A fearless campaigner who dedicated decades to fighting for hospital services has been praised for her indomitable spirit after her death at 94.
Zena Bullmore passed away on Friday, leaving behind daughter Helen, son David and three granddaughters, Kathryn, Michelle and Rosemary.
Passionate Zena was the founding member and chairman of the Dacorum Hospital Action Group from its inception in 1975, until age and deteriorating health saw her take a backseat on her campaigning.
According to the current chairman Betty Harris, Zena the ‘warrior princess’ fought to see the town’s hospital grow and she even achieved her dream of obtaining a purpose-built maternity unit for the site, which was sadly later closed.
Betty said: “Everyone in Dacorum will remember the marches, the collection of signatures on petitions week after week, hands around the hospital, bed push to Watford and journeys to London, Downing Street and the House of Commons.”
While services were gradually decommissioned at the Hillfield Road hospital, Betty believes it may well be that had Zena’s battle not been waged there would be nothing whatsoever left in Hemel Hempstead.
Occasionally in this world there will be a certain someone who makes a difference to everyone with whom they come into contact. “That person was surely Zena and wherever she saw injustice, would fight to put things right.Betty Harris
Many people will also remember Zena at Adeyfield School teaching shorthand and typing, a job she dearly loved and nothing gave her greater pleasure than meeting and talking with former pupils.
As well as being awarded an MBE Zena had also been made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Dacorum, although she never took full advantage of her grazing rights.
Betty added: “Occasionally in this world there will be a certain someone who makes a difference to everyone with whom they come into contact.
“That person was surely Zena and wherever she saw injustice, would fight to put things right.
“If there is justice to be had there will be a hospital back in Hemel Hempstead and what more fitting tribute to Zena,could we have than that her works are inscribed, on a plaque and prominently displayed, at the entrance.”
Incumbent Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning also paid tribute to Zena.
He said: “I think we have lost one of the great characters of the town.
“She committed herself to campaigning for something that she and the town felt so passionately about.
“She is an enormous loss to us – she was just a brilliant, brilliant lady.”
Zena’s funeral will be held at 2pm on Monday, April 13 at West Herts Crematorium in Garston. Family flowers only are requested but donations can be made in Zena’s name to Age UK Dacorum, to support the charity’s work with dementia patients.