Distribution of parcels
Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, M.P., speaking at the distribution of Christmas parcels to old people by the Finchley Guild of Social Service in the Council Chamber at Avenue House on Saturday afternoon said the event was the zenith of work over the year.
She had found in her visits to old people in the district that their greatest fear was of the unknown. They liked the security of living in their own room, or rooms, and the feeling of having a home of their own.
The greatest gestures we could extend to the old were to be habitually kind, thoughtful and cheerful towards them, day in and day out.
There were many problems in national life, not only to relieve poverty, but to relieve hardship, said Mrs. Thatcher. In Finchley, there were enormous reserves and resources of goodwill in the daily round, the common task.
Alderman Emil Grant (chairman and vice-President of the Finchley Guild of Social Service) in thanking Mrs. Thatcher, said the constituency was fortunate in having a woman of her calibre as their M.P.
The Guild's autumn appeal this year had resulted in a record amount £1,094. Distribution of parcels had started in 1951, when 86 were given out; now the number was 800, and nearly 70 old people had been given two cwt. of coal each, or the equivalent in smokeless fuel.
The Guild's appeal funds also went towards a chiropody service for old people and running the Old People's Work Centre at East Finchley; it had been hoped to start a similar centre at North Finchley, if suitable premises could have been found.
Alderman Grant also thanked all those who had helped in packing the parcels, and the door to door collectors, including pupils of Woodhouse School who had collected £137. The total amount received by house-to-house collections was £585.
In each parcel was a Christmas cake, half a pound of butter, two pounds of butter, two pounds of sugar, a box of mixed cheese, a packet of assorted biscuits, a tin of milk, tinned rice pudding, cocoa, bars of chocolate, and tea.