really spoke at length to Joan was at my wedding – she was so proud. I remember the thrill in her voice when I said that I’d been selected as a PPC. She really believed that I could be a good MP. It didn’t matter what you did or how you acted, Joan always had time for you. She also had time for Talking Books, the Wrens and her countless friends around the country.
Joan fought for her country and fought for her party. She drank, smoked, laughed and danced her way through life. She lived to a grand old age and enjoyed every moment of it. We’ll all miss her enormously.