In May 2013 there was a meeting at Dorchester town hall to discuss the impending badger cull and the possibility of it coming to Dorset. All eyes were focused on the stage, were the stars of the movement against the cull – including Brian May and the head of the RSPCA – spoke. But it was in the crowd, listening quietly and unassumingly, that the real lynchpin of the group to protect Dorset’s badgers sat, she just didn’t know it yet.
Sue Chamberlain came to the very first meeting of what became Dorset for Badger and Bovine welfare and she didn’t miss a single one from that moment. In fact it was Sue who organised the meetings; setting the dates, letting people know, answering the emails, posting on facebook, circulating minutes… and that was just the beginning. We cannot overstate just how much Sue did to grow, maintain and keep the group grounded. Sue was our rock; our administrator, our merchandise queen, our fundraiser, coordinator, liaison with the authorities, the person who got things done, who made sure that when the badger cull came to Dorset that everyone knew where they needed to be in order to save as many animals as possible. Sue could be out in the field one night, and on the phone dealing with any problems that arose all the next day. Nothing was ever too much trouble, no problem was insurmountable.
This is all the more remarkable given that Sue was fighting her own private battle against cancer, and on Wednesday 13 January it became the fight she could not win and the animals and a great many people lost a true and brave friend.
Sue, we love you and miss you. Rest well, you more than earned it.