Approximately 200 people attended the Thanksgiving Service for Gloria, Lady Lawrence, the wife of Sir Ivan Lawrence QC, held at North West Surrey Synagogue on 14 November. Lady Lawrence died on October 4 after a long illness. Sir Ivan and Lady Lawrence were long-standing members of North West Surrey Synagogue and Sir Ivan represents the synagogue on the Board of Deputies
Attendees were drawn from the worlds of Parliament, jurisprudence and British Jewry, Sir Ivan’s areas of activity, as well as fundraising and tourism, Lady Lawrence’s areas of interest. Notable guests included Nirj Devia, MEP who read from ‘L’chol ish yesh shem‘, Rt. Hon Lord Howard of Lympne CH QC, who read ‘Death is nothing at all’ by Henry Scott Holland, and well known actress Michele Dotrice who read ‘You Can Shed a Tear’ by David Harkins.
The service was led by Rabbi Dr David Zucker with tenor Yoav Oved singing some of the prayers, including El Malei Rachamim. The service was introduced and closed with some of Lady Lawrence’s favourite music played by Robin Zebaida. Lady Valerie Cocks spoke movingly of Lady Lawrence, ending her reminisces saying “I make no apologies for crying right now because I’m smiling at the same time. I know that when all the tears have dried, I will always smile when I think of Gloria.”
Sir Ivan also gave a moving tribute to his wife, explaining that he hadn’t originally planned to do so because he doubted his ability to speak through his tears. He thanked the many attendees for showing how much Lady Lawrence was loved and ended quoting from his book ‘My Life in Crime’ that “whatever the daily stresses of the courts or Parliament and politics to be able to return to the warmth and comfort of a really happy home – to a loving wife – must surely be the greatest of blessings.”