Back in the early 1970’s, The Star used to award a man or woman their “Person of the Year” accolade. Well one person I came to know late in her life was June Wall.
June, from Stannington, raised three children of her own during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, adopted an abandoned Chinese baby boy and fostered over a 100 children. An amazing woman - I think you’ll agree! As a reward, The Star offered June and her husband a cruise for a week. June graciously turned down their offer. When my father left our household when I was just six years old, it was the saddest day of my life. My father emigrated to South Africa and I haven’t seen him since (by this time June was in her 40s). The magnificent Star arranged for June’s father to fly from South Africa to meet with her once again after a 35 year absence. June told me that it was the happiest day of her life, running into her father’s arms again as he got off the train at Sheffield Station.
What made June even more remarkable, was that when her children grew up and left home , she continued to help the people of Sheffield in every way she could. I was fortunate to meet June in September 1966 and between us we set up a Good Companions group for bereaved and divorced. We used to meet at Ponds Forge on a Mondaylunch, through June’s determination and perseverance she brought together many broken hearted people, who found new purpose and direction - thanks to June’s vision. Sadly, June passed away from cancer on mid-summers day 2003. The inscription on her head ston at Christchurch, Stannington reads “Gods love opens all doors, changes lives and hardest of all melts their hearts”. I wonder who inspires you?