'Mrs Whitehawk' Faith Matyszak-Gander's 90'th birthday celebrated by friends and family on bus tour of Brighton

The 353 bus, which was named after Mrs Matysazak-Gander in 2020, visited places where the well-known volunteer lived and worked.

Faith Matyszak-Gander’s 90’th birthday was celebrated on a bus tour around her favourite places in Brighton and Hove.

Friends and family of the community activist, who passed away in 2015, got together with Brighton and Hove Buses' colleagues to celebrate the life and work of a woman known to many as ‘Mrs Whitehawk’ on Sunday, October 31.

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The 353 bus, which was named after Mrs Matysazak-Gander in 2020, visited places where the well-known volunteer lived and worked. While her daughter, Zena Barton, provided a commentary on her mum’s life.

Zena Barton, wearing the dress in this photo, said it was a 'lovely day'.

“It was a really good day. I want to thank the bus company for arranging it. Everybody said they enjoyed it and they learned a lot about my mum,” said Mrs Barton.

Stops on the tour included the old bathing machine at Dukes Mound, the Royal Sussex Hospital where Mrs Matysazk-Gander worked 30 years and Watney's Brewery (now Churchill Square).

Mrs Matyszak-Gander, who was awarded an MBE in 2007, was best known for her volunteer and community work. Her efforts included helping to raise £1 million for Crew Club, a youth centre in Whitehawk.

The activist also fought for fairness and equality in the city, working closely with Brighton and Hove Black Women’s Group, The Brighton and Hove Racial Harassment Forum and the Brighton Unemployed Family Centre throughout her life.

Mrs Barton, who is currently writing a book about Mrs Matyszak-Gander’s life, said her mum would’ve loved the bus trip: “She always caught the bus until she wasn’t physically able to any more. She went everywhere on the bus.”