'A TRIBUTE TO SALLY ARNOLD'
Colbury Church, Ashurst, New Forest – 7 April 2017
The greater the good a person does in her lifetime, the greater the sense of loss we feel on a day like this. Yet, that loss is tempered by thankfulness that we were lucky enough to know Sally and to benefit so much from the happiness she spread.
Here are a few extracts from tributes already recorded:
"She was driven by a real love of the Forest and a desire to do all she could to preserve it for future generations",
said the chairman of the National Park. The chairman of the Parish Council described Sally as
"a true friend of the village and a true friend to me, [with] encyclopaedic knowledge"
based on her 40 years in Ashurst and Colbury and on her own 13 years at the helm of the Council.
There have been repeated references to Sally's empathy, her sympathy and her approachability. She was one of that tiny handful of people who form the backbone of any thriving community and who embody its spirit. Indeed, her role spread beyond Ashurst and Colbury – out into the wider Forest and into the county too.
As her local MP, I benefited immensely from Sally's dedication to principle, from her commitment to good causes, from her sense of fair play and from her unshakeable loyalty. She campaigned for better mental health provision. She organised some of the friendliest and most successful village fetes anywhere in the Forest. And who can forget those splendid brass band concerts which Sally always arranged for Remembrance Sunday evenings?
In these, and in so many other ways, Sally radiated thoughtfulness, kindness and goodwill. She was utterly selfless – drawing satisfaction from helping others effectively but unobtrusively.
Sally truly was a force for good in society, with a reputation second to none. Despite the magnitude of their loss, Roy, Lorraine, John and Glyn must surely be comforted by the tremendous affection and esteem in which she is held. She has set a standard for decency, candour and virtue which is an example to us all.
Thank you, Sally: it was a joy to know you – and also a privilege.
JULIAN LEWIS MP