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Fundraiser for ex-Abta executive almost doubles target

A fundraiser set up in memory of former Abta executive Mary Cooke, who passed away earlier this month, has almost doubled its fundraising target.

Tributes have been paid to Cooke, whose maiden name was Ceeney, since she passed away in her sleep at hospital on January 7, following a heart attack on January 2, aged 73.

She joined Abta in 1980 as head of council and committee services, and worked on training schemes for travel agents.

In 1986, she became assistant director general under David Epstein, and in 1988, departed the association to join Super Break as brochure production manager.

As tourism manager for London Transport from 1989 to 2003, she promoted LT and London to travel agents and tour operators worldwide, and was responsible for travel information bureaux at major London stations and airports.

In 1995 she married Brian Cooke, whom she met through Abta and who ran travel agencies including Mersea Travel in Essex and Downham Travel in Bromley. For many years, until her death, she was secretary of the Abtarians Society for retired council, committee and secretariat members.

She was chairman of the Association of Women Travel Executives for two years, from 1993 to 1995

Cooke was also a councillor on Bromley Council, representing the Shortlands ward. The council described her as a “shining star”.

Council leader Colin Smith, praised the “thoughtful intelligence and commitment she brought to the various roles which she fulfilled, her determination and resolve to get things done to make things better”.

A Just Giving page in her memory with a target of £2,500 reached £4,382 by 5pm on January 12. Anyone who would wish to donate may do here.

Money raised will be split between the Kent Association for the Blind and the Beckenham Rotary Club’s president’s fund, which benefits St Christopher’s Hospice and the Bromley Little Theatre rebuilding fund.

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