Dame Judith's spirit inspires night of heroes

IN AN evening full of emotion, it was the most moving moment.

Dame Judith Kilpatrick, the inspirational head of City of Portsmouth Girls School who died suddenly on the first day of term this year, had her achievements recognised by the community last night.

She was posthumously given a lifetime achievement award at this year's We Can Do It ceremony the first time the honour had been given.

The event, held by The News to pay tribute to people with special achievements, ended with the award to the much-missed headteacher.

Dame Judith was one of 11 community heroes and heroines honoured at the event in its second year.

The Oscars-style ceremony, hosted by Meridian TV presenter Fred Dinenage at Portsmouth's New Theatre Royal, drew 300 people.

Awards were made to winners and finalists nominated by readers each month in The News.

Described as a leading light in the world of education, Dame Judith was selected by judges from a list of candidates, including Leigh Park boxing champion Tony Oakey, chairman of Portsmouth Football Club Milan Mandaric and the city's parks and environment officer Brian Kidd.

The evening was the climax of a year's events under the banner of The News's We Can Do It campaign, which seeks to highlight good news in the community and celebrate achievement.

Entertainment came from local singer Amba Tremain, winner of the This is My Moment talent show on TV, and from City Girls pupils, who closed the first half of the evening with a song-and-dance routine.

Mike Gilson, editor of The News, who opened and closed the evening, said: 'It was a fantastic night a night when everyone was a winner.'

See the rest of the winners in