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‘A real gentleman’: Tributes pour in for former council chair, who died age 81

PUBLISHED: 16:35 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:35 13 May 2020

Charles Swan (Left) passed away on Friday, April 17. He is pictured here with former Oulton Parish Council chairs Brian Hunter and William Robertson. Picture: Mick Howes

Charles Swan (Left) passed away on Friday, April 17. He is pictured here with former Oulton Parish Council chairs Brian Hunter and William Robertson. Picture: Mick Howes

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A ‘true gentleman’ who spent nearly four decades involved with community projects has been remembered by his family, friends and former colleagues.

Charles Swan, former chair of Oulton Parish Council (OPC), in Lowestoft, passed away on Friday, April 17 after a battle with cancer at the age of 81. Photo: Alison BraniffCharles Swan, former chair of Oulton Parish Council (OPC), in Lowestoft, passed away on Friday, April 17 after a battle with cancer at the age of 81. Photo: Alison Braniff

A ‘true gentleman’ who spent nearly four decades involved with community projects has been remembered by his family, friends and former colleagues.

Charles Swan, former chair of Oulton Parish Council (OPC), in Lowestoft, passed away on Friday, April 17 at the age of 81 after a battle with cancer.

His family have described him as a “true gentleman who gave so willingly of his time and knowledge,” as tributes have poured in from all of those who loved him.

A local historian and dedicated community activist, Mr Swan spent his whole life in Lowestoft and is well-known for his expansive knowledge of the area and efforts to fight for free public spaces.

His lifelong friend and former colleague Brian Hunter, who also chaired OPC, said: “He knew every single footpath in the parish like the back of his hand, he really did.

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“He made sure people in need were looked after and catered for and was always thinking of other people and how he could help his community - he was truly dedicated and loyal and it is certainly a great loss to the community.”

Having spent 37 years on OPC, as footpaths officer, vice chair, and eventually chair, Mr Swan also represented the parish council on the broads authority, where he spent years fighting for the quay by the Nicholas Everett park to remain open and free to all.

“Sadly the old Waveney District Council took the quay there over, but the dream for their free use I hope doesn’t die with him,” his daughter Alison Braniff said.

“Dad was always very inspiring and supportive. He finished school early but always kept learning out of a love for knowledge.

“He always shared with us his knowledge and love of nature. He shows that you really can achieve a lot by being involved in local affairs and volunteering.”

A burial took place for Mr Swan on Monday, May 11 with only family members in attendance. However Mr Swann was seen off by more than 50 people, having “the streets lined with people” who walked alongside the funeral procession on Woods Loke West.

Charles Swan is survived by his wife Myra, two children, and two grandchildren.


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