Our long-standing chair, and since February 2023, deputy chair at Coniston Community Centre, passed away on Tuesday 28 November 2023 at Southmead Hospital. Lew’s funeral took place at St Chads Church. The same church where Lew married his wife of 70 years. Aged 96, Lew fell asleep with all his family around him. As you may know, Lew was an amazing man. Chairman of Patchway Parish and then Town Council for almost thirty years. A Councillor since the swinging 60s. Lew was enthusiastic about Patchway’s twinning links with France and Germany, where he referred to himself as “the Old Grey Mare”.
Lew was having lunch at Coniston Community Centre a week before his hospital admission, laughing and chatting as always. Lew was accompanied by his “girlfriends” who always joined him for a meal every other week, while listening to the sixties band on Music Monday.
Only a few hours before Lew passed away, Lew asked his daughter in law to send his apologies for our next Trustees meeting at Coniston Community Centre. Still thinking of others and honouring his commitments and duties until his last moments.
Trustee, David Sully, said, “I can’t remember Lew missing a meeting, which happened rarely. I admired Lew’s dedication, knowledge, experience and professionalism, but always with a twinkle in his eye. Lew never hesitated in giving away presents dressed as Father Christmas. Our community was always in Lew’s heart and mind.”
Trustee, Win Willams said, “Lew really was an asset to Patchway and not afraid to fight many good causes. He will be a sad loss.”
Trustee, Eve Orpen, first met Lew during the mid-eighties at a Regional Trade Union Council meeting in Bridgewater. After introducing himself, Lew learnt that Eve also lived in Patchway. She never caught public transport again. And they travelled together as far as Penzance. Eve mentioned how Lew saw the funnier side of things, with his cheeky wink.
We will miss you forever, your legacy will live on and rest in peace.