TRIBUTES have been paid to an ‘amazing’ woman who helped raise millions of pounds for Portsmouth charities.
Sylvia Townson, who has died aged 76 due to diabetic complications, worked with 23 Lord Mayors of Portsmouth from 1987. The mother-of-two, who had three grandchildren, of Merton Road, Southsea, helped run the mayor’s appeals.
She organised Lord Mayor’s shows, and ran fundraisers for charities across the city.
Elaine Baker, Lord Mayor in 2002 and 2003, said: ‘She was amazing, and gave her all for the city. She helped raise millions. Her work was very much appreciated by Lord Mayors from all political groups.’
Mrs Baker and other former mayors joined Mrs Townson’s family and friends at a service in her honour on May 26, at Portsmouth Crematorium.
Syd Rapson, Lord Mayor in 1991, said: ‘She will be greatly missed by us all. She was lovely. She’s a sad loss to the city.’
Mrs Townson met husband Robert in 1952 at a London drama group, and the couple married in 1960.
Mr Townson, 87, said: ‘I was very lucky to have known her. We were very happy. We liked to travel, including to South Wales, where she had been evacuated during the war. She was a kind, loving mother, grandmother and wife.’
Mrs Townson worked as PA to NatWest’s national head of personnel, before stepping down to raise daughter Sylvie-Claire and son Matthew. The family moved to Portsmouth in 1974.
In the early 1980s, she joined the Kings Theatre’s marketing department.
She was chairman of the Friends of the Kings Theatre, and part of the committee which set up The Rowans Hospice. She was also patron of the Mary Rose and member of the Friends of the Mary Rose committee.
Sylvia Townson: Born, April 2 1935. Died, May 10 2011.