Tributes to Kessingland community stalwart

A PARISH councillor who served his village for 45 years and was made an MBE for services to the community in Kessingland has died aged 95.

Roynon Brown, who liked to be called Roy, was born in Kessingland on December 17, 1914, and died at his home in the village on Sunday.

Having attended both Kessingland Lower and Upper Schools, Mr Brown became an apprentice shipwright at the J Chambers Yard in Lowestoft when he was 14. He then worked for a short while as a fisherman from Kessingland beach before returning to work as a shipwright.

Shortly before the outbreak of the second world war, Mr Brown worked in Dartmouth building secret naval vessels and he spent the war using his shipbuilding skills at Richards Shipbuilders building minesweepers and other vessels for the Royal Navy. He stayed on at Richards after the war, eventually becoming Foreman Shipwright before his retirement in 1986.

After his retirement, Mr Brown – who had always had strong links with Kessingland Bethel Church – started a small charity jumble sale in the Sunday School Hall, with money raised going towards the upkeep of the Bethel. The bazaar still runs today.

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In June 2000, Mr Brown was made an MBE for his services to the community of Kessingland and he made one of his rare trips outside the village to be given his medal by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

He was a member of Kessingland Parish Council for 45 years, attending meetings as recently as this summer, and was involved in many committees, including being beach warden for a number of years.

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He was a life member of Kessingland bowls club and also represented Suffolk, winning many trophies. He was also involved in the Kessingland Help In Need Trust, a member of the Boatshed Committee and was the Honourable Agent for Kessingland for the Shipwrecked Mariner's Society.

A tribute from Kessingland Parish Council said: 'Roy was a very private person and was very passionate about Kessingland, its beach and the village. As a parish councillor he was always contributing to the debate on local issues and he was always respected for his views and the comments he had to make.

'Roy was one of life's characters, very well respected and he will be sadly missed by all those people in Kessingland who knew him.'

Mr Brown married his late wife, Hazel, in 1938 and they had one son, Gerald.

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