It was very well attended by hundreds of Labour Party and Co-operative Party members along with Wally's family.
The eulogy concerning Wally's political life was given by Councillor Martin Cummins and was very well written and delivered. So much so that I have asked him to send it to me so that I could put it here and leave it as a permanent memorial to our dear friend.
Peter Dowling commented to me as we were leaving the funeral that Wally "always played with a straight bat". Who could ask for a better epitaph?
This is what Martin had to say
‘Thou shall be socialist ’
When I was told that Wally had completed his work on this Earth I felt the same acute sense of loss I experienced when I was told of John Smith's passing. It was as if something fundamental, something irreplaceable had been lost.
And so it rests with us, his family to pass on his legacy by word of mouth. What, brothers and sisters, will we tell future generations?:
Our brothers Jimmy Woods, Phil Rowe and Liam Moore will tell them that as a young man Wally’s mettle was forged at a time which saw the nationalisation of the Bank of England, of civil aviation, of the railways, of telecommunications. That he saw the creation of the National Coal Board which supplied 90% of the nation’s energy needs. That he bore witness to the establishment of the National Health Service, the nationalisation of canals, road haulage and electricity and of the iron, steel and gas industries for the common good.
Our Brother Nick Croft will tell of the fact that Wally served under 5 Labour Prime Ministers and that at annual conference in 2008 he received the prestigious merit award and he will speak of the tears we all shed when he was honoured with the award of Honorary Presidency of West Derby Constituency Labour Party.