Passionate Mousehold Heath Defender who fought for love and justice
- Credit: Evening News © 2008
Family and friends have paid tribute to a 'passionate' member of the Mousehold Heath Defenders who fought for what she believed in.
Pat Siano, who was a conservator of the heath and member of the Mousehold Heath Defenders for years, died peacefully at her home on Mousehold Avenue on Tuesday, overlooking her beloved heath.
Mrs Siano, who was 89 when she died, had lived in the house for 81 years and had been a passionate defender of Mousehold Heath, committed to preserving the area for the people of Norwich.
For many who knew her Mrs Siano was a woman 'loved by everyone' whose two main passions in life were the heath and her family.
Her daughter, Teresa Grand, said: 'She was a lovely mum, she was a very warm mum, she was always there for us.
She was very kind, very kind to my daughter and her great grandsons, she just adored them and they're devastated that she's gone because they've learnt so much from her.'
Born on March 22 1927, the youngest of four children, Mrs Siano and her family moved to the house on Mousehold Avenue when she was nine. From that point onwards the area would play a central role in Mrs Siano's life, not only would she spend years fighting to preserve it but it would also be where she would first glimpse her future husband, Giovanni Siano.
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As with her work with the Defenders it was a love which she would have to fight for.
The couple met during the Second World War, during which time Mr Siano was an Italian prisoner of war on Mousehold.
Mrs Grand said her mother first saw Mr Siano on the heath while walking her dog. She said: 'She was a very shy young girl and she spotted him in the distance.
Both being Catholic the pair went to the same church where they met properly for the first time.
Mrs Grand said: 'One day he made an arrangement with his friend that she would be sitting on a seat with her dog and he would sit down next to her.
'I think it was a rather lovely story that during the war she met him just through walking her dog on Mousehold Heath.'
Following the establishment of the Mousehold Heath Defenders group in 1972 Mrs Siano joined the group and would play a key role in it for years to come.
Gill Webb, chair of the Mousehold Heath Defenders, said: 'She was very influencial with the defenders, it's due to people like Pat that we've still got Mousehold Heath as it is.'
She is remembered for playing a key part in the fundraising for a new pavillion on the heath, preventing the council from building a car park in the area and stopping the removal of trees from the heath.
Her friend, Councillor David Bradford, said: 'Pat Siano is always synonymous with Mousehold Heath in my mind and Pat herself was one of the most warm-hearted, generous, spirited people I've had the pleasure of knowing. I and my family will miss her.'
Her childhood neighbour and life-long friend, Malcolm Bryant, said: 'As a young boy I was brought up on the same avenue as Pat and knew her family. What a lovely kind lady she was, everyone loved her.'
To those who knew her Mrs Siano was a woman who fought for her main loves in life, whether that be Mousehold Heath or her husband Giovanni.
She is survived by her daughter Teresa Grand, her son, Mario Siano, her grand-daughter, Joanne Harvey, and two great-grandsons, Ethan Harvey and Ruben Harvey.