Dot's funeral: Andrew has requested that instead of flowers people might want to make adonation to animal charities supported by Dot. Cheques should be made out to
Stay with it. We will move mountains yet. Big hugs all round - we need them.
Ipswich and Norwich Co-Operative Society (Funeral Service)
C/O 10 Upper Orwell Street
Suffolk IP4 1HW.
and will be shared between Dot's three favourite charities.
The service will take place at the West Chapel, Ipswich Crematorium onMonday January 13 at 2pm.
All are welcome.
'What an inspiration and what a legacy'.
I had hoped to dig out the question Dot put at the Radio 4 You and Yours debate which was broadcast early last year. This was the last time we saw Dot - she had travelled all the way over from Norfolk to get her question to Morley - I will try and find it on the tape. We stood talking outside afterwards - while Dot characteristically rolled her usual roll-up, expressed a few well chosen words as to the nature of politicians and those in high places and wondered when she would finally get back to Norfolk relying on the vagaries of public transport!!
Sharp wit, dry humour and bags of compassion - whenever I get totally hacked off with the stuffed shirts who have bedevilled the sorry saga of the past 2 years I think of the refreshing - get stuck in and get on with it - approach of Dot - what an inspiration and what a legacy.
It was an honour to have met her.I had the pleasure of speaking with Dot and seeing her in action at London protests and at Kirstin's trial. I wished I could have got to know her properly, as she was obviously a warm and lovely person and completely dedicated to helping the animals. It was an honour to have met her.
'she got straight to the heart of any issue with incisive wit and did everything she could to save the world.'Dot's death is another nail in the coffin of sanity. There are still sane people around but no one listens to them any more, and this is a sign of the times that used to frustrate Dot a lot.
Dot, covered in cats, surrounded by Jacobean woodwork, in a Swiss chalet, in a preposterously opulent Victorian garden (all this in the suburbs of Ipswich), could have looked eccentric to the conformist observer. In fact she got straight to the heart of any issue with incisive wit and did everything she could to save the world. Its not her fault the world will not be saved. When animals were being abused, when humans were being intimidated, Dot was there, gently mocking the establishment, fearlessly standing up for the truth. Dot and her umbrella were essential ingredients of any Foot and Mouth protest. That is where I first met her, and I only really got to know her in the last few months of her life. They were a joy.
She talked about her childhood in Liverpool and the beauty of the working docks and the lamplight on the cobbles, her student days in SE London when her landlord kept rats, who soon mingled with the wild rats of Hither Green and introduced Dot to a whole new underground world. She talked about her days in the antique trade and every story was better than an episode of Lovejoy. She once spent a whole afternoon in a skip, sorting nuts and bolts into useful lots which she later sold. She talked about the house she renovated in N. Cyprus and her affinity with Islamic architecture and Turkish interiors. Then there was the cinema on one of the disused airfields of Suffolk, which she converted into a studio flat in space-age style. She built a whole wall out of aluminium office desks with the legs removed. She later made a profit selling the legs for more than she paid for the desks. Her T-shirts, printed with her own cat designs, were sold to support every cat cause. She had a good line in slogans for tea shirts. Her favourite was:
"YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. BUY BRITISH."
She gave the world a new breed of cat: Asian cats. They are beautiful, intelligent, affectionate and quintessentially cat-like. She was a first-class tennis player and tennis critic. Some of our most alive times were spent watching tennis on telly. She had to go to posh medical dos as Andrews wife. For these she would buy clothes in a second-hand shop. At a conference in Rome, the doctors wives would assemble for dinner and say what theyd been doing all day. The first evening, Dot amazed the other wives, whod all been dutifully sight-seeing, by talking about the cat-women in the Coliseum. The second evening, when everyone else had a different wonder of Rome to describe, Dot had got know the cat-women a bit better. By the end of the week, she still hadn't got further than the Coliseum, but she'd made a lot of friends.
She was a dedicated gardener, with a detailed and sympathetic knowledge of the gardens at Shrublands, where she and Andrew lived in the wonderful folly - the Swiss Chalet. She replanted the rockery beside the chalet, first with alpines, then, when they were destroyed in the hurricane, much more adventurously, with plants which capture the spirit of the whole Barry layout of the gardens. She also re-discovered the maze, hacking it back from the wild with her own hands.
At the beginning of the Foot and Mouth crisis, when Oaklands in the Forest of Dean was the first farm to resist the cull, Dot sat up all night emailing journalists, local vicars, local radio stations, anyone she could think of to tell them about this resistance. I heard it on the radio.
But for Dot there might not have been any Foot and Mouth protest.
