Posted: March 13th, 2017
DEBORAH THOMAS, who was appointed chairman of AMP in June 2017, got her first journalistic job on the iconic ’60s magazine, Nova, where she eventually became beauty editor. She also worked on the teenage magazine Honey and freelanced for several ad agencies.
She was headhunted by the Daily Mirror’s Felicity Green and worked there under four editors – Lee Howard, Michael Christiansen, Tony Miles and Mike Molloy.
A strong trade unionist since her teens, she met Steve Turner while on the Daily Mirror NUJ Committee and eventually married him. They have a daughter, Rosie.
Since her Mirror days, Deborah has worked in management at Barnardo’s helping to raise large sums of money for the charity.
Jane Reed took her on at Woman’s Own at the end of the seventies. While there Deborah joined the NUJ joint negotiating committee for Reed International.
Steve became Daily Mirror FOC, then NUJ Gen Sec and in 1992, along with colleagues from the Mirror titles, he founded the British Association of Journalists. As time went on Deborah took on more and more BAJ work on a voluntary basis. When Steve fell ill in 2002, at the suggestion of BAJ NEC member Bob Bayliss, Deborah took over full-time for eleven months until Steve was well enough to return.
She continued to work full time (and salaried) for BAJ but they were too small to run a pension scheme. Deborah said: “Now I am retired – having foolishly not paid into any pension scheme for the past twenty odd years – my own small MGN pension and my MGN widow’s pension are absolutely vital.” (Steve Turner died in May, 2016.)
She added: “What can I bring to the AMP Committee? I have a great deal of experience in every aspect of membership matters as well as in management, administration, event organisation, publishing, promotions. Like many of us, I was young in the Swinging Sixties and was going to change the world. In the blink of an eye I am now aged seventy and my ambition is to be of some small use where I can.”
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Report and picture from FRANK THORNE
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