Lady Shirley Hooson - a tribute
Members of the Society will be saddened to learn of the death of Shirley Hooson on the 21st April 2018 at the age of 91. She had been a member of the Society for many years and, until suffering a debilitating stroke three years ago, had been a regular attender at the annual Weekend Schools in Llandrindod Wells.
Shirley Hooson was the only child of Sir George and Lady Hamer and was born into a family with a strong ethos of public service. Her father was an industrialist and public figure from Llanidloes who went on to hold many important roles in Montgomeryshire and in Wales. He was also prominent in Montgomeryshire and Welsh Liberal Party politics. A strong supporter of Lloyd George, in 1935 he led a challenge to Clement Davies, the Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire, over his relationship with the National Government and Stanley Baldwin in particular. It was at a Liberal meeting in Llanidloes, at which George Hamer had invited the young Liberal lawyer, Emlyn Hooson, to speak, that Shirley Hamer first met her future husband and they married in 1950.
Despite a demanding role as a very supportive wife to a busy Member of Parliament following Emlyn Hooson's election as MP for Montgomeryshire in 1962 and bringing up two daughters, Shirley Hooson immersed herself in the public and municipal life of Llanidloes and also represented her home town on the Montgomeryshire District Council from 1973 until 1996, serving as Vice-Chairman for some years. She was immensely proud to be made an Honorary Alderman of Llanidloes last year after serving on the Town Council for forty four years, including a term as Mayor.
In the many tributes to Shirley Hooson in the local press, she has been described as the 'Champion of the People'. Highly principled and determined, she would leave no stone unturned in her efforts on behalf of those she represented and her contributions to the work of the local authorities on which she served was very significant and greatly valued by those of all political persuasions. To the end, Shirley Hooson was a huge presence in her beloved Llanidloes and she will be greatly missed both there and further afield by many friends and former colleagues.
We offer our sincere condolences to her daughters, Sioned and Lowri, and their families.
The Society was well represented at Lady Hooson's funeral, our President Lord Thomas of Gresford and other leading members being present.
You can also read an obituary of Lady Hooson published in the Powys County Times at the following link: http://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/16185912.Lady_Hooson__Tributes_after_former_Llanidloes_mayor_dies_aged_91/