Dec 29 ~ "She was a wonderful feisty woman with a great sense of humour"
Dot Boag, who died yesterday, is going to be greatly missed. We have decided to dedicate a page to Dot. It is hoped that people who knew and loved Dot - that large band - will add to the tributes - and to all the funny stories as well, because it is impossible to think of her without smiling. Who will ever forget her darting out - presumably from behind a large bush - at the startled Prince Charles in July 2001? She had heard he was to do a "walkabout"in Bury St Edmonds and raced there from Ipswich as fast as she could - just as she so often travelled right across the country to bring cheer and laughter to anyone fighting the foot and mouth horror. She was holding up a sign "Save the Brecon Sheep!" Prince Charles stopped to talk sympathetically to her and she gave him some leaflets - including the work on vaccination by Dr Ruth Watkins and the latest Press Release from the Foot and Mouth group.
The page here is all about Dot and includes some of her own words. Please add to it if you can - and read it particularly if you do not yet know why Dot Boag's name will never be forgotten by the many of us who knew her and were made stronger because of her huge warm heart.
'I could see her standing shoulder to shoulder with Sylvia Pankhurst or Violette Szabo.'I always thought of her as one of those atypical English eccentric ladies, a woman of great courage, who loved England, and was not afraid to stand up and be counted. In an earlier age, I could see her standing shoulder to shoulder with Sylvia Pankhurst or Violette Szabo.
how I wish I had known her for much longer
.....to have a page dedicated to Dot, with people saying things they particularly remember about her - and all the funny stories as well, because Dot had a cracking good sense of humour. And yes, how I wish I had known her for much longer. A great lady indeed.
'Dot in spirit.'If it is any help to anyone I am having a lovely vision of Dot. Every time I picture her in my mind, only knowing her'physical' looks from photos and from meeting her when she was already very ill.....the picture is rapidly changed into a younger glowing version.....Dot in spirit....no more need of a physical'body'.
'....he wished her luck AND refused to take her fare.'I first met Dot way back in 2001 (was it March or April?) when we did our demo outside MAFF offices as it was then. She arrived rather nervous like the rest of us, saying that she hadn't protested about anything since the 60's, and then told me that she had caught a cab from Liverpool Street Station as she wasn't sure of her way. En route she had told the driver all about our "cause" and when he dropped her at MAFF he wished her luck AND refused to take her fare.
As someone who only ever managed to elicit looks of pure disgust from London cabbies when I failed to give them less than a pound tip I knew then that I must be in the presence of someone very special and the many conversations we had afterwards and the various fund-raisers, meetings and protests we got involved in together only enhanced that opinion
She was a warm and lovely woman with a wickedly keen sense of humour and her laugh is the abiding memory I shall have of her.
'we shall draw strength through having known her. The fight will go on'I first met Dot, although I didn't know it, when I was standing next to her at the CIWF demo in London calling for vaccination for FMD. Some photos were taken by my daughter, which included some of a lady holding an umbrella with Misty the goat on it - and how Dot and I laughed later to discover that I unknowingly had photos of her in my photo album!
We met from time to time after that - and I can still see her in Hyde Park, with her balloons and t-shirts, smoking a cigarette and looking absolutely exhausted after dragging her bag up and down all the steps, etc, to make it to the demo! And I can still hear her dry comments!!
Dot never missed an opportunity to help anyone in any way she could think of - I'd put some adverts re legal advice for farmers in the Devon newspapers, for farmers who didn't have access to the Internet, and Dot was immediately offering me money towards the cost of them. I mentioned the Welsh farmer who had been fined for moving his starving pregnant ewes home during a snowstorm - and Dot was the first to send money to give him. I told Dot about some farmers I was supporting and she immediately made them her own, too, ringing them and encouraging them all she could. One of the farmers was 84-year-old Mr. Adams, who fought to save the sheep and goats belonging to his 17-year-old granddaughter - and both of them eventually appeared on the poster for Heart of Devon, with the wording STOP! YOU ARE DESTROYING OUR LIVES. DON'T TEAR THE HEART OUT OF DEVON! Dot made me laugh because she always called dear old Mr. Adams "our pin up boy"! Dot and I also spent a lot of time plotting other Hearts groups after the Devon one had started, faxing Noel, etc, and planning how it could be. You only had to make a suggestion and Dot was with you, enthusiastically developing the idea and helping to whirl it forward!
When Di died, Dot asked me to e-mail a tribute from her to the Forest website, because her computer was out of action at the time. In it, she said, "...... Di has gone to a better place, but we shall draw strength through having known her. The fight will go on......" The words she said also apply so well to her. She also asked me to add, "Still a thorn in the their side", because she knew that was what Di wanted to be - and I therefore say to Dot, "Still a thorn in their side!" and, yes, we will be!
I thought the Irish blessing said by a farmer to his animals being slaughtered during FMD was the right one for our dear Dot as well:
"May the roads rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand".
