Posted: 09.10.20 at 17:04 by The Editor
A former Atherstone town councillor has paid a personal tribute to his 'dear friend' Lorna Dirveiks who died on Wednesday.
Martin Short met Coun Dirveiks about 25 years ago - long before she would become a borough and town councillor.
At the time Mr Short was chairman of the town council heritage committee striving to set up a museum in the town.
Coun Dirveiks was co-opted as a member of the public onto that committee... and so started their long and much-valued friendship.
"Lorna's greatest legacy will perhaps be her work with the Friends of Atherstone Heritage, of which she was a founder member.
"Although we didn't get a museum, she was the driving force behind the opening of Atherstone Heritage Centre, the numerous exhibitions and local history books.
"Lorna was the acknowledged expert on anything to do with Atherstone's history."
Over the years, Mr Short and his family crossed paths with Coun Dirveiks and her husband - borough and county councillor Neil - many times.
"We all became great friends.
"Lorna, Neil and I were all in the Labour Party together, Lorna and I were governors at the same school and trustees of the White Hart Community Groups charity, and I worked as a teaching colleague of Neil's for years.
"Lorna had a distinguished career as a special needs teacher and was regarded with appreciation and affection by former students for many years later.
"She came to be acknowledged as the expert to be brought in to provide education and, particularly, care and support to groups of adolescents.
"During her teaching career she also served as union representative for her colleagues and, on one occasion, her headteacher insisted she should sort out a strike by pupils - something she successfully did with her customary diplomacy.
"She remained a member of the union long after she retired."
Mr Short fondly remembers holidays the couples enjoyed together in France and the much-anticipated curry nights which even the coronavirus pandemic could not curtail - with regular virtual curry nights on the menu.
"Lorna was an accomplished cook, very good at sewing, a very keen swimmer and a long-standing member of a local choir.
"She loved France, curries and life in general, which she always lived to the full, not letting her increasing mobility issues prevent her, for instance, from touring India in a wheelchair.
"She was always determined, sociable, generous and impressively capable in everything she did.
"She will be sorely missed.
"My condolences go to Neil and to her daughters, Bev and Becky."