NEWS COMMENT: Give Gladys a fitting memorial

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Gladys Howard has undoubtedly done more good in this city than could fit in pages of this newspaper.

The 100-year-old has sadly died at her home in Milton, as we report on page 14 today.

But as countless former colleagues and Olivia Pinkney, chief constable of Hampshire police, tell us: she has lived a full life devoted to service.

From the civil service, to the Portsmouth City Police and then to 13 years as a ward councillor for the Milton area, Gladys worked hard for others.

True dedication to others is a rare and valuable thing, and clearly highly commendable.

We know that there will be those out there whose lives were changed forever, for the good, because of Gladys.

As we’re told by Chris Scott, from the Portsmouth and Gosport district branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers, Gladys was exceptional.

‘From a very young age, right to when she stood down as a councillor, she’s given outstanding, exceptional, service to the community and the city of Portsmouth,’ Mr Scott tells us.

As people across the city swap memories of Gladys, and no doubt begin calls for her to have a civic funeral for her work at Portsmouth City Council where she was Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, she can act as a recruiting sergeant for people to do good in the community.

For it is easy to forget in this age of Twitter and instantly-shared but instantly-forgotten information that some things should last forever. And we owe it to Gladys, and the causes she stood for – not least justice and protecting children – that she is remembered so as to inspire future generations.

Few people fully deserve the title of ‘pioneer’ or to be called ‘exceptional’ – but Gladys certainly does.

We urge the city to remember her in a decent and fitting way.