Tributes have been paid to a ‘perfect gentleman’, who fought tirelessly for his beloved Bexhill, who passed away on Sunday (October 4).
John Lee was the founder chairman of Save Our Seafront, which successfully campaigned in 2004/5 against plans to build three seven-storey buildings on the De La Warr green and car park.
John also founded the Bexhill Alliance and was a firm believer in the idea of town council for Bexhill.
Friend John Hodson said: “He inspired and led a major campaign to Save Our Seafront which climaxed with the submission in 2005 of an ‘alternative masterplan’ to improve the entire seafront for the benefit of the town, ultimately implemented by Rother Council some years later.
“He subsequently inspired the formation of the Bexhill Alliance to influence council policy and latterly represented Collington Ward as an Independent member.
“John worked tirelessly to succeed at all these self-imposed tasks, for which he should be long-remembered with gratitude and affection.”
Ron Storkey, from Save Our Seafront, said: “John was a staunch friend and colleague to whom family was of prime importance, followed very closely by his concern for the welfare of the community of Bexhill.
“I have been privileged to have known and worked with both John and his wife Sheila and I shall miss them both as colleagues but more importantly as good friends.”
Close friend Rachel Hills described John as a “truly perfect gentleman’. She said: “As well as being very immersed in local affairs, John was a regular jogger, not many years ago having competed in the Hastings half marathon with his son and grandson. Often heard, as well as seen, in his beloved red classic Mercedes sports car he was a well recognised local personality, who always had time to stop, talk and try to help with any problems that he came across.”
Cllr Stuart Earl, who served alongside John on Rother Council, said the community had ‘suffered a huge loss’.
He said: “John had the gift and skills of language when debating, which earnt him the respect of those who did share his views. Always polite, prepared to listen and accommodate another point of view, while still smart enough to retain the moral high ground.
“In the 11 years I knew John he made an impression on me that will last forever, a true gentleman and dear friend to so many.”
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