Tributes have poured in for a Baroness, a former Royal Borough mayor and the first Asian woman to receive a peerage from Maidenhead who has sadly passed away.

Baroness Shreela Flather died aged 89 on Tuesday, February 6.

She has been remembered as a formidable trailblazer and campaigner.

Baroness Flather had a remarkable political career as a councillor and member of the House of Lords.

She served as a councillor from 1976 to 1991, with a stint as the Mayor of the Royal Borough from 1986/1987.

A  member of the Conservative Party, she became a life peer as Baroness Flather in 1990, becoming the first Asian woman to receive a peerage.

She is credited with campaigning for the Commonwealth Memorial Gates to be installed at Hyde Park Corner to honour volunteer soldiers from the Indian Subcontinent, Africa and the Caribbean who fought in the British military in the two world wars.

Slough Observer: The Memorial Gates at Hyde Park Corner. Credit: Google MapsThe Memorial Gates at Hyde Park Corner. Credit: Google Maps (Image: Google Maps)

Councillor Neil Knowles (Old Windsor Residents Association, Old Windsor), the mayor of the Royal Borough, said: “Baroness Shreela Flather was a true trailblazer and a dedicated public servant, both locally and nationally, championing important issues including race relations and equality.

“She was a key figure in the community and civic life of our borough for many years and served as a borough councillor for more than a decade, including as mayor. She was later recognised nationally, becoming the first Asian woman to sit in the House of Lords, a remarkable achievement.

“On behalf of the Royal Borough, I would like to offer my thoughts and condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.”

In his tribute, Dr Jonathan Romain, the Rabbi of Maidenhead Synagogue said: “I have fond memories of Shreela Flather, who passed away a few days ago.

“She was Mayor of Maidenhead when I arrived as rabbi – warm but also firm; definite but also inclusive; friendly but also formidable.

“No surprise she went to on be Baroness Flather and a credit to our town.”

Cllr Roy Bailey (Labour, Town Centre & The Parks), serving on Bracknell Forest Council and a former police officer, said: “I was saddened to learn of the passing of Shreela Flather, someone I had known for over 40 years.

“In the 1980s, when she was the first Asian Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, she was subjected to regular racist threats and I was assigned to keep a protective eye on her and her family.

“Although our politics were different, we became friends and kept in touch over the years.

“I introduced the Flathers to the Longacre family in LA, where they visited from time to time.

“Cookie Longacre will remember those times with affection.

“A feisty, independent and strong minded woman, Shreela had a keen intellect, which was always exercised with precision and effect.

“Rest in peace, Shreela.”

News of her death was announced by Baroness Flather’s family.

Her maiden name was Rai. which changed when she married barrister Gary Flather (1937-2017).