Tributes have been pouring in for a much-loved tenants and residents association chairwoman who died shortly before the New Year.
Rosemary Egbe, 64, of the Lilford Estate in Loughborough Junction, also worked through the pandemic making masks for medics at King’s College Hospital – and was due to be invited to Buckingham Palace to be thanked for her work.
Rosemary had lived on the Lilford Estate for nearly 30 years. She was responsible for a raft of regeneration work and service provision during the 10 years she had been in charge of the Lilford Area Residents’ Association (LARA), the association representing local residents.
As well as running numerous sewing and craft groups for older residents and activities for young people, she had taken charge of the local Food and Fun programme inspired by footballer Marcus Rashford and run in partnership with Lambeth council last summer.
In July Rosemary and residents on the estate hit the headlines for a project making 500 colourful face masks for the NHS, which were donated to the staff teams at nearby King’s College Hospital.
She had been nominated this year by Lambeth council to attend a 2021 garden party at Buckingham Palace as a gesture of thanks for all her work.
Dulwich & West Norwood MP Helen Hayes said: “Rosemary was an inspiration and it was a privilege to know her.
“She was totally dedicated to her family and her community and did so much for so many residents on the Lilford Estate. She will be hugely missed by everyone who knew her and my thoughts are with her family at this very sad time.”
Rosemary had been taking a break over Christmas from her hard work but had started to feel ill with Covid symptoms, and tragically died from unknown causes – for which an autopsy is awaited.
Herne Hill Labour councillors Pauline George and Jim Dickson had worked closely with Rosemary for many years. They jointly paid tribute saying: “Rosemary is one of those people who are simply irreplaceable. We’ve lost a community champion as well as a loving mother and loyal friend.”
Rosemary’s daughter, Eyang Igwe, said: “My mum was a selfless pastor, a community champion and steward, doting mother and grandmother, sister, primary care giver and friend.
“To those who knew her, she was just being herself. To my mum everyone was her daughter, son, or child – everyone was family.”
Chuks Igwe, Rosemary’s son in-law added: “I am inconsolable. Our children Abigail, Joshua and Caleb will miss their grandma greatly. Omeh, my sister, is still unable to grasp the full gravity of her loss.”
After her death, Christmas hampers Rosemary was about to distribute to residents and friends were found in the boot of her car.
Pictured top: Rosemary Egbe
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