Perennial campaigner Muriel Johnstone is presented with glassware by deputy regional secretary Mary Alexander at Unite the Union’s Borders area activists meeting in Galashiels, in appreciation of Muriel’s dedication to the trade union movement and the people of the Borders.
Muriel, from Galashiels, began working for the Transport & General Workers Union when she left school, and trained in shorthand typing and filing. She then collected money from members, balanced payroll accounts and generally kept the district secretary and district officer in check. She left for a number of years, but came back as a part-time cleaner, which she continued to do until her retirement at 60 – and still pitched in with administrative duties of a secretary during various campaigns, ranging from the political levy ballots to general elections.
Retirement didn’t work well for Muriel, so she embarked on an Open University course and managed to get her degree as a pensioner and became the scretary of the retired members of the Union, staying in this role during and after
the merger of Amicus and the T&G to form Unite the Union.
With more comebacks than Sinatra, Muriel has worked with many big union names.
She has also brought her tireless enthusiasm to local drama, notably with a starring role in The Derners.
This presentation marked her actual, real retirement. But if anyone expects this to be the case doesn’t really know Muriel.