Saturday, January 24, 2009

John Wyatt 1938-2009; A True English Gentleman

It is with much regret that we announce the sad news of the death of Councillor John Wyatt. Cllr Wyatt, 70, has died after a long illness battling cancer. He died at his home in Trafford Road will his wife of 44 years, Eileen, by his side. Cllr Wyatt was elected to serve Bowthorpe Ward in 2007. John was a former salesman – most notably for Goodyear tyres – and was a keen cricketer. John spent time volunteering for many gardening groups and, until recently, was an allotment holder in Norwich where he grew organic fruit and vegetables.

I am so saddened with the passing of John Wyatt; I have not just lost a colleague, but a neighbour and a dear friend.

John entered politics in the 1960s standing for the Earlham area – a community he had a great affinity for and where he finally won many years later. John was a great community politician and a champion for people against the bureaucracy, the petty administration and the dominant political class. He loved to challenge authority and stand up for ordinary folk against the powers-that-be. Even in his last months he attended to his council work diligently; my only regret is that our community was only represented by John Wyatt for a few short years.

To those of us who knew John as a friend, know what a fantastic gentleman he was. Unfailingly polite, decent, caring and always interested in you and your problems. During his illness he seldom complained even when in great pain; that is a mark of the man he was.

John wasn’t Norwich City Council’s man, nor even the Conservative Party’s man – he was Norfolk’s man. I am deeply proud to have known John, to have worked alongside him and to have considered him a friend.

I am devastated by his loss, our thoughts and prayers are with Eileen and all those who loved John. But I pay tribute to this remarkable man for all those lives he touched. John Wyatt was a true English gentleman and will be missed so much.

UPDATE: One other thing needs to be noted about John; I have never seen such emotion at the death of a local politican. I have been recieveing emails, texts and phone calls all day from local residents, party members, the opposition, council employees and party workers all very shocked and saddened. One word keeps coming up time and time again - gentleman; which I think very aptly sums up John.

John Wyatt was one of the very few, if not the only person, to have faith in me to stand again in 2006. Without John's encouragement and support in that election I think I would have walked away. Just weeks before the poll at which I became a Councillor I had decided not to stand - it was John, in hiw own special way, who used a long car journey we took together to give me the confidence and self-belief to carry on. He was an amazing man who has done more for my family and I than he would ever know - much loved and much missed.

4 comments:

Sue Sands said...

I knew John as both my ward Cllr and a fellow Cllr, but mostly as a friend. We were able to put politics aside and talk about anything and everything and I really treasure the times we did that. My favourite memory is of sitting in the beautiful gardens of the Old Rectory with him and Eileen and drinking tea while talking about gardens, Oz and life. John had a way of putting you at ease and had a dry sense of humour to boot. Always the gentleman, he had a way of explaining politics, which even a novice like me could follow! When I visited him in hospital, he didn’t complain although it was clear that he was in awful pain and he chatted away as if nothing else was more important in the world than my gossip from City Hall. Clearly he touched many people’s lives.
I shall miss him terribly and my thoughts and affection go to Eileen and family.

Sue Sands said...

That should be Old Vicarage.

Anonymous said...

Very sad news Antony, while we may have disagreed politically John always struck me as a very nice chap and will be deeply missed.

julie said...

I was really saddened to hear of the death of John. He was always polite and well mannered and willing to listen to the views of others