When we started out , we called ourselves, Unity March. We promised to be the feet on the ground for all those who were unable to get to demonstrations and events. Cara was one of our first writers and she helped develop a festival to celebrate the hope that Jeremy Corbyn being elected as leader of the Labour Party represented . We have evolved a fair bit from our original identity, we saw how Jeremy and his team were denigrated in mainstream media, so we started to write more political news and changed our name to Unity News to reflect that. We still bring the news, by the people, for the people, we just include the Labour Party in ‘the people’ now.
Our friend and comrade, Cara, lost her stepfather on Christmas Day. We were honoured to know Melvyn Green, who supported all we did and so, with love and respect, we would like to present this eulogy written by Cara, for a man who was the best any of us could hope to be.
Sometime on the 25th of December, I lost one of the greatest supporters ever to touch my life. Melvyn Green passed away, in his flat on his comfy chair, whilst the world moved on without a moment’s pause for the loss of this wonderful and complex man. He was intelligent, witty and had a vast and eclectic sense of humour, which connected us like a piece of string running right through the middle of us. We laughed together so often, our jaws and bellies ached. I never told him how much his words of encouragement spurred me on, or how much they compelled me to keep writing and nurtured my talents and creative ability. I never doubted his faith in my abilities were genuine, or his absolute pride every time I challenged myself to push through any difficulties I was dealing with at any particular moment. He was always there for me, spurring me on, my own cheerleader, filling the dad-shaped space I had with a supportive and compassionate male figure in my life.
Melvyn was a believer in the labour party, and an avid Corbyn supporter. He followed my many efforts to help the cause with immense pride, knowing nothing of how his kind words have helped me believe in myself enough to achieve the things that I have, however humble these efforts may be to the cause. He drove miles to support me and took two people he’d never met in person all the way from Hertford to Shropshire one day, without question or hesitation, because he believed in our idea and vision to have an amazing festival in Jeremy Corbyn’s honour, bringing forward a genuine left-wing vision of how our country could be transformed under a socialist government. He enjoyed reading articles published by Unity March/News, and when my work was published he would tell me I was on my way to something big, fulfilling what was meant to be for me.
He was a fine craftsman and carpenter, free spirit, a survivor and a mischievous child. He was also a philosopher, free thinker and exceptionally spiritual. He made it a personal mission to read as much as he could and gain as much knowledge as possible. If there was a question that had no answer, he wouldn’t rest until my mother and I had heard his well-researched explanation.
He adored my son, and declared he was going to be a great artist as a review of one of Jacob’s paintings of nana’s garden. His enthusiasm for Jacob whenever he was around was always apparent and available for all to see, and he was so proud of me for cutting loose certain people in order to be the best parent I could be. Of course, he thought I was doing an amazing job, and told me whenever he saw me.
He taught me to play chess, he tried to teach me to have patience, which sometimes worked, other times didn’t. Sometimes whilst my mum was at work and I was recovering from a breakdown I’d had, we would just sit in the living room together and just be in that space; no pressure to talk or break silence, just sit together and read our books or listen to music. Those were very therapeutic times for me and helped my recovery in what felt like a sanctuary for me in those moments.
He has seen me grow from a teen to a mother and helped me along the way. He always offered advice and guidance without judgment, which I needed so desperately when I was younger.
I hope he is resting and at peace, feeling the warmth of home with his mother, sister and many friends who were lost but now found again, who he missed terribly. There will forever be a Melvyn shaped hole in my life, and the regret that I never got to tell him all this, and more in person, will be a persistent bruise on my heart for a while to come. My only hope is that in a bittersweet twist to the finality of death, my words here will acquaint many people up and down the country with the wonderful but complex man I always considered my stepfather, and how much he was loved by me.
He is not lost our dearest love,
Nor has he travelled far,
Just stepped inside home’s loveliest room
And left the door ajar
Cara Ellen Rose