Maureen Johnston in 2009 at Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park

             Maureen Johnston in 2009 at Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park

Maureen Johnston MBE  

On 29 December 2013 Maureen Johnston, Kennington community activist and a tireless member of the Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Committee sadly passed away. Eamon McMahon, then Chairman of the Friends, thanked her in the name of all of us for her invaluable contribution:

"Selfless, tireless, articulate, and passionate about all the things that happened in our neighbourhood, Maureen Johnston was a shining, towering, example of what public duty and private commitment should mean to all of us.

Fantastically well organised, she was the long-standing chair of the Kennington Oval Vauxhall Forum and spent years making sure that all our disparate groups of Friends, Associations, Societies, Resident Groups, Churches and Schools were all talking to each other and actively aware of what was happening in local politics and planning; a task that would have exhausted a person half her age but a challenge that she relished and attacked on a daily basis for well over fifteen years.

Her great love was local parks and as chair of Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park (at the Imperial War Museum) she worked wonders with Southwark Council to transform the park with truly fantastic planting of rare daffodils and educational ‘Tree Trails’.

I was fortunate to have her with me on the committee of the Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and she was also chair of Old Paradise Gardens (Lambeth Rec) until very recently when her cancer was diagnosed and forced Maureen reluctantly to step back from her many commitments.

Alas her impeccable good manners and sharp wit will be gone now, but her legacy is firmly in place and maybe in the spring when we pass those fantastic daffodils in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park we can give a thought to Maureen and all those years she dedicated to our community."