Valerie Mary Hunt (1927 - 2012)
Val Hunt was a member of Black Sash in Port Elizabeth for many years and a courageous and passionate supporter of Human Rights movements during the Apartheid era. She was a "doer", and never content to take a back seat or play a merely critical role of the Nationalist Government regime when there was work to be done.
For many years Val ran - and extremely efficiently - the School Feeding Trust in Port Elizabeth, ensuring that many thousands of school children had one nutritious meal a day. Her office used to be subjected to regular visits from the Security police and her driver was taken into detention and held for many months during the late 1980s.
Val was a tall, handsome, imposing woman and she was quite fearless in facing up to the "Authorities" of the day as she objected strongly (and vociferously) to Gawa's imprisonment. I think the police (he was held in a rural police station) used to dread her visits as she ensured that he, and those held with him, received food and warm clothing in their cells.
Val was an active member of Sash, always attending meetings and doing stands when her job permitted. She had a very creative, active mind and played an important role in planning local Sash campaigns in the Eastern Cape. Val was also a very active member of WESSA and a committee member of long standing on its Regional Committee. She started and for years ran the Wildlife shop in Port Elizabeth, turning that tiny little room into a treasure house of goods that truly reflected the flora and fauna of South Africa - and turned a very good profit for the organisation.
Despite some ill health towards the end of her life Val's joyful spirit, enthusiasm and love of life gave constant pleasure to her friends and family, her motto was always, "Carpe Diem". She will be greatly missed and the large numbers present at her funeral in St. Margaret's Anglican Church bore witness to a wonderful woman who never flinched in the face of adversity and who lived a rich and meaningful life.