Very sadly the funeral of a dear late ubu colleague, Irene Haigh was held on Friday the 4th September this year.
Irene became our first Community Administration Manager in our then Wetherby office, later taking on a key role in the interior refurbishment of our children’s homes in Sheffield.
Each day Irene personified our distinctive culture ensuring that; life be lived to the full each day, everyone be treated as special no matter who they were, and that every day was a happy day no matter what hardships were encountered. She was a very determined women always finding the bright side of life even in the darkest moments.
None of us will ever forget one winters lunch time when the snow began to fall. I recall at one o’clock that day directing everyone to hastily make their way home and instructing Irene to shut the offices as soon as possible due to the extreme bad weather. It took some colleagues who only lived the other side of the city over 12 hours to get home passing several fatalities along the way.
The snow continued overnight and throughout the next day. Nevertheless whilst phoning round that next day checking out how our services were fairing under such extreme artic blizzard conditions, we were all astounded to be greeted by a cheerful Irene. Asked how she got in that morning through the torturous weather she replied”don’t you know they call me Nanook of the North”.
Nanook of the North was ground-breaking cinema, a story of Life and Love in the actual arctic capturing Nanook as one of the most vital and unforgettable human beings ever recorded on film. Indeed in 2014 it was voted the seventh best documentary film of all time.
Today those of us who knew her still remember Irene fondly as our “Nanook of ubu”.
We join the Nat King Cole recording played at her ceremony, to say to our unforgettable, much-loved friend and colleague.
“Good night Irene”.