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CrazyFruits » WORLD NEWS AND SPORTS FROM SKY » Hackney’s First Black Female Mayor Dies

Hackney’s First Black Female Mayor Dies

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1bat Hackney’s First Black Female Mayor Dies on Sun 16 Nov 2014 - 9:37

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[size=11]WONDER WOMAN: Medlin Louis-Spencer doing her civic duty[/size]
THE FAMILY of Hackney’s first black female mayor who died last month has hailed her efforts in fighting racial equality in the 1980s and 90s.
Medlin Lewis-Spencer, who migrated with her twin sister to Bristol from Jamaica at the age of 13, rose to prominence after she appeared in an edition of the BBC’s Horizon programme called Are you a racist?
Lewis-Spencer died suddenly on October 12, aged 63, after suffering a stroke.
The multi-talented woman also made invaluable contributions to the Afro-Caribbean project – a Finsbury Park scheme aimed to help inner city ethnic minority people start businesses in the inner city. She was also an intensive care nurse and was crowned Miss British West Indies.
Lewis-Spencer became mayor of Hackney in 1988 and attracted national media attention in 1991 when she ‘crossed’ the council chamber floor, throwing what would have been a normally mundane meeting into chaos.
After fighting corruption and discrimination in the Hackney Labour administration, she won the Northfield ward for the Conservatives in 1994 – the only London ward that Labour lost to the Conservatives that year outside of Brent.
Former Caribbean Times journalist Phillip Straker, who charted her career, described her as an “amazing woman”.
He said: “She was a generous person that would give endlessly and she put her constituency first. Until Medlin relinquished her seat in 2002, she worked extremely hard representing her ward.

“She described herself as a servant of the people and she would give people in need money from her own pocket.”
Among those who received financial assistance from Lewis-Spencer is the famous shoe designer Jimmy Choo who graduated from Cordwainers Technical College in Hackney, now part of the London College of Fashion, in 1983.
“Medlin will be remembered most for her humility and her love of all people, regardless of their background or social standing,” her twin sister Edlin Straker said.
The retired civil servant added: “What made her special is that she never forgot her roots and she never forgot me.
She took me along with her and I have been to some of the most amazing places – palaces and mansions – because of Medlin.
“She shared and she blessed and we will never forget her.”

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