Mrs T attends tenth anniversary of home
Opposition leader Mrs Margaret Thatcher, who opened the Rubens and Shine houses in Ballards Lane, Church End Finchley, in 1966, was guest of honour at last week's tenth anniversary celebration dinner, writes the Editor.
The MP for Finchley and Friern Barnet, wearing a lime green suit, ate dinner with 100 other guests, including 59 residents of the two houses.
Reporter Debbie Ambrose, invited to the dinner and to cover the anniversary proceedings, was told there was no place for her.
The remainder of this report was supplied by Mr Tony Krais, on behalf of the Jewish Welfare Board, who own the homes, on the telephone the following day.
Mrs Thatcher, we are told, was introduced to the diners by the president of the Welfare Board, Mr Leonard Wolfson, Mr Krais says Mr Wolfson spoke of the keen interest Mrs Thatcher had had in the home since she opened it in July 1966. She visited the residents each years.
Mr Wolfson, we are told, explained that the home was one of 25 different projects administered by the Jewish Welfare Board and that it represented about five per cent of their total expenditure of £1½m. spent on homes by the board each year.
Mrs Thatcher said Mr Krais, spoke of the valuable and important role which voluntary organisations had to play in the community.
She added he went on, “You cannot make people good by legislation. You can irritate them, you can tell them what to do but you cannot make them become good neighbours.”
He further reported that Mrs Thatcher went on to say that Rubens and Shine houses were among the happiest homes in her constituency. She thought the location of the home was excellent as it provided contact with the outside world and everybody knew what was going on in Ballards Lane.
Other guests included Mr L. Leighton, chairman of the Jewish Welfare Board and Mr and Mrs Barnett Shine, who donated money for the flatlets.
Money for the dinner, which included fresh Scottish salmon, was given by “a benefactor.”