Our Man in Westminster
Iwant this week to pay tribute to one of the best and most decent MPs I have worked with; my former neighbour in the Faversham and Mid Kent seat Andrew Rowe. A memorial service was held for Andrew at All Saints Church in Maidstone on Friday, and it is a sign of how highly regarded he was that this huge church was full with friends from Kent and well beyond. This is also relevant for the Kentish Express campaign on prostate cancer with Ian Mitcheson. Andrew suffered from prostate cancer, and his diagnosis came just in time to allow him more than a decade “extra”. I can only repeat the message aimed at myself and all other men of a certain age – get yourself checked regularly. Andrew characteristically threw as much energy into his last few years as he had before he received his diagnosis. The service reflected this, with tributes not only to his work in helping the church in Bearstead, but to national campaigns such as JC2000, and alleviating poverty in India. One of the many moving tributes paid came from a worker in the slums of Delhi, where Andrew helped set up a school. We heard that the pupils were more or less exactly the sort of characters featured in Slumdog Millionaire, and that as a result of Andrew’s work some of them might become millionaires through their own work. It was a real pleasure working with Andrew in the four years we spent together in Parliament. He was always helpful with advice for an ignorant new member, and it was usually delivered with the laugh that everyone will remember him for. At a time when politics and politicians are held in low regard, Andrew Rowe and his life of service is the best rejoinder I can think of.
Bendy street lights in shared-space area