Fareweel tae oor Hazel – freend, comrade and beloved ‘soup dragon’

No to Austerity rally

Yesterday there wasn’t sufficient standing room for everyone who came to Dundee Crematorium to say farewell to Hazel Duff. Below is the wee tribute that we put up on Facebook last week.

It is with a great sense of regret and sadness that we say fareweel tae Hazel ‘Hazey’ Duff, een oa the SUWN’s most highly regarded volunteers. I must admit that I could have posted sooner, following her sudden death from lung cancer on Saturday morning, but I have found it difficult to force myself to complete this most unpleasant of tasks. Our thoughts and sympathy are with John and Harvey at this difficult time – I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through.

Hazel wis nae hard bitten political activist, but an ordinary woman who decided to fight back against the continued destruction oa the decent society. Such was her sensitivity to the suffering of others that she found helping out on the stalls very difficult to cope with. However, Hazel was determined to contribute as much as she could, and became a regular visitor to the stall with pots of delicious home made soup in the darkest depths of the winter of 2014-15, when Dundee was earning its unwanted title of ‘Scotland’s Sanction City’. This, though, was not the end of her contribution. As well as being a superb cook, Hazel was also a highly accomplished seamstress, a skill that she turned to guid account by providing the SUWN and Stobbie4AYE with hand crafted banners, flags and placards – some of which can be seen on the photos that accompany this appreciation.

In addition to her important practical contributions, Hazel was also the life and soul of SUWN/Stobbie4AYE socials and pish ups. She was always full of stories, jokes and a sense oa mischief, that wis always evident in her dancing smile. I kin that I speak oan behalf oa the SUWN, when I say that it was a privilege knowing an apparently ordinary woman, wha wis actually gifted wi extraordinary talents and a determination tae mak life that bit sweeter than it widiv been withoot her. I leave the last words to Jenny Kermally, wha remembers Hazel at her best – haen a crack and tackin the pish – in the nicest possible way:

‘At her election night party, I remember she had us all roarin & greetin with her pisstakes of the TV commentaries. After, she included in a message “It was a braw night apert fae the results doon yonder”. Her leaving do at Susan’s was great too, big John said he couldn’t remember laughing so much.’

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