Leicester District
National Education Union

5th June 2019

Anne Blair: Tributes

It was with great sadness that we learned that Anne Blair died in the early hours of the morning on 13th May. Anne was diagnosed with an uncommon Sarcoma cancer in 2009 and lived quietly with this fact, keeping her illness very much to herself. The cancer spread in 2017 and Anne received treatment, but in the last four weeks became very unwell, and a week before her death was admitted to Leicester Royal Infirmary and then LOROS. She was 66 and was still working as a teacher at Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth 1st College until April.

Anne worked for 29 years at WQE as an accounting and economics teacher. She was NUT rep at WQE for many years, as well as a President, sixth form college organiser and most recently International Solidarity Officer for Leicester NUT and then NEU. Everybody who knew Anne will remember her as a tireless campaigner for social justice; there was never a rally, demonstration or leafleting event that Anne did not support, and she will be remembered for her commitment to the NUT, Leicester and District Trade Union Council and the Labour Party, as well as to promoting international solidarity, particularly with Latin America. But Anne will also be remembered for her warmth, humour and humility, and we will miss her very much, not just as a political comrade, but as a great friend.

Anne's colleague and friend, Samantha Lane, is working on putting together an annual award to be presented in Anne's name for a 'Young Campaigner for Social Justice'. More information on this will follow.

Ian Leaver (on behalf of Leicester NEU)

RIP Anne Blair, another devastating day for the department. We lost our courageous friend and colleague in the early hours today. I will remember Anne as the kindest, loyal and most incredibly hardworking person I have ever known. Her ability to mimic accents and mannerisms was second to none and brought so much laughter to the office. She loved teaching and was determined to continue to the end; despite being so ill she taught until Easter to make sure her second year students were well prepared for their exams. There were a lot of tears for her today. Rest in peace, Annie; it was a privilege to know you.

Naz Jahangir (colleague)

Today was a sad day when I woke to really awful news about comrade and friend of many years, Anne Blair. She was an inspirational trade unionist in the NUT, a Labour Party activist and campaigner for justice, locally and internationally, as well as a warm and kind person who we will miss greatly.

Sue Barton (city councillor)

Anne was a dear friend, colleague and role model. I owe her a lot; she is part of the reason I am the human being that I am. We have lost a real gem. In the words of one of her students 'she was peak'.

Samantha Lane (friend and colleague)

New Worlds

by Anthony L Church (Anne's partner)

Tomorrow I shall dream of a better life,
But I shall not need my body;
My spirit shall be free to the wind
My sight uncluttered by scars
My ears clear of impediment.
I shall dream for eternity,
Until dreams are no more.
Tomorrow I shall be without walls, without worry, without well wishing;
Tomorrow I shall be in a world of being, a world of new life;
What is this life I leave behind but regrets and longing?