It is with deep sadness that Leigh-on-Sea Town Council learned of the passing of its longest serving member, Cllr Donald Fraser, on 2 April at the age of 92.
Donald was one of the founding members of the Town Council in 1996 and one of its staunchest advocates spending his time working tirelessly for the people of Leigh and in his latter years helping out in the Town Council offices and on reception. He loved meeting and talking to people and being part of the Leigh community.
Donald chaired the Town Council in 2000/1 and for many years was the Chairman of its Finance and General Purposes Committee. He had a sound head for figures and budgeting and kept a keen eye on the finances.
Donald was also one of the leading proponents of the Council’s Community Transport Scheme for our elderly and disabled residents – enjoying the trips himself in his latter years and always keen to find new venues and activities for the Group.
Those who knew Donald knew of his very detailed interest in our local transport systems, be they buses or trains. He was the ‘go to’ person for anything to do with these subjects and for many years served on the Southend Area Bus Users Group.
One of his other interests was planning and he made sure that the people of his ward were always aware of what was going on or proposed and spoke effectively for them.
Others will no doubt write of his support for many other local institutions such as the Church and the Heritage Centre. With his vast knowledge of Leigh and its people over a long life Donald was a fount of knowledge, always freely given with enthusiasm.
Donald’s passing is an immeasurable loss to the Town Council, for although he had recently resigned due to his health, we know that he would have been keeping a key eye on our activities and we will miss his laugh, his voice and his humour and knowledge and above all, his love for Leigh.
As a mark of our gratitude and respect we had already decided to rename the lower hall in the Community Centre, the Donald Fraser Hall, so now he will be remembered by all present and future councillors as an exemplar for what a good Councillor should be.