The president of the Crawley Campaign Against Racism (CCAR) has died.
Barbara Martin carried the torch of equality and tolerance following the death of her son, Danny, whose determination to oppose the National Front led to the formation of the CCAR in 1976.
Barbara died on Saturday (February 28), aged 85, and friends have been paying tribute to her.
Queenie Hopcroft, of Northgate, met Barbara while the pair were taking an A-Level sociology course in 1959.
Despite Queenie being a devout Christian and Barbara an atheist, the pair hit it off immediately.
Queenie said: “She was such a nice person, so kind. There was no nastiness at all.
“She shared her views about people and the equality of people and there I was a Christian and of course I believed these things as well.
“Our bond was tremendous and it lasted until the end.”
CCAR member Erik Shopland added: “She was at the heart of the Crawley Campaign Against Racism from its beginning until the present.
“In her recognition and celebration of Crawley’s diversity, she became an inspiring symbol of a new town forged on ancient roots.”
In her recognition and celebration of Crawley’s diversity, she became an inspiring symbol of a new town forged on ancient roots.Erik Shopland
Raj Sharma described Barbara as: “A kind and gentle human being who despite her own poor health always had time and kind words for every one else.”
Mary Mayne added: “Barbara was committed to campaigning against any form of inequality. A kind and gentle person, who despite her own poor health always showed concern and kind words for every one else. She will be greatly missed.”
Danny Martin died of cancer just months after the CCAR was formed.
He brought people of all colours and beliefs together with the simple words ‘leave the British race and join the human race’.