‘We will all miss his stewardship and support’: Tributes flood in for former council chief executive

Malcolm Berridge speaking to pupils as part of the Stay Safe online scenario organised by Rotarians

Malcolm Berridge speaking to pupils as part of the Stay Safe online scenario organised by Rotarians for Crucial Crew in Lowestoft, as about 1,200 schoolchildren from 34 schools across Waveney learnt how to stay safe last year. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

Community leaders have paid further tributes to a former council chief executive, who will be sadly missed.

Hailed for his dedicated service to Lowestoft and for playing a very active role within the community, touching tributes have been paid to former Waveney District Council chief executive Malcolm Berridge after he died aged 80.

Mr Berridge was made an MBE for his service to the community in 2009, nine years after he retired from his role with the district council.

As an enthusiastic member of a number of organisations, Mr Berridge was the chairman of the Lowestoft Players theatre group and was also chairman of the trustees of the Broad House Museum in Nicholas Everitt's Park in Oulton Broad.

Mr Berridge was also a very keen Rotarian, who was club president in 1998 and subsequently worked on projects helping to improve conditions for young and old.

A Lowestoft Rotary Club spokesman said: 'As an example for a number of years he has organised the Michael Marriott Rotary Youth Awards.

'Competitors from years 10 and 11 compete for one of ten titles – such as young musician, young sportsman, young scientist – through presentation to a panel.

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'This year we have had 70 contestants from four schools, organising the event is complex and detailed.

'Malcolm has developed this award over the years and it is now seen as a prestigious event. Typically, whenever help was required for any event, Malcolm was the first to volunteer, as he did in setting up these awards.'

Brian Hunter, president of Lowestoft Rotary Club and former chairman of Waveney District Council, said: 'I had the opportunity and privilege of working with, and being a friend of Malcolm during his time as chief executive of Waveney.

'Our relationship continued through Oulton Community Association, of which I am President, and as Rotarians as members of the Lowestoft club.

'He was awarded the MBE for his endeavours within our local community, so richly deserved.

'The motto of Rotary is 'Service Above Self' – Malcolm discharged that obligation to the full and beyond.

'We will all miss his stewardship and support to the many clubs and organisations that are part of our heritage in Lowestoft and Waveney.'

Mr Berridge had also been chairman of SOLD – Special Objectives For Local Disabled – for the past 12 years, with the workshop for the physical and sensory disabled based on the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate.

On behalf of SOLD, John Hemming, said: 'As chairman Malcolm ensured that the service users wishes are paramount; realising that SOLD provides a vital link for individuals, making them part of a work based community, helping them to overcome their disability.

'His involvement has been total, from chairing the management committee, which has service users and supporters, to selling products at the annual fair. 'Because of his background he has been able to ensure continuing support from councilors for the organisation. He will be sadly missed.'

Martin Halliday, former chief executive of the Marina Theatre, said: 'It was with great sadness that I heard Malcolm had passed away.

'He was a huge supporter of live theatre and during his tenure Waveney District Council was a prudent, well-respected local authority.

'Malcolm valued those who worked within the council and always found time to both engage with and take an interest in his colleagues.

'His support for the local community continued long after his retirement and his friendly, personal manner will be very much missed.'

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