John Barsby, BBC veteran and Roy Jones, Morning Star industrial correspondent have been made NUJ members of honour and received standing ovations for their contribution to the union.
Roy Jones (left) and John Barsby Photo: Mark Pinder
In a tribute to Roy, Anita Halpin, honorary NUJ treasurer, said: "I am delighted that Roy is being honoured in this way. He has made a tremedous contribution to the NUJ as a reporter of trade union affairs and as an effective and popular activist."
Roy worked on the Morning Star's industrial desk from 1982 to 1995 – he started two years after Thatcher's election and retired two years before Blair's victory. These were turbulent years in which, to quote him: "Britsh industry was being laid to waste".
Born in north Wales, Roy left school at 14 and had various jobs in the oil industry and then construction. An active trade unionist on the shop floor, branch and Ellesmere Port trades council, he became an effective rep. He joined the NUJ in 1982 and was a stalwart of the Industrial Correspondents Group.
After leaving the Star he spent a further 10 years reporting TUC conferences and is now a 60+ activist.
In his tribute to John Barsby, John Fray, Oxford branch, said he was a man of integrity, dedication, reliability and loyalty. He recalled how John had left the Nottingham Evening Post, where he had been on strike for seven weeks in the 1970s , and joined the Sheffield Star where he then found himself on strike for 13 weeks.
John then went on to work for the BBC in Norwich and took up a number of positions in the union: the longest-ever chair of the Broadcasting Industrial Council, chair of the European Journalist Federation's Broadcasting Experts Council, a BBC secondee and member of the NEC. His first DM was in 1966 and has attended ever since.
John Fray said: "With personal cases John will doggedly plough on until management gives up in despair. He has literally saved hundreds of our members their jobs or at very least pay outs that nobody thought was possible."