I'm sorry, I've written far too much and am rambling on. Is anyone going to print off all the messages about Dot from the warmwell web page for Andrew, by the way?
Anyway, I'll shut up and go now, but I'll just end by quoting the ending of an e-mail from Dot:
"Stay with it. We will move mountains yet. Big hugs all round - we need them. Love, Dot"
'driving all over the country, so that she could be there to help, and everywhere she went she made new friends.'It was around 6.30 am on a bitterly cold morning in Blackfordby, Leicestershire when I first met Dot. This larger than life lady arrived in a flurry of snowflakes with a very strange looking umbrella, which was to become her'trade-mark'. Smoke was drifting over from our right, a funeral pyre for hundreds of sheep and lambs, at the farm next door to Blackfordby Hall. Inside the grounds of the Hall sixteen very healthy pigs and piglets were happily munching on their breakfast of fresh apples and nuts, totally unaware of the mayhem on the lane outside.
Dot had travelled through the night from Ipswich in Suffolk in order to stand alongside anyone else mad enough to take on the might of MAFF that day. Apart from a few locals, Dot and I were the only ones who had answered Tony York's cry for help on the internet the previous evening. We were outnumbered by the press and TV crews which, thankfully, helped swell the small demo.
So in the freezing cold we stood at the entrance to Blackfordby Hall, waiting for the MAFF murderers to arrive. Around lunchtime the Army descended upon us, looking very fierce indeed. They had come as 'reinforcements' for the vets, just in case things turned ugly. What a shock they must have had, confronted by two'ladies of a certain age' blocking access to the pigs!
From that day on Dot and I became firm friends, always being able to rely upon each other for support and help during those dark days of 2001. I dread to think of the thousands of miles Dot covered during those months, driving all over the country, so that she could be there to help, and everywhere she went she made new friends. I remember being in Burnstall near Skipton, when at just after five in the morning Dot arrived to go on the 'slow drive' through the Dales. She got about two hours sleep before we set off to drive through the killing fields of beautiful North Yorkshire. Later that day, she drove down to attend a fmd meeting in the South. She was relentless.
And when she was not driving around the country she was banging away on her computer, lobbying MP's, fund raising and helping anyone she could. Not many people will know that Dot researched all the technical information concerning milk tankers and the possible spread of the virus by this route. The National Foot and Mouth Group help packs contained all the relevant information for dairy farmers regarding the threat the milk tankers posed to their bio security. Hundreds of farmers have a lot to thank Dot for, when they gaze upon their animals today.
In May this year we had a wonderful holiday together and for that I am truly grateful. Unfortunately, we had only been back a couple of weeks when she rang with the bad news.
She had cancer.
Had it not been for fmd then Dot and I would never have known each other, let alone become close friends. My regret is that it has become such a short friendship.
Dot commenced battle again, but to no avail. This wonderful lady who fought and won her battles against MAFF, could not beat this enemy. Dot will forever be remembered for her courage, resilience, and fortitude in the face of overwhelming odds.
Dot, you will live forever in the hearts of your friends.
May you rest in peace, dear darling Dot.
'not someone you could even think of ignoring'I came across dear ol' Dot well before the foot and mouth saga. She was very supportive of my cause at the time and, though, we never met then, she was always great to chat to by email. It was Dot who introduced me to Olive when FMD broke out at Settle and I was trying to get a network of helpers set up. I eventually met the great lady herself - complete with her famous umbrella and toy lamb - at one of the Skipton meetings. She was an imposing figure and certainly not someone you could even think of ignoring. Her character shone through then and will continue to do so in the hearts of the many who met her and knew her. She was devoted to helping others, whether human or animal, and her compassion was an inspiration to us all. Dot had a wonderful sense of humour, loved life and certainly lived it to the full. Let's all lift a glass to dear ol' Dot and remember a very special lady.
A Tribute to Dot
Dear Dot for all the times you cared for others more than you
For all the times you bravely stood and did what you had to do
For all the times you gave your all and then a little more
For all these times we miss you now that life has closed its door
We cannot hope to understand why you were called away
Why you, of everyone who cared, are the silent one today
Why you whose voice was always - so very loud and clear
Can no longer champion the cause we jointly held so dear
So many question asking Why? No answers can we give
Except to say that none of us a better life could live
Than you dear Dot, who showed us all, what really matters more
Is what you truly do in life before they close that door
It was you who stood and shouted in cold and wet and rain
Then home to feed all those dear cats before you’re off again
Bristol, Blackfordby, London to you were just the same
Distance it meant nothing – no matter where YOU came
How you did it we don’t know we all just watched in awe
But in our hearts we wished like you there were a million more
You were a doer full of fight asking the question Why?
