Yesterday I had the honour of attending Tony’s funeral at St John’s Church in Yeovil, with fellow councillors from Yeovil East Ward (Tony Lock, David Recardo, Manny Roper and Phil Chandler), the Mayor and Mayoress, ex Mayors, Liberal Democrat members, council leaders, SSDC councillors and officers, local businessmen etc. etc. the list goes on and is too numerous to mention. I also joined the family, friends and councillors from Yeovil East afterwards at Rose and Crown in Trent to raise a glass in Tony’s honour.
Tony stood down as a District Councillor in May 2015 having represented Yeovil East Ward since May 1983 – 32 years continuous service. With Yeovil Town Council he was a councillor for 33 years, two of which he served as Mayor.
He was respected by all and represented Yeovil in everything he did. At the funeral kind words with high respect were sent from David Laws (read by Cllr Tony Lock), Paddy Ashdown, who gave the reading, also spoke highly of Tony. Carol Kavanagh also gave her personal reflection.
It also shows great respect that there were at least a hundred people (maybe more) outside South Somerset District Council paying their respects as the funeral procession passed by the Brympton Way offices.
“The funeral was held at 2 p.m. on a Friday at Tony’s request, to hold up the traffic on a Friday for one last time.”
For myself, being fairly new to politics in Yeovil, I never really got to know Tony as others did, but in dealings with him in East Ward branch meetings, when he was well enough to attend, he came across as someone who knew what was needed and how to achieve it and wasn’t afraid to say so.
Since being selected to represent the people of Yeovil East at the last election, filling the seat vacated by Tony due to illness, I am proud to be selected for and looking forward to the challenge ahead. Tony’s passing has added to my ambition in the task, although I have been advised, by Tricia, Tony’s partner, to do my own thing, be myself etc. I feel more pride and determination than ever to take up what I perceive as Tony’s legacy, to go in pursuit of getting the best for Yeovil and making my voice heard, although I will cede to Tricia’s wishes and do things my own way.
R.I.P Tony it was good to know you, if only briefly…
Condolences to the family on your loss, our thoughts are with you…
Donations in the memory of Tony for a sofa bed in the Jean King Suite at Yeatman Hospital, Sherborne may be sent ℅ Clive Wakely, cheques payable to A J Wakely and Sons to the following address:A J Wakely and Sons Funeral Directors 33 Sparrow Road Yeovil BA21 4BT