Serving other people was a way of life for Charles Brookes
TO accomplish much over a wide range of endeavour and do all of it with an ever-present smile and an easy-going manner is a rare achievement.
The death at home at the age of 93 of Charles Brookes severs a link with many town organisations he served faithfully.
He was a founder member of Bexhill Lions Club and was club president and treasurer. The Lions were the instigators of Bexhill Talking Newspaper Association of which Charles was treasurer for many years.
He had been a banker for 41 years, retiring at the end of a highly successful career with the National Provincial (now the NatWest).
He was treasurer of the local branch of the NSPCC and past president of Hastings Muffin Club.
In a busy life, he was also a keen bowler, being a member of Bexhill Indoor Bowling Club and the Egerton Park club.
In his devoted work for the talking newspaper for the blind he was joined by his wife Irene. It was a happy and long-standing partnership which mirrored their 41 years of married life.
Charles was the consummate professional. In retirement, he gave freely of his skills, bringing to the charities he served not only total integrity but an ability to explain a balance sheet or a financial situation in layman's terms. Above all, his commitment to good causes was undertaking with unfailing good humour.
Charles had been in hospital for some time but had been pleased to be able to return home at the last.
In addition to Irene, Charles leaves a son, Christopher and daughter Jacqueline and step-daughters Lynda and Catherine. Plus four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His funeral is at Eastbourne Crematorium at 12.15pm on Tuesday, July 27.
Former Lion colleague Fred Waters writes: "I first met Charles in 1972, when I joined the Bexhill Lions, from the Dover Club, having just moved from Deal. He was one of the first to greet me and in his inimitable way put me at ease immediately.
"He was a Charter Member of the club, helping to set it up in 1971. During his membership, he served it well, as president, treasurer and chairman of various committees. He was also one of the group instrumental in setting up Bexhill Talking Newspaper. He was always ready to volunteer to help fund-raising, be it fetes, street collections, or the 'inclement weather' Christmas collections.
"On the other side of the coin, helping those who needed it, he was not adverse with spade or with other tools, to building school play areas, helping with outings for the elderly, or providing transport where needed.
"He was a man who didn't waste words, but those he used were always succinct and to the point. He had a great sense of humour and a very dry wit, which was seen by the smiles or laughter of all, at both formal and at social occasions. Finally, Charles was and will always be remembered as (in the true sense of the word) a gentleman."