So many others saw the wrongs yet still stood idly by
You were the strength we wished we had the bravery we lacked
You were the heart and soul of all the beasts that they attacked
You were above all else a ‘star’ that showed us all the way
And for your everlasting peace each one of us will pray
For you, dear Dot, this tribute comes from the very heart
But still, no matter how I try, it only says a part
Of how we feel now that you’ve gone no longer with us here
But yours will be the memory each one of us hold dear.
May the pain now be gone and may your rest in peace
Love and thanks for everything
Tony – Pig Paradise.
'I don't think Dot would want us to be sad for her'We were all expecting this sad news, but it doesn't make it any easier to bear. Dot was such a special person. Like everyone else, I wish I had known her for longer but consider myself fortunate to have known her at all. I can't think of anything else to say at present. We will miss her, certainly, but I don't think Dot would want us to be sad for her. Below is a poem I sent to Dot when Di Jeynes died. She said how it typified Di. I think it is appropriate for Dot too.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain,
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there I did not die.
'Personally giving sound advice, support, love and compassion to those people directly affected by the horrors and the shame of 2001'.Whilst we were all doing our thing -banging away sending e-mails, letters and faxes to anyone that might listen - we were also in awe at your travels around the UK. Personally giving sound advice, support, love and compassion to those people directly affected by the horrors and the shame of 2001.
You made us laugh. You made us cry. But, most importantly, you inspired us all. And, if I may borrow from Hilary, " You inspire me still " Thank you Dot. You are a truly wonderful person.
God Bless You.
'Her cats whom she loved with a passion are beautiful friendly beings - what would we expect from a creature that lived with our Dot?'It has been lovely to read everyone's different accounts of how they met her and I am sure that Andrew will take great pride in reading these tributes to her.
Dot was an astonishing person, very brave and compassionate, during her illness I was continually struck by her determination and her enthusiasm to continue keeping up with all that is still going on, her sense of humour, never far from the surface was very evident inspite of all that was happening to her.
I count Dot amongst my most special friends, a lovely lady, she never seemed to have a bad word for anyone and never talked about her achievements which as we know were many, it would be Andrew, so proud of her, who would encourage her to talk about the things she had done, and she would then do, always with her sense of humour prevailing.
Dot's beautiful garden is such a delight, she was justifiably so proud of it, her cats whom she loved with a passion are beautiful friendly beings, what would we expect from a creature that lived with our Dot.
I shall miss her always, she was a Star.
Rest in peace dear friend.
'Dot did so much for all of us'I feel like another limb has been cut off. I don't like past tense. Dot did so much for all of us. I hate reading news like this. While we never met, personally, Dot was a Trooper. I still have e-mails from her..life is a very fragile thing. I trust she is in a much more pleasant place, now, than this world we live in, today. Please express my sympathy to Dot's family for me.
'a beautiful, intelligent, remarkable, kind compassionate woman who will live in my heart forever and a day.'Thank you for posting the message about our dear friend, Dot. I went to see her last Sunday, taking Cinnamon the rat with me. Dot loved her. I last visited Dot yesterday. She had had a couple of bad nights but she brightened considerably during the afternoon. We spent the time chatting about all sorts, putting the world to rights, talking about various animals and letters she'd received. In fact she was more chatty than she had been for a while.
I know I will not be alone in missing her terribly but an heartened to know that she will no longer suffer. Her memory, that of a beautiful, intelligent, remarkable, kind compassionate woman will live in my heart forever and a day.
'a shining example to us all'How empty today suddenly feels. And how sad for Andrew - and for us.
I think of the lovely saying - "Never say, in sorrow, she is no more; only say, in gladness, she was". I know we won't be able to feel that yet, but I know that one day we will.
Right to the end, Dot showed her courage and her humour and was, as ever, a shining example to us all. I have heard just heard from Denise, telling about her visit to see Dot yesterday - have you heard from her, or shall I tell you what she said?
'She told me that she was looking forward to the "next step"with great interest'I could have entitled this " R.I.P.Dot" but at the time I was doing it, Classic FM were playing "The Ride of The Valkyries" which somehow, knowing her fighting spirit, and having seen it in action when I visited her a couple of times this year, the music seemed very appropriate.
She told me that she was looking forward to the "next step"with great interest and wasn't afraid to leave us.
Dot and Andrew visited us up here a year or so ago, and she and I ended up playing piano duets: a great time was had by myself, Harry, Dot, Andrew and Martin and of course, the cats
Love to them both.
'..but these are just words and Dot meant action'Who was Dot Boag?
Put simply she was the most remarkable person I have ever met. To steal some of Vera Brittain's words her death leaves a scar upon our hearts. I know I will not be alone in remembering this woman until I die.
