PEOPLE gathered to say a final goodbye to one of the first black politicians in the area.
Councillor Frida Edwards died last month following a short illness. She was 55.
The grandmother was given a full civic service at St Joseph’s Church, West Street, which reflected her strong Christian faith.
Her daughters and granddaughter were supported by hundreds of people who encountered Cllr Edwards in the worlds of politics and business.
Father Leslie Adams led yesterday’s service for Cllr Edwards, who was born in the Seychelles.
She met her late husband Cyril in Jordan and they married in 1980 before going on to have two daughters, Marie and Tina.
The family ran the Hayling Ferry until it went bust last year.
In a eulogy, Councillor Leah Turner, mayor of Havant, recalled her memories of Cllr Edwards, of Oaklands Road, Havant.
She said: ‘She loved being a councillor and she was so very proud to be our first black councillor.
‘She was determined to become the first black mayor and, if it wasn’t for ill health, I feel sure she would have been.’
Cllr Turner added: ‘We at Havant Borough Council will all miss her bubbly personality and her enthusiasm.’
A family friend spoke on behalf of Cllr Edwards’ daughters and said she had a ‘contagious laugh and a zest for life’.
He said she grew up in the Seychelles before it was a tourist mecca, amongst steep hills with lush green vegetation, and witnessed spectacular sunsets every day, a ‘paradise’.
He said that after her beloved husband died in 1992 she brought her daughters up alone, ‘with loving devotion’.
As well as running the Hayling Ferry Cllr Edwards had several other jobs to make ends meet and he added: ‘She was never short of energy.’
‘Frida loved to travel and go back to her beloved Seychelles. She will be sadly missed. A beautiful daughter of the Seychelles.’