Praise from Mrs Thatcher
Finchley Old People's Welfare Committee were congratulated on Monday by the Education Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, MP for Finchley and Friern Barnet, when she opened the committee's new premises in Long Lane.
She said: “It must be a great joy for those who have been running the shop and services from one small room without proper private interviewing facilities and so forth, that they can now carry on in good premises.”
Mrs Thatcher inspected the double shop premises, near the junction with Ballards Lane, Finchley, that will be used for the sale of second-hand and nearly new goods and as administrative offices.
The move followed a long search for new headquarters by the committee's administrative staff, who had operated for nearly seven years in one room in Regents Park Road, Finchley Central.
Mrs Thatcher said it was “especially important to have private interview rooms for those seeking the committee's services.” That now had been achieved.
She congratulated the committee on having raised £10,000 over the past four years.
Mrs Thatcher said there was “a great link between the old and the young.” Working with the aged appealed to young people, “and the elderly have so much to offer the young, who will listen to the voice of experience.”
She added that despite worldwide communications facilities such as television, elderly people in housing estates often still felt a sense of complete isolation.
The chairman, Alderman Leslie Snelling, thanked Mrs Thatcher and declared: “This is one of the greatest days of our life. I don't know how our people managed to do anything in those old premises.”
He paid tribute to the committee's treasurer, Mr Wilfred Stokes, for his fund-raising supervision and negotiations of the lease.
Mrs Thatcher was introduced by the Mayor of Barnet, Alderman J. L. Freedman, who was present with the Mayoress, Councillor Mrs Rosa Freedman.