Dot was so many things; a painter, artist, activist, gardener, friend, a big sister I never had, a cat lover, animal lover,Liverpudlian and she was Andrew's wife. She had an interest in shoes and antiques. She was never one for self-promotion but she worked tirelessly for the FMD cause and others.
I have one regret and that is that I did not meet her earlier. However, I will always be grateful that I was granted that opportunity. You see, out of adversity come strange rewards. I will miss her friendship, her sense of humour, her enormous capacity for kindness, consideration for others, her compassion. I will also miss her intelligence and wit. She thought of others right up until the end.
But these are just words and Dot meant action.
'Private person based in Suffolk. Will help in any way possible'What desperately sad news..........In the words of Val (Sinclair)........."I wish I knew her longer". Carol and I first met Dot at the Bristol meeting on the 7th June 2001, and we knew she was a "star" then - now she is an Angel. Dot put on the Introduction Form, "Private person based in Suffolk. Will help in any way possible". She did exactly that - she went to more FMD meetings and protest events than probably any of us. She helped everybody and in any way possible. I delivered one card to her when she was in hospital which said, " DOT........a period in our life". Boy, wasn't she just.
What a loss we have suffered. Our sincere condolences go out to her family and close friends. RIP Dot.... you have made it.
I feel very privileged to have met Dot and given her a hug. Should we have a special page on warmwell? Maybe people would like to recall things about Dot that would be of interest and inspiration to people who knew her and knew of her.
......she was only really weak for a few hours - the hospice are wonderful people - they cared so well for her in these past few weeks
will gather my thoughts - - can't really believe it - when we spoke on Xmas Eve she was still busily thinking of others as always - and will write properly later - l am sure she will always live on in the memory of those who loved and worked with her
NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
'she did not want to fall asleep on them after all the efforts they had made to get to her. 'Sadly I did not know Di but I certainly knew and spent a fair bit of time with Dot, as did so many of us, and the poem so typifies Dot and all she stood for and all that she was.
A small story about Dot that so shows the sort of woman that she was;-
I was always amazed that she had refused morphine and thought how brave she was. I had always assumed that as her mind was so alert that she wanted to be in control of her thoughts and what was going on around her. Today I found out that that was wrong. Dot had refused pain relief because she knew that her friends had travelled long distances to see her and she did not want to fall asleep on them after all the efforts they had made to get to her.
This was Dot to a T. Always thinking about everyone else and what she could do to help them,despite her own suffering. Andrew was very keen that we all knew that Dot had died peacefully - with him and her friends Kath and George at her side. I feel so lucky to have known Dot and been part of hers and Andrew's life - if only for a short time - but despite how painful it is at the moment I am so pleased to have been able to know her and call her'a friend' .I would rather have known her and lost her than to have never known her.
There are not many people in life, especially these days, of the calibre of person that Dot was. If I have a fraction of her strength of character, her humanity, her talents, her compassion then I will be very pleased.
Rest in Peace Dear Dot!
'in their name and their devotion to Animal Wellfare the fight will go on'I am finding it hard to write this message, losing a friend like Dot was like losing a part of me. I had spoken to Dot a few days earlier, and I was due to visit her some time today. My heart goes out to Andrew, and close friends and their dedication to take care of Dot in her last days. And our own Jean Dixon who has been a real friend to Dot, bless her. Dot and Diana, their name will liveth forever, and in their name and their devotion to Animal Wellfare the fight will go on.
Bless you Dot, Later for those who wish, I have a couple of photos of Dot outside the courthouse at Dumfries. I will be putting something together, I should have been working tonight, but with a heavy heart my mind will not be in it. To me this fine lady will be at our side, whatever and wherever we are. Thankyou Mary for putting this Tribute to Dot on Warmwell, good night and God bless you Dot xxxxxx
'I can just see Dot getting knocked down in the rush when she arrived to find all the cats she's ever cared for waiting for her'.Dot's illness and passing has made my PC keyboard wet many times over the past months. None of you know me, so you don't know that such a statement sounds very odd coming from me. I'm not a person who cries easily. But Dot's untimely end just fills me with deep sadness.
What a waste! We needed Dot
.....In the cat world (and that of other pets too) we have a modern legend that many find comforting in times like these. The story goes that our pets who pass on before us wait at a place called the Rainbow Bridge. There is a beautiful meadow there for them to play in and each one is restored to their youth and full health. There they wait until the human who cared for them in this life passes on. As each pet owner arrives there is a joyful reunion and the person and their pets pass over the Rainbow Bridge together. I can just see Dot getting knocked down in the rush when she arrived to find all the cats she's ever cared for waiting for her. I imagine her, restored to health, calling their names and rolling on the grass with them in joyous abandon, before they all crossed over.
