Former councillor and Bexhill mayor dies after cancer fight

John and his wife Anne SUS-180821-134112001
John and his wife Anne SUS-180821-134112001

A former Rother district councillor and mayor of Bexhill has died after a valiant fight against cancer.

John McEwan, 80, had been faithfully nursed by his wife, Anne and cared for at Peterhouse in Old Town for his final six weeks before passing away last Saturday (August 18).

John and Anne had been married for 50 years.

He was born in Maybole in Ayrshire and educated at the Carrick Academy there.

Between 1957 and 1973 he served in the Metropolitan Police in Bethnal Green. Besides patrol duties, his time with the Met included service in the CID and as a dog handler.

One of his favourite possessions was a photograph of his police dog Bruin wearing John’s helmet.

John then joined Sussex Police in 1974, serving in Rye and Hastings before retiring in 1990.

The couple moved to Bexhill in 1976 and with a lifetime passion for politics, John accepted an invitation to stand for the Conservatives in Bexhill’s Central Ward in 1991. He proved to be a persistent campaigner during his stint as a councillor.

At one point during a long discussion in the council chamber on whether to allow cycling on Bexhill’s promenades or not, John asked two simple questions which became the centre of the debate, namely how many people were reported in the last year for cycling on the promenades in contravention of the byelaw and how many were successfully prosecuted.

The answer was nobody, as there was no one to enforce the byelaw.

John spent 10 years serving the Central Ward electorate. He was mayor of Bexhill in 1994 and 1995.

Earlier in his life John was a runner in his school days and later played rugby. Throughout his life, his passions in addition to politics were walking and following sport.

John leaves daughters Angela, Catherine and Anne and grandchildren Henry, Evie, George and Beatrice.