Tribute paid to Exmouth's first mayor Geoff
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 June 2018
A tribute has been paid to the 'thoroughly likeable and friendly' first mayor of Exmouth.
Geoff Chamberlain, who became the town council’s first leader following its formation in 1996, died last month.
He was also made an Honorary Alderman of East Devon District Council, having been elected in 1980, and was affectionately recognised as ‘Father of the House’.
Geoff leaves behind his wife Lorna, his daughter, son and two step-sons.
Eileen Wragg, who served on the town and district council with Geoff, said: “Geoff was thoroughly likeable and friendly, a proud and soundly principled man, and reliable friend to many.
“His loss will be keenly felt across the district.
“His service to the community of Exmouth and East Devon was exemplary and unblemished.
“Geoff possessed the special quality of being able to make people listen when he spoke with his quiet, refined, silken voice.
“The memories many people have of him will live on. It was a privilege to have known him and to have had him in our lives.”
As a member of the Exmouth Pavilion Advisory Committee, his efforts to prevent the closure of the Pavilion played an ‘important part’ in securing its future.
He was a keen sportsman and was instrumental in bringing the East Devon Indoor Tennis Centre to Exmouth.
Geoff was chairman of Exmouth’s Britain in Bloom committee, Commodore of the Exe Powerboat and Ski Club, and chairman of governors at Bassett’s Farm School, as well as being a founder of the twinning arrangements between Exmouth and Langerwehe.
Born in Catford, London, he started his career with Odhams Press, which later became Mirror Group Newspapers.
In 1943, Geoff trained as a pilot in a Tiger Moth plane but due to an over subscription, he went on the reserve list and was transferred to the Durham Light Infantry and then the Royal West Kent Regiment, where he volunteered for the glider regiment.
After resuming his career with the publisher at the end of World War Two, he became regional manager for South West England before being made redundant by Robert Maxwell in 1986.