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John Kierdie Watson: A Tribute

Chris Satori
Many people in Lancaster have been shocked and saddened to hear of the death of John Kierdie Watson, who was for many years a Trades Unionist in the NHS who fought to defend public services and workers' rights. Lancastrians may remember him selling the daily socialist newspaper, the Morning Star, in Lancaster City Centre on a Saturday (he was one of the last remaining supporters of the Communist Party in Lancaster).

Kierdie, as he was known to his friends, had also been a stalwart of Lancaster and Morecambe Trades Union Council and threw himself into to supporting the miners on strike in 1984/85 and the struggle against Thatcherism.

In later years he became more interested in animal rights, veganism and environmentalism. When at a party he could also sing great renditions of pieces from Italian operas. Although in later years he was in ill health, he still remained one of Lancaster's great characters, welcoming people into his house on the Pointer roundabout. It was shocking to hear of the assault on him in his home this spring, and his subsequent coma. This has now lead to his untimely death at 63. At his funeral on Friday Lancaster paid tribute to the passing of a great character who devoted significant parts of his life and strength to campaigning against the injustices of capitalism and for a better world for all.

An Old Comrade