'she was an inspiration - she still is an inspiration....'I believe that there is a Heaven...... What is in our hearts is the key that unlocks the door to this World. Dot's heart was filled to over brimming with love. Dear Dot, had more compassion and kindness then most people will ever know.
Those of us who cared and shared for Dot's beliefs will meet up with her again, I truly do believe this. That one day all those dear friends, companions, family all of our animals that we have lost over the years - we will see again. This life here, is but just the beginning. A test to see whether we are good enough to earn our path to Heaven. Dear Dot, she was an inspiration - she still is an inspiration....
'her implacable opposition to the cull policy was inspiring.....a model of common sense during an especially lunatic time in a mad world.'I wish if I may to add to the tributes about Dot BOAG.
We encountered DOT when we were campaigning in Cumbria way back in April 2001. We spoke on the phone and then, also having got to know Jean at Skipton, we met up when we all participated, (thanks to Jean), in a funeral cortege in London.
We have some photos of Dot because of this and also a video.
Should anyone be interested please be in touch though I am the world's worst on this machine. I remember Dot's impact, her energy, her determination and of course her appearance which caused the ignorant populace of the city [in FMD terms] to'sit up and take notice'.
We talked at length about the disasters as we saw them, and her implacable opposition to the cull policy was inspiring. We chatted too about her home and her plans for moving, as I remember.
She had tremendous verve and a great generosity of spirit, and I hope her spirit can let her know that although we are smaller in number that up here, (at least as far as I am affected) that we have not given up on the learning curve and remain at local level active in small ways. FMD has altered our lives for ever and made pessimists out of optimists! But Dot at least was a person of fortitude and example,and we were glad to meet her.
Thank you Mary for posting all this up - in case anyone is interested.we advised the CUMBRIA FMD INQUIRY OF OUR RESEARCHES as undertaken by STOP ANIMAL DEATHS [SAD IN Cumbria] AND THIS MEANT AT LEAST THAT THE ASPECT OF ANIMAL WELFARE GOT a LOOK-IN. The report was so soft as to be without bite,....surprise surprise..
A sad day for all those of us who knew Dot. May Mel & I add our recollections of a truly remarkable woman?
Dot was a genuinely "larger than life" character who could always be relied upon to take up the struggle during the FMD crisis. Whatever the initiative - the Wolverhampton meeting, a slow drive through Yorkshire, a demo outside the Welsh Assembly, London demos, etc. - Dot would always be there, despite having to travel for hours in both directions. She was a model of common sense during an especially lunatic time in a mad world. She had no pretensions over what she was doing - an unassuming and largely unsung heroine.
Remembrances of Dot at the various demos, armed with her trademark brolly will live on in our memories. I wish we had met under happier circumstances, but it was nevertheless a privilege to have known her. Like Di Jeynes, Dot really did make a difference and she will not be forgotten.
'Her name was as familiar to me as those of our American activists.'I was so sorry to read of the death of Dot Boag. Although I never met or interviewed her, I felt that somehow I knew her. Her name was as familiar to me as those of our American activists. I read with great interest of her activities at the different protests and demonstrations, and was most impressed upon learning that at Kirsten MacBride's hearing last spring -- despite a cold, blowing gale -- she remained outside the courthouse with Jean Dixon to hand out leaflets to passers by, rather than go inside for the procedings. I thought at the time that both ladies deserve special awards for their dedication to the cause itself. Dot was a wonderful woman, and I regret never having met her.
'always lucid and very much to the point.'I was so sad to hear of Dot's death on 28th December. Like many others I had got to know her through her postings on Smartgroups - always lucid and very much to the point. Meeting her eventually down in Cardiff was like meeting an old friend! She will be sadly missed, and I would like to express my deepest sympathy to her family.
Dot's own words ....
Aug 16 2001 ~ About the wreathes and flowers left opposite the House of Lords on Sunday during the vigil for the animals are still there and looking surprisingly good.Hilary Peters added some flowers today, assisted by a policeman. Perhaps people would like to add to this memorial on Monday? It has been suggested by Dot that it would be " a good idea to write a card or note to go with them so people know what they represent. It would be nice to make a bigger show."
About her anger at Diana Organ's words in the Forest of Dean December 2001~ I have just been sent a copy of Hansard (Thursday 13th Dec) by my MP who is Sir Michael Lord (Deputy speaker)It contains this comment from the FoDean MP Diana Organ. quote "Does my hon. friend accept that, given the greater good of defeating the disease, the one or two objectors behaved in rather selfish manner in that they probably exacerbated the situation by allowing the disease to spread? We ended up with more animals being culled as a result of their selfishness." I seem to remember sometime earlier this year someone from the FoD wrote that they had contacted D, Organ about Biosecurity in the forest, and were told that this was too expensive to implement, I have been searching the archives for this email with no success, does anyone know who sent it? I would be grateful, I would like to remind this'Lady' what really went on in her area.
