I was absolutely delighted to see that Jim Gillman of Greenwich and Woolwich CLP has been given the Labour Party Merit Award. Jim, who has been active in the Labour Party 45 years, told At Conference “The rewards of giving time and effort to the Labour Party is not for what you can get out of it yourself but the differences you can make for your community”.
I know just how true this is. I first met Jim and Janet Gillman in the early 1980s when I worked as Political Organiser for what was then the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society, now part of the Co-op Group following a merger with the Co-operative Wholesale Society. They were both Co-op stalwarts tirelessly organising events and making things happen in Greenwich. It was thanks in large part to Jim and Janet that the Co-op had, and still has, such a high profile in the borough.
Having moved on after leaving my posts as Political Organiser, I lost touch with Jim and Janet for a number of years only to catch up with them again on becoming an MEP. They have both given me their unstinting support and I very much appreciate their extraordinarily hard work in the three European elections which have seen me elected as an MEP.
Jim has held many posts in the Party – a councillor for 28 years and 42 years as a school governor. He is also an active trade unionist, SOGAT, and was Father of the Daily Mirror Chapel before being made redundant by Robert Maxwell. As if this were not enough, Jim has also found time to volunteer with special needs adults and be involved with the friends of his local park.