On Saturday the 23rd January 2010, Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, planted a tree in Plashet Park. The newly planted Dove Tree commemorates the life and work of Jim Coe, former President of the Monega Association. Jim passed away aged eighty in early 2009, after a life in which he overcame personal ill health to devote great efforts to promoting the welfare of the area and its residents. Mr Timms planted the tree together with Jim’s widow Evelyn, and they were joined by family members and Association members.
Following a Newham Council renewal scheme, a Monega Residents Association was formed – this unfortunately folded after a lack of investment and later became the Monega Association. Jim continued to bring together the local community, re-forming the association and constantly fighting the corner of its members. A lively community organisation continues under its current Chairman, Bob Rush.
The placing of the memorial tree and plaque in Plashet Park is no coincidence. Jim used to walk regularly in the park with his dog Toby, who is also commemorated on the plaque. Newham Council were thanked for their assistance in setting up the memorial. Following a speech by Bob Rush, Stephen remembered Jim’s good work to the crowd gathered, and completed the ceremonial planting of the tree (pictured).
Robert Rush, Chairman of the Monega Association, said, “James was not only a friend of mine, he was a friend to all. His last letter was a plea that the Association should not be allowed to fold; the money collected for the memorial is testament that we are honouring his wish. Today’s dedication is to a good man, and a faithful little dog.”
Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, added, “Jim Coe was one of those people who makes our area not just a place but a community. I am proud to have known and worked with him. I miss greeting him on my Sunday morning bicycle rides – he won’t be forgotten.”