About the lies told about vaccination Aug 30 2001Following Channel 4 news Dot was aghast " I have NEVER been so angry; some vet called Tyson is definitely living on borrowed time." and went on to explain,"What made it so awful was that it started off as such a great news piece, with the call for vaccination from two farmers and the Countryside agency. One local vet offering to vaccinate the whole of the Allendale area himself to avoid using dirty vets, saying that within a year the vaccine would have worked itself out of their systems and our F&M free status would be restored. I was feeling that at last we were getting somewhere, standing in front of the Tele shouting YES !! Then, they interviewed Tyson , and he trotted out how we are winning the battle , everything is going well, all under control no point in vaccinating as we would HAVE TO KILL all the animals afterwards. I can't bear it, he got the last word, and none queried this stupid statement....." Val comments," Tyson also explained that the nasty scenes of killing - in front of tourists etc - had stopped and that the area was'normal' except he said for the lorries, police and bio-security units. Would suggest that we contact the BVA - who after all are only the'trade union' for the RCVS ."
About the treatment of Kirstin McBride and Misty..You can imagine how relieved we all were that Kirstin and her family did not have to go through it all again another day. There was a great turn out of support. It was great to see Sue and the ladies from Remus with their banner all the way from Essex, and to meet at last Andy Hirst and his wife & Juanita and Carolyn & Sheila.
Jean Dixon and I stayed outside with the banners and handed out leaflets.
We were very moved by the support from passers by, many people stopping to tell us their own stories, one elderly lady in tears told me about the slaughter of her sons cattle.
Another lady came to give support (she was in the middle of lambing), she had lost her origional flock to the cull. She handed out leaflets for about an hour then went back to her sheep. It was freeezing cold and blowing a gale, but was well worth it to see Kirstin's face when she finally came out , this lovely young lady has been through hell
I find it impossible to put into words how angry I feel at the way she has been treated.
Dot's notes on Professor David King at the University of East Anglia. .....no questions allowed October 2001"Not one mention of sympathy for the people whose lives have been wrecked , or for the animals' welfare. "
First bit about Good scientific collaboration linked to business , pays dividends... We will be announcing the appointment of a new scientific advisor to DEFRA in the next few days.
The rest of the talk was about the history of his involvement during the F&M outbreak.
Prof. King said he could not discuss the start of the outbreak because of pending legal action. (brief mention of pigs and swill)
He pointed out that he had no knowledge of F&M at all, but felt that this was an advantage .
He listened to the opinions of the experts assembled , who, he pointed out, had never been in agreement at any of the meetings ( held twice a day and once a day on Sat & Sunday; these were chaired by Blair for a couple of weeks, also the science group met daily throughout) and then based his decisions on what he heard.
Brief explanation of the two Models from Imperial College & Cambridge .
He stated that he had never said that the outbreak would be over by June 7th, but that it was possible that Mr Blair had picked that date for the election himself after looking at the graph the model had produced.(slight ripple of laughter from audience)
(warmwell note: Not the very day - but all the same, Professor King's memory is playing him false if he does not remember his confident words on Farming Today, Friday April 20th when he said, " We're not going to be in the same situation in July - let me be uncharacteristically dogmatic about that. I think that when we say that the epidemic is coming under control, we have a high degree of confidence in that. Surveillance and culling must continue at the present level but if we do that then I'm really quite confident that come the summer this epidemic will be stuttering along but at a very slow rate." )
He said that they had agreed to follow a policy of transparency when talking to the public, which had had some unfortunate repercussions, as when he announced that the outbreak was tailing off farmers had relaxed their bio security with the result that things got out of control again. (warmwell note: One wonders which farmers he has in mind? Those in Northumberland perhaps, who had never for one moment stopped being scared to death of the recurrence of the disease - which did happen in spite of all their best efforts? Or the farmers of Cumbria perhaps? Or Devon?)
Pigs had not been as badly affected as had been feared, because in view of past problems with swine fever etc they had much better bio security in place.
Farmers resisting the cull had slowed down the cull times resulting in prolonging the outbreak quote- 30% of farms who took out injunctions subsequently went down with the disease therefore spreading the disease more. (warmwell note: this is particularly waspish. He could perhaps ask Allayne Addy just how many of the 150 odd farms she saved have gone down subsequently. Or the Thomas-Everards perhaps, whose successful effort to stop the unlawful killing of their animals has meant that their pedigree herd is still their pride and joy.)
