TRIBUTES have been paid to Brian Jackson who was at the heart of so many aspects of Henley life.
He died on 6th March, aged 83, and as Paul, one of his five children, said: “Dad was Henley through and through – he was born and bred there, worked and raised a family, and made many friends there; he participated in everything Henley had to offer for more than 80 years.”
Among his many activities were two stints as High Bailiff of the Court Leet.
On behalf of the current High Bailiff and officers, Jonathan Dovey, Steward of the Manor, said: “The Court Leet of the Manor of Henley-in-Arden would like to pay tribute to Honorary Burgess Brian Jackson.
“Brian was a well-respected and much-loved gentleman. He was born and grew up in the town and became an electrician by trade.
“He joined the Court in the late 1970s and rose through the ranks to be High Bailiff in 1983. He remained an active supporter of the Court and was elected High Bailiff for a second time in 2003.
“Brian was often seen using the church barrel organ to raise funds for various causes in the town and further afield. He was involved with many local organizations including the parish church, Henley Charities and the Christmas lights committee.
“He was always public spirited and gave up his time for others.
“For many years he had the responsibility for winding the church clock and he kept Beaudesert Lane by St John’s pristine with his broom.
“He was held in such esteem that he was awarded the status of Honorary Burgess by the Court in 2012.”
The Rector of Henley Rev John Ganjavi added more details of his devotion to the church: “Brian Jackson served the parish church all his life. He sang in the choir, hoisted the flag on the tower, rang the church bells, looked after the town clock, cleaned the brass, rewired its electrics and saw to most repairs.
“Brian served on the Parochial Church Council and was a licensed Reader. Above all, Brian was a truly good and generous Christian, and in many people’s eyes he was the true vicar of Henley.
“It has been a privilege to share my ministry with him. I salute my fellow preacher and running partner.”
Of the many organizations he was involved with, he was a joint founder of Beaudesert and Henley Christmas Lights.
Current chairman Brian Westmacott said: “The Christmas Lights Committee were very saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Brian Jackson.
“He established our Christmas lights, and worked tirelessly for this committee. Without his vision, some 27 years ago, along with the late Les Goodman, Henley would not enjoy the Christmas lights enjoyed today.
“His contribution and devotion to the Henley community, in other capacities, was a shining example to us all.”
Paul added: “The funeral will be at St John’s Church, Henley, on Monday, 28th March, at 11am followed by a committal at Oakley Wood crematorium. Family flowers only please but if anyone wishes to make a donation, this would be great, in his memory to Meadow View Care home in Alcester, who treated Dad with dignity and respect during his stay. A tray will be at the rear of church for donations or they can be sent to Bennetts and Son, Sheep Street, in Stratford.”