A dedicated public servant

The glowing tributes to John Lee in the Bexhill Observer (October 9) all spoke of his tireless work from 2004 for the Save Our Seafront campaign and the Bexhill Alliance.

I first met John 20 years earlier when I had just finished an eight-year Commission in the WRNS and went for a job interview at the regional health authority which had just moved its offices from Croydon to Bexhill.

John had not long retired from the Army and taken the post of administration manager in the medical department.

As he interviewed me for the post of his deputy, I realised that we were ‘ex-Service kindred spirits’ and the outcome of the interview was never in doubt.

For the next few years we worked happily together, grappling with the very different culture of the NHS and getting the hang of medical terminology and the sometimes incomprehensible working style of senior medical staff.

Throughout this time, John was a wonderful boss, firm but fair with his staff and meticulous and efficient in his work.

Above all, he was a true gentleman of the old school, a quality which is rare in modern times.

I last met him on the day he became an independent Rother councillor, standing outside the St Mark’s polling station looking slightly bewildered. “I thought I should stand” he said, “but I don’t suppose I’ll get many votes!”

How wrong he was! Like many, many others I voted for him that day and he certainly did not disappoint us.

Bexhill has lost a fine gentleman and a dedicated public servant.

Elizabeth Downs

Barnhorn Road


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