Maxine Marie James

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I feel heartbroken that Maxine has been taken by this terrible virus. It doesn’t even seem real because Maxine was always so vibrant – full of ideas and full of life. It is too sudden, and far, far too soon for this amazing and talented woman who had so much living still to do. I’ll miss her smile and her laughter.

Maxine had a gift for making everything good fun, and for bringing out the best in others. She was stylish, lively and great company – always at the centre of things. She encouraged others and would lift people up and get them talking – I think everyone who met her will know how much she loved to chat.

It is absolutely shocking that she’s gone.

I first met her while canvassing in Streatham several years ago. She was a friend to many and extremely generous and kind. Last year during lockdown, for example, she cooked a Christmas meal for branch members that we could all pick up from her house, take home and eat together over Zoom. It was a really lovely thing to do and typical of her to think of others as well as to problem-solve to find a safe way to get round social distancing.

She was very principled and I always admired her contributions at meetings, as she would capture the point exactly and put it across in a clever and charming way. Maxine knew loads of people and I think her ability to bring people together and get them talking is one of the reasons she was so good at campaigning and political work. The Streatham Labour Party meetings that she organised and chaired were really engaging, and she worked hard to make people feel involved and have their voices heard.

She had so much ahead of her and I, and so many others, will miss her so much. I want to express my condolences to Maxine’s family and wish them the strength to endure this loss.

It doesn’t seem right that she’s not here. Earlier this summer, I went to collect something and was in her garden, it was a sunny day, we were having a laugh and she seemed really happy and full of the joys of life. I wish we could meet up and chat again. Maxine was an impressive person who achieved and made a big impact in her time but I know there was a lot she still wanted to do. I wish she were still here. Everyone who knew her is going to miss her, and I hope we can all carry on her work and embrace her values. She made the world a better place and I hope all of us who knew her can, in remembering Maxine, be inspired to do our best to do so too.

Elizabeth Davidson

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