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Tributes paid to community man

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 07:57 01 August 2010

TRIBUTES were paid this week to a man who motivated young people in a positive way in a 30-year career with the youth and community service at Halesworth and Bungay.

TRIBUTES were paid this week to a man who motivated young people in a positive way in a 30-year career with the youth and community service at Halesworth and Bungay.

Ian Kerrison, who has died at the age of 60 after a long battle against cancer, was also a long-serving member and former chairman of Halesworth Town Council, alongside other public service in the local community.

Sally Simpkin, area director for children and youth people for Suffolk County Council and a close friend of Mr Kerrison, said he was a popular man, well respected by young

people and adults alike, and took a leading role on Halesworth life and in the youth service in the Bungay

area.

“I have known him for 30 years and he was someone who always gave - he gave young and old his time and commitment, and he always spoke up for young people. He fought their corner, opened their eyes and gave them visions outside their own area as well as in their own district,” she said. He did a lot of work at Bungay High School over the years.

He also arranged trips to Cornwall, his favourite county, for groups of young people.

Mrs Simpkin said he was held in great affection by the wider community and knew a wide range of people from all walks of life - he touched many lives in a positive way.

Town council chairman Janet Wright also paid tribute to “a very popular man, a smashing bloke, who was always so pleasant. It is such a shame he has gone.”

He was a committed town councillor over more than 20 years, and did much work for Halesworth's Apollo youth centre, and for Halesworth's twinning links, she said.

At Monday's monthly meeting town councillors and members of the public stood in silence in memory of Mr Kerrison.

A former chairman of the council - he was at the helm in 1993-95 - he had served as a member for nearly 25 years, and was previously vice-chairman. He was also involved in many other aspects of community life in Halesworth.

He was a member of the Citizen's Advice Bureau management committee for some years, and actively involved with the town's twinning links with Eitorf in Germany and Bouchain in France.

Mr Kerrison, a former pupil at Bungay Grammar School, saw through many improvement to facilities for young people over the years.

As a town councillor he had represented the council on various committees including Halesworth Business Connections, the museum and the Town Twinning.

His funeral will take place at St Mary's Church at 3pm on Wednesday. Representatives will be travelling from Halesworth's twin town of Eitorf.

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