Bristol NUJ loses its energetic Chair

By Paul Breeden

NUJ members at the Bristol branch AGM on January 26th were united in sending condolences for the personal circumstances which have forced our Chair, Christina Zaba, to stand down from the post.

Christina’s mother died suddenly and unexpectedly just days before the meeting and she has been forced to attend to a welter of family affairs which mean she will not have time to continue the time-consuming role of leading the branch – one to which she has devoted herself for the past four years.

Christina will continue to be active in the NUJ, where she is known at a national level as a member of the union’s equality council, and has also served on other bodies.

Bristol members will however be hard put to replace the drive and boundless enthusiasm she has brought to the branch. Under her leadership the branch has launched this website, held last year’s very successful Opportunities Day and instigated the annual Benn Lectures, which attract speakers of national importance.

The meeting voted to send Christina hearty thanks for her contribution, along with a floral tribute.

While we all understand completely the reasons why she has chosen to stand down, she will be sadly missed.

We are also very grateful to equality officer Katy Ladbrook, who has put in valuable work but has had to stand down because of other commitments.

The AGM elected the following officers, including me as the acting chair. I am willing to lead branch meetings for the time being but I am not sure I can devote all the time the role requires since I am already treasurer.

The branch’s main aim for 2010 is to reach out – to get more journalists involved in making the union relevant to them, to get representation in more workplaces, and to widen the membership.

We have plans for:

• More freelance get-togethers

• A follow-up to last year’s Opportunities Day

• Better links with other parts of the media world

• An event to discuss blogging and new media.

There is plenty of room for more people to get involved!

Bristol Branch NUJ officials

Acting Chair & Treasurer: Paul Breeden

Vice-Chair: vacant

Secretary: Simon Chapman

Freelance Officer: Susie Weldon

Equality Officer: vacant – Katy Ladbrook has stood down.

EJN liaison (Exiled Journalists Network): Forward Maisokwadzo

Filed Under: Branch News

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