Upon hearing the sad news of Jackie’s passing, there was an outpouring from many Party members, colleagues, friends and people she had helped in her years of service.
We have set up this page in order to collect and share tributes to Jackie as a memorial to her life and work.
If you would like to add some words of your own, please email email@example.com
Jackie was a truly lovely person, always with a happy and smiling personality every time we met.
No matter how down one felt Jackie would come in the room with a mission to cheer everyone up and she made sure, no matter how she felt, she would leave everyone feeling more optimistic.
She was a positive campaigner who could disarm hostility on the doorstep with a smile.
I know of so many residents in Holywell ward, who she represented for nine years from 2010 to 2019, as well as across Watford, who were helped by Jackie and who will very sad to hear this news.
It’s often said at these times, but Jackie really was ‘one in a million’ with a truly kind heart and compassionate not only towards her Councillor colleagues but to all her many friends in and out of the Party and at the Council Offices.”
Holywell Councillor, Leader of the Labour Group in Watford
Jackie blossomed in the Labour Party and as a councillor. It was a joy to see. Her approach was always one of kindness and she was an excellent ambassador for the Labour Party and our values. We have lost a comrade and a friend.
Chair, Watford Labour Party 1997-2020
A very sad loss to Watford and the Labour Party. Jackie went out of her way to make me feel warmly welcomed when I joined the Labour Party and she will be sorely missed. Hopefully her kind spirit will live on in those whose hearts she touched. ❤
Sara Jane Trebar
Vicarage Ward Council candidate
Jackie Connal was a great friend to New Hope. She always said ‘Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help’ and really meant it. She was a regular at our Community Market Garden open days. She was always so encouraging, warm and down to earth with such a compassion for people experiencing homelessness in Watford.
Fundraising and Communications Manager at New Hope
My overriding memories of her are of warmth, inclusiveness and a genuine interest in other people. She was also good fun and of course very hardworking.
When I joined Watford CLP, and attended my first meeting, Jackie was the first fellow member I talked to. I’ve noticed that quite a lot of members seem to have the same recollection. That’s no accident – it’s a reflection of her immense and unstinting kindness to so many people. She served as a member and a Councillor with no motive beyond the desire to help others. Jackie’s selfless contributions to her community will be remembered for a long, long time.
Former Secretary of Watford CLP
I am so sorry to hear about Jackie.
Jackie was a kind compassionate person who cared deeply about the local community of Watford.
Jackie was a people’s person and was always interested in the individual.
Jackie had a very cheery nature and always made you feel more confident about life.
Jackie built strong ties with the Holywell ward during her long duration as a local Borough councillor. A true local champion who was always interested in supporting local community organisations. Jackie had a strong commitment to Watford Museum and was always very supportive of the Watford Amnesty International group which I have been involved in for a number of years.
I would like to send my condolences to Jackie’s family. RIP.
I was very upset and saddened to hear the news of Jackie Connal, Jackie was known to us personally any way being a Cllr and worked hard with my husband Jagtar, Jackie knew of both of my children also.
“Oh what joy it is to have a friend like you, for giving people strength the way you did, for lifting people up when they are feeling down, & sad, and putting a smile on peoples faces when wearing a frown. Thanks for being there and helping people grow your friendship meant a lot this I’d like you to know”
Rajinder, Jagtar, Jeevs, Simi
I am really saddened to hear about Jackie’s passing and my thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. Her compassion and kindness lit up every room she walked into and was our biggest champion in Watford Labour. Jackie loved her residents greatly and would talk to everyone in the most caring of ways. Our ‘Auntie’ Jackie was a treasure and embodied the very best of us.
Vice Chair Communications and Social Media Officer of Watford CLP
I remember when Jackie first joined Watford Labour Party. She was keen to go out and campaign but was worried that she didn’t have experience. She never needed to worry – she was a natural.
She was so easy to talk to and her genuine concern for others always shone through. She was never rude or angry with people but she had a very clear sense of what was right. She was a great advocate for the Labour Party and becoming a councillor seemed to shine a light on all those talents she had to communicate with people.
Jackie was always very kind and supportive to me and would often come with me to events that I attended as the MP. She was a real stalwart and was always at canvass sessions
.All her friends in Watford Labour Party will be sad that we have lost Jackie but we are grateful for the comradeship that we had for many years.
Labour MP for Watford 1997-2010
I met Jackie just over 10 years ago and I still remember the warm, kind smile I received at the Labour Party office when I met her. We talked over cups of tea had a laugh, had a cry, but she would always tell me, “if you ever wanted to have a chat let aunty Jackie know”. While canvassing residents, we would go out in teams. Usually with Sue and Diane. She enjoyed chatting to residents, often while we had completed canvassing our side of the road, Jackie had just finished speaking with the resident she had been with, almost always solving their problems. She would always disarm the most miserable resident with her warmth.
She cared passionately about issues related to social justice – Refugees, homeless, the poor, vulnerable children, abused women, fair trade, anti-war, these were all issues that she cared about and more. She was a people person and was firmly rooted in the community, especially her residents in Holywell, where she worked with Nigel and Matt. She cared for our town and the world. Always trying to make it better, taking small steps at a time.
She had humour too, after one lively Labour Party members meeting, which had lots of heated debate with passion and tempers fraying, as the meeting ended, she quickly quipped “alright let’s all go down to the pub!” completely changing the mood of the room.
She missed David, her husband when he passed away. It left a hole in her life. Her Labour Party family and friends rallied round to support her, which she appreciated.
When she heard that Trump was coming to the Grove for the Nato summit, she decided to join the demonstration and get there by walking through Cassiobury Park. She got lost, but used her charm to get the police to drop her off back home.
My last call with her was during the lockdown, asking her how she was and if she needed anything. She replied, “Oh I’m fine Asif, and how are things with you?” And off our discussion went.
Jackie was a remarkable woman – kind, warm, generous, caring and compassionate, traits that are missing from much of politics today.
I have lost a dear and respected friend – I will miss her.
Rest in Peace Jackie.
Chair of Watford Labour, Councillor for Leggatts
The Liberal Group want to pass on our sincere condolences after hearing about the death of our dear colleague Jackie.
Jackie was a truly kind, caring and compassionate person- she will be deeply missed.
Liberal Democrat Group in Watford
You left us far too soon my friend, how will I cope now without you?
Our trips to café-West, a little glass red wine in the Horns, folding and filling envelopes in the Labour office. You’re the kindest, most thoughtful and funniest person I have ever had the pleasure to meet. If something needed to be done, you’d roll up your sleeves and muck in, no problem, you were there.
You are loved by so many, especially for what you did for the people of Holywell, for the museum and for Fair Trade, you will be sorely missed.
I’m so sorry Jackie that we could not visit you, to hold your hand and give you a hug. Your pain has gone now but the pain in my heart remains.
Rest in Peace my lovely Jackie.
Mo Mills – Vicarage Councillor