ITV Central's Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie reflects on her time knowing the late Erdington MP Jack Dromey after his funeral was held today (31/01).
I first met Jack Dromey when I was filming a profile report about his fight to win the Birmingham Erdington seat for Labour back in 2010.
What struck me was his enthusiasm for a new challenge after his long years of union work supporting many of those employed in the auto sector.
That relish for his constituency work was mentioned several times in the very warm tributes paid to him at his funeral today.
I felt privileged to have been one of the few journalists to have been invited into St Margaret's Church which stands in the shadow of the Palace of Westminster next to Westminster Abbey.
There were lots of faces there from both national and local politics including two former Prime Ministers - their hair a little greyer than when they stood at the despatch box when in power.
Gordon Brown talked of how Jack would criss-cross the country pursuing his campaigns on behalf of working people. Tony Blair gave a reading from the bible about how people can triumph over injustice.
There were serious words but lots of humour too. His eldest son Harry talked of Jack's beaming face after he had spent precious time with his grand child.
His son Joe remembered being taken to every corner of Erdington - and how proud his Dad had been to have a construction suite at a local college named the "Jack Dromey Construction suite".
He was a man who reached out across the political party system - there were Conservatives there too today including the West Midlands metro Mayor Andy Street- Jack was always keen to include anyone who could help him find solutions to the challenges he undertook.
It felt right to me that at the service everyone was able to laugh and to applaud at what can so often turn into a solemn occasion.
As Jess Phillips said at the end " it's a shame Jack couldn't have been here - he would have loved it..! "