Fitting tribute to Julie Davies
Colleagues of Julie Davies gathered at an Extraordinary Full Council meeting at Tottenham Town Hall on Thursday night to pay their respects to the late Cllr and Cabinet Member who passed away in April following a short illness.
It was a very emotional evening for Julie’s friends and family alike, with many of the tributes praising her fearless and fierce personality, her generosity of spirit and sharp wit and her long-standing advocacy for education and the teaching profession both here in our borough and beyond.
The Leader of Haringey Council, Cllr Peray Ahmet, commented:
We are all here to remember a truly unstoppable force, a dedicated community campaigner and a cherished mother, sister, aunt, friend and colleague.
Julie was a true champion at everything she did and was a blessing to everyone who was lucky enough to have had her in their lives.
As a public servant, we thank you. As a colleague, we will miss you. We love you and will always remember you for the powerful woman that you were and all the great things that you achieved.
The MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, said:
I’d sum Julie Davies up as a stalwart of the community and someone who had a fearless belief in the power of education and the teaching profession.
She couldn’t stand pomposity and she didn’t suffer fools gladly. But – more than anything, if you had her in your corner – she was a tremendous friend and a great ally. She will be very sorely missed.
The Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison, commented:
All of us get into politics to fight for what we believe in and Julie was someone that was really symbolic of that.
As pretty much everyone has said, she took no prisoners, she always did what she thought was right – even if that meant taking the fight to her own council, to her own political party – she was a woman of conviction ready to defend her point of view.
But, that was always done with a really big heart. She never made things personal; she always put the ‘Big P’ politics aside whenever you spoke to her because she always wanted to work with you for the interests of the borough, for the interests of its residents and for the interests of making things better.
She will be greatly missed by many people all around the council, the borough and beyond – myself and my colleagues included.
The Deputy Leader of Haringey Council and Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, Cllr Mike Hakata, said:
Julie was an incredibly generous person and one of the elements of her generosity was with her knowledge and her understanding.
She was always fighting for the best solutions for some of our most vulnerable residents.
With her, there were no prisoners. A graduate of the University of Marmite, you either liked her approach or you didn’t. She called a spade a spade. Not all your friends need to be like this, but you are really lucky if there’s one that is.
There is something very special and quite unique about a friend and an ally who has the courage to say things as they are and to have the respect for you to not sugarcoat things with flattery or praise.
Julie was an amazing person, an amazing co-ward Cllr and an incredible friend. It’s really hard to speak of her in the past tense. We will really miss her.
Cllr Sarah Williams, Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Services, Private Renters and Planning, said:
We were drawn to her like bees around a honey pot. We all were touched by her kindness and her absolute compassion to our families and not just ourselves. She wasn’t just a politician, although she was a very clever politician.
Even when things were bad for Julie, she was still encouraging me and I very much miss being able to call her and see what she had to say now. We all miss Julie very much.
Cllr Zena Brabazon, Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families, commented:
Julie was my dearest and beloved friend for 25 years. We had huge fun, good laughs and we always tried to do what we thought was right. Our loyalty and camaraderie lasted forever and, of course, she didn’t suffer fools.
She shot from the hip and that’s why she was in so much trouble most of the time, but she did have the skills and ability, imagination and sheer determination to get out of it.
Julie was deeply principled, she was so clever, so driven and so utterly loyal. She was a mentor and a coach. She was so generous with her knowledge and her experience. She was audacious, irreverent, a rebel with a cause and witty with that fabulous, wicked sense of humour where you would literally roll in the aisles. She loved people and being with people.
I admired Julie and I loved her. She was fearless, indomitable and brave and I miss her more than I can possibly say.
Cllr Brabazon finished her speech – the closing one of the evening – with the Maya Angelou poem, When Great Trees Fall:
When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
small things recoil into silence,
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
Tell us what you think about this page
Problem with a service?
If you have a service problem or complaint you need help with then please visit our contact pages.
Help us improve this page
If you want to make comments specifically about this page, then please click the button below.