Bernie Blaney was a good friend to many. I knew him as a Liberal activist but he was also a folk singer, 'master quizzer,' fell walker, barber shop singer, teacher, charity worker and family man.
Bernie was one of the activists who along with Lorna Smith, David Vasmer and other breathed new life into Birkdale Liberals in the early 1980's.
Bernie had to retire from teaching after became ill and needed a kidney transplant. Bernie worked with the Southport Kidney Fund whose chair at the time was Joan Coleman.
The Southport Visiter reported on the tribute to Bernie that the Bothy Folk Club put on which was a great success.
A spokesman for the Bothy Folk Club, where Bernie was a long-standing member, said: “Bernie had undergone a kidney transplant himself some time ago, and he had been an enthusiastic fundraiser for Southport Kidney Fund.
“We wanted to have an event in his memory, and we decided that it would be fitting to make it a fundraiser, as a tribute to Bernie and as a boost to the Fund.
“In the audience were members of Bernie’s family, including his daughter, Judith, who made an emotional speech thanking everyone for attending and for their generosity.
“Also present were Southport MP, John Pugh, and five Liberal Democrat councillors, plus friends from the various different aspects of Bernie’s life.
“The final total raised was £618, which has been presented to Mrs Sue Blaney to pass on to the fund.”
The evening was concluded by the Bothy singers and friends singing a rousing chorus of “Strike The Bell”, a song for which Bernie had previously become well known.