Tributes have been paid to a well-loved Rye town councillor.
Cllr John Izod died last Thursday (April 7) at the Conquest Hospital after a short illness. He was 80.
He was heavily involved in all things Rye, was a cartoonist and illustrator, fundraiser for charities in town, rugby enthusiast and a stalwart of Rye Bonfire Society.
Since his death, friends and the Rye community have paid tributes.
Fellow town councillor Sean Rogers said: “He will be missed by me and many more. John was a very colourful character around Rye and good fun to be around.”
Rye mayor Bernardine Fiddimore said: “John’s presence will be missed on the council and in the town as a whole. He was such a charismatic figure and very much one of the characters for which Rye is so well-known. He was a friend to so many with a savvy wit and pithy perspective.”
Pete Welch, from Rye Bonfire Society, said: “John has been a beacon of good humour and camaraderie. His unfailing dedication to the cause of bonfire in Rye, among so many other community events, has been an inspiration to many and I know we shall all miss his incisive wit and seemingly limitless enthusiasm. A true gentleman, a lovely fellow, and a good friend.”
Neale East, the society’s secretary, said: “We will greatly miss his cantankerous humour, fine company and irreverence.”
Friend Stephen Burbridge said: “John and I used to meet at the Red Lion in Brede and we used to swap amusing stories of our experiences in the Army as National Service subalterns in Hong Kong. I shall always remember him for his wit, expressed so well in his line-drawings, and for his essential kindness of spirit.”
Friends Patricia and Stan Buckland said: “He was such a wonderful character and one in a million. John was a great friend and will be missed by all who knew him.”
A charity which provides bus services in Rye and its surroundings also paid its respects to Cllr Izod.
Rye & District Community Transport (RDCT), of which he was chairman for the last five years, said his death left a ‘huge hole’.
Pat Hughes, from the charity, said: “John was involved in so many different aspects of Rye. Whatever it was – events, activities, organisations – John was unstinting in his active support and participation, and above all he enjoyed it.
“John enabled us to develop our services at a time when cuts to financing created huge pressures. Without him RDCT could not have taken the great leap forward of operating the Rye Town 326 service without county council support.
“I think that the occasion of his 80th birthday on the May bank holiday last year really sums up how he lived. RDCT had been awarded the boot fair at Jempson’s Peasmarsh store. How many people, on their 80th birthday, would be prepared to be up at crack of dawn to go and work all day to help raise funds for a charity? Yet when we went to pick him up that morning, there he was, sitting on the wall outside the Methodist church, all ready for the day ahead.”
Cllr Izod’s memorial service at St Mary’s Parish Church, Rye will be held on Wednesday, May 4, at 11am.
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