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2002-Sep-07: Remembering "the Best Mum in the World"

The British press today contains several touching stories about Mary and Stella McCartney's first visit to Liverpool's Linda McCartney Centre (see September 3).

For the first time, Sir Paul's daughters spoke in public about losing their mother to cancer four years ago.  A tearful Stella told the center's patients and staff:

"Mum was the ultimate role model. She was the best mum in the world - but she should be here telling you this herself.

"Mum would be amazingly proud to see the centre.  She would have loved to have been here with us.  I personally am incredibly honoured that mum's name has been lent to it and she would be incredibly proud.   I am struck by how beautiful it is and find it reassuring to know that something good can come out of losing someone you love so very much.

"I'm very glad to be here. It is a very beautiful centre. It's got a lovely aura
which is pretty rare for a medical place. When mum was ill, all the waiting was one of the worst things. But this centre has a lovely aura around it and patients are seen quickly because staff are on the ball."

Mary added:
"Mum was very good fun and a bit mischievous.  She was the kind of woman that once you met her she would make you feel very included.  She was such a warm person and we miss her dearly.

"It is fantastic for mum's name to be linked to such a positive project.  It is never nice to go to hospital but the centre doesn't feel like one.  Walking around has made us very, very emotional."

Sir Paul's brother, Mike, was there to greet his nieces when they arrived at the centre.  In his remarks, he said:
"This centre is the most fitting memorial to Linda. She would be so proud of the work done here and to see her daughters here today."
Stella (wearing a black suit, gold spike sandals and a tweed trilby) and Mary (dressed casually in a cream coat, blue jeans and trainers) chatted to patients and staff as they toured the facility.  One patient, Jenny Evans, a Liverpool teacher diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, spoke of meeting the McCartney sisters:
The girls were absolutely lovely.  I could tell it was an emotional moment for them but they genuinely seemed to care about how we were doing."
Diane Connolly, the centre's administration worker, added that Stella has agreed to design a new hospital gown for the women patients:
"I asked her to design new gowns for the Linda McCartney Centre and she was very willing and very obliging. She said she will be in touch. We are delighted."
The purpose of Mary and Stella's visit was to help launch a new fund-raising drive for an International Supporters' Garden, something Stella said her mother "would have loved". Stella described her mother as a "nature woman" and expressed the hope that some of her mother's favorite flowers would be planted in the garden.

Before their departure, the McCartney sisters happily braved the driving rain to unveil a fountain outside the centre.  They posed for pictures and joked with the photographers, although it is reported that Stella went to great lengths to hide her new platinum and diamond engagement ring.

 

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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