Mention of press statements about the large numbers of healthy animals killed - he said that 80% of these would have got the disease anyway. He said only 10% of the nations animals had been killed , compared with the 40% killed annually for the meat trade . ( Comment from Richard: My quick reaction .... This is of course a red herring. It is not relevent, as the majority of animals killed each year are not breeding animals but animals for the food chain. And perhaps he forgot these animals were very likely subjected to great stress, and in many cases killed in appalling ways, without the normal statutory requirements as apply in a slaughter house situation )
Vaccination . very brief mention at the end. dismissed because there was possible difficulty in telling the difference between animals who had had the disease against those who had been vaccinated; this would affect our status with the EU. (warmwell note: This would appear to be the only remaining argument against vaccination. The existence of effective differential tests is, in fact, not in doubt. Only their validation is. Meanwhile, no one seems to mention the EU's reluctance to want to deal with Scotland, free of the disease since May. The policy of non-vaccination is not speeding resumption of exports quite as fast as Ross Finney hoped.)
He said he had met that morning with the NFU who were asking for the movement restrictions to be relaxed. He said there was no way he would be relaxing them as this would result in new outbreaks. (no mention of animal or farmers' welfare of course) (warmwell note: Prof King's contining ignorance of the disease and the progress of it would leave us speechless if we were not already well aquainted with it.) 710.000 sheep tested for antibodies (not sure of this figure I can't read my own writing) 367 found sero positive in 3 or 4 flocks. He said this was good news and that it looks like we are well on the way to getting our status back, particularly as T.B. and he had started the testing months ago and had been having talks with the EU, we stood to get FMD free status much sooner than the year they had originally thought it would take
It was announced at the end that in keeping with the tradition of the lectures at the UEA there would be no questions allowed. (warmwell note: This is also in keeping with the tradition of Stalinist Russia) Prof. King stayed in the Lecture Hall with a large group of friends (no doubt all hoping for the new job on offer), and we were asked to leave, as they were going to show a film.
My feeling on the talk was that it was a very lightweight lecture with very little, if any, new information; a poor attempt at justifying the actions taken over the last year, and a recruitment drive for more PHD's in government and Business.
Not one mention of sympathy for the people whose lives have been wrecked , or for the animals' welfare.
On delivering the vaccination petition at Downing Street" Well I am just back from London having joined Jean Dixon, Hilary and the Dogs . I added some bouquets and a wreath to the little pile on the George V statue opposite the House of Lords, passers by still showing lots of interest and reading the cards on the flowers.
Please anyone going to London , do a little detour to place a floral tribute, with a waterproof note if possible. I think it is worth the effort.
We delivered Jean & Hilary's petition to number 10, the dogs both tried to get inside, Then stayed for a few hours to collect a few more signatures from very supportive passers by, including 2 farmers from Australia , a couple from Spain and a young Brazilian, and we actually got signatures from some Brits :).
We were alongside the Tibet Group who have been protesting for over 10 years I believe, very nice people.Makes you think though. Pretty tired, I will make an effort to catch up on the mail after I have given my long suffering husband his dinner.
About the Scape Goat Sculpture November 2001
Nov 20 ~ We are not going to lose sight of the ethical issues that lie beneath our wish for political action. The fact that what is happening and has happened is WRONG is what drives us. " I went to Greenwich today to see Hilary's wonderful Goat Sculpture in memory of the Animals killed; it is magical, and the setting is perfect, I laid a small wreath of ivy and myrtle in memory of Caroline's Sheep, Misty, and Moo. I will never ever forget the horror we all went through that awful night, and when Andy was asking for help to save his sheep, he was up late lambing, knowing that Maff would be there to kill them the next morning. I think about that every night before I go to sleep, every night." So do we, Dot.
About our responsibility for British Farming Dec 2 2002... if they knew about the crisis in dairy farming, quite a small number of housewives putting a card in the box of their local supermarket saying they would pay more for local milk could change supermarket policy. Hilary's English food e-diary has been updated. "Dot feels that housewives are used by big business as the excuse for their rapacity, but they are never consulted. Perhaps, if they were consulted, their views could change the face of British farming.
Oct 21 2002 ~ THE WORM WILL TURN an email from Hilary, enclosing the latest part of her diary of real food which now goes up to Octrober 19th, is as optimistic and courageous as ever. She writes, "The worm will turn..... That is what Dot Boag says looking back over the bureaucratic bullying and intimidation that farmers have had to face over the last two years. (In East Anglia, they had swine fever immediately before foot and mouth and, from all accounts, the official response was as cruel and irrational, the restrictions as crippling) This ediary is dedicated to Dot, who kept us all going during foot and mouth with her courage and compassion. She inspires me still." Warmwell would like to add its heartfelt thanks and warm wishes to Dot Boag, and of course to Hilary herself.
We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to LOVE... and then we return home.
-- Aborigine philosophy