John Breen (1938-2010)

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OVER 100 people packed out Hither Green Cremat-orium yesterday for the funeral of John Breen.

His wife Doreen, their two daughters, family, friends and a generation of printers, who took part in the heroic Wapping Struggle of 1986-87, were all present.

Also attending was Arthur Scargill, General Secretary of the NUM during 1984-85 Miners Strike which John had given his utmost support to.

A Eulogy from his family summed John up in three simple sentences: ‘John was truly one of a kind. He will leave a huge hole in our lives that will be impossible to fill’ and ‘We will miss him hugely.’

John Brown, his best friend and also a printer spoke saying that ‘everything John did, he did tirelessly.

He never got a gold badge from the union but he got a gold badge as far as we are concerned’.

John Ward spoke on behalf of the union stating that John was member of the NGA – which will always be the printers’ union.

He acknowledged John as a great organiser, who enthusiastically supported the Silent Night struggle, his enormous support for the miners strike and the huge role he played in the printers’ strike.

John never missed the anniversary on January 24 at Wapping and never missed Tolpuddle.

He ended with a declaration about John that echoed with everyone – ‘There will never be another!’

John Breen will always be remembered as a principled fighter for trade unionism and an enthusiastic campaigner for those in need.