It is with great sadness that we report the death of NUJ activist and Socialist Appeal supporter Sylvia Courtnage, who died on 23rd June, after a long and brave struggle against illness.
Sylvia became politically active in the 1970s, becoming a supporter of the Militant newspaper in 1974 in Portsmouth.
As a committed trade unionist she played a key role in setting up the IRSF (Inland Revenue Staff Federation) broad left whilst working at London City Taxes, where she was a member of the union branch committee as well as a conference delegate.
Later as a member of the NUJ Book Branch, based in London, Sylvia played a similar role as a branch committee member and regular attendee to the union’s delegate meeting.
Sylvia was a particularly strong supporter of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign inside the NUJ.
Having been an activist with the Militant, she supported Ted Grant and Alan Woods when Socialist Appeal was launched to defend the genuine ideas and methods of Marxism in 1992.
As a Socialist Appeal activist, Sylvia played a key role both nationally and locally: first in Broxbourne, Essex, and later back in the Portsmouth area. Only in her last months was she no longer able to attend events.
Sylvia will be sorely missed by her many comrades and friends, as witnessed by the heartfelt messages of sympathy that have come in since she passed away last month.
In particular, we extend our condolences to her partner Phil – also a supporter of Socialist Appeal – at this sad time.
The funeral will be on Tuesday 16 July at 1.00pm at the Emsworth Baptist Church, North St, Hants, PO10 7BY.