Pendle woman dies in Amsterdam

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the funeral has taken place in Amsterdam of a former Pendle woman who died following a three-year battle with cancer.

Anne Broekman had lived in the Netherlands for 20 years after meeting husband-to-be Fred Broekman from Amsterdam at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne in 1992.

He is a DJ on a Blues radio show on the concertzender network in Holland and was a regular visitor to the festival.

They very quickly realised they had something very special together. Mrs Broekman left Pendle, moved to Amsterdam and married Fred in 1993. Anne loved Amsterdam but was always proud of her roots and when she met people always described herself as a “Lancashire lass” - she returned to Pendle often to visit family and friends and to introduce new Dutch friends to the area.

Born Anne Penny in Nelson, Mrs Broekman grew up in Laneshaw Bridge. She was a prefect and netball captain at Park Secondary Modern School.

She moved to Brierfield and was married to Mel Simpson, of Simpsons of Colne Ltd, in 1964. They divorced in 1986 but remained good friends. The couple had two children, Penny and Christopher, and five grandchildren.

Mrs Broekman was a talented teacher, cook and earth mother and someone who empowered others with her positive outlook. She worked in community education and developed playgroups for children in Pendle for many years.

She was also involved in the pioneering Home Tuition Scheme in the 1970s which sought to teach English to Pakistani women in their homes. Through her strong links with the Pakistani communities in Pendle she travelled extensively with her close friend Shanaz Butt through Pakistan in 1985 and again in 1986. She used this experience to develop her understanding of the people she lived and worked with.