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Ex-editor pays tribute to newspaper’s longest-serving secretary

pat-blacklerA former editor has paid tribute to his old newspaper’s longest-serving secretary who has died aged 81.

Alan Cooper, who spent nine years in charge of Plymouth daily The Herald between 1987 and 1996, has described Pat Blackler as “kindness personified”.

Pat, left, spent 36 years with The Herald between 1959 and 1998, initially working on the switchboard.

She went on to take courses in shorthand and typewriting, before becoming editor’s secretary.

Said Alan: “Pat was my wonderful secretary for more than nine years, but she was much more than that. When things were not going quite to plan she always calmed me down and cheered me up with her infectious smile and ready wit.”

“She was kindness personified. If any of my staff had a problem they were told ‘See Pat, she’ll sort it.’ And she did, willingly, with humour and wise advice.”

“It was a privilege to have known Pat, both as a friend and colleague. Thanks Pat for the happy memories. You were a gem.”

Pat is survived by 83-year-old husband Norman, to whom she was married for 60 years, as well as children Peter, now 51 and Nigel, 53.

Said Peter: “She always had to have the paper and we’ve grown up with a great respect for it. I still read it everyday myself.”

Pat passed away on 14 October.


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