Virginia Fassnidge, a long-serving member of Ealing Friends of the Earth, died this month at age 81 after a long illness.
Virginia joined EFoE more than 30 years ago and at the time her death was our chair and coordinator; she was also responsible for our nature campaign.
Over the years Virginia was involved in nearly all of EFoE’s campaigns and activities. She went on marches and rallies, held banners, placards and flags, manned stalls, leafletted outside petrol stations and supermarkets, counted parked buses with their engines running, surveyed front gardens, wrote the EFoE newsletter, stored EFoE leaflets, props and banners, and unfailingly delivered them, by bus or on foot, to wherever they were needed.
During the 1990s, as one of EFoE’s reps on the Local Agenda 21 project groups set up by Ealing Council, she attended numerous meetings in the Town Hall and joined in all the events and activities put on by LA21 in its heyday.
Throughout it all, she was a calm, mature presence in EFoE as people came and went and new campaigns and challenges arose. She was a natural leader and adept at getting the best out of people.
Ealing Friends of the Earth was just one of many organisations in which Virginia served. Others included Disability Network Hounslow, of which she was a trustee; her local allotment, where she as a member of the committee; and the Brentford Festival, which for many years she helped organise.
Virginia was a modest and private woman, whose quiet and unassuming manner hid a sharp intelligence and myriad talents. She was a writer and linguist, very widely read, and a welcome addition to the many quiz teams she joined. Always ready to learn more, she did an Open University course on Environmental Science, and was undertaking the study of Welsh during lockdown.
She was also a devoted mother, grandmother and friend, and committed completely to each and every project she undertook – and they were many.