Charles Brooker obituary

Publié le par The Guardian Michael Brooker

My father, Charles Brooker, who has died aged 83, worked hard in a voluntary capacity for his local community in Greenwich, south-east London, for more than 30 years.


Charles Brooker served as the chairman of Greenwich theatre's board

Charles Brooker served as the chairman of Greenwich theatre's board

His day job was, for most of his life, with HSBC Trust Company, where he administered some of the largest corporate pension funds in Britain. But his leftwing ideals led him to become a Labour activist in Greenwich in the 1960s, and in 1978 he became a Labour councillor. Always interested in the arts, he represented Greenwich council on the board of Greenwich theatre – a community-based project offering affordable seats for high-quality productions. When he left the council he was co-opted on to the theatre's board, later serving as its chairman.

At Queen Mary's hospital, Sidcup, he chaired the patients' forum in the mid-2000s, and he was also a director of the pressure group Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state. He had always held the view that the monarchy underpinned elitism in Britain and that it was outdated.

Aside from his wider community work, Charles also had a long career as a support worker at Royal Eltham Scouts District. He was the district chairman for 15 years and, using a legacy that the Scouts had received, helped to set up the Don Broome Trust, which funds projects to extend scouting to more young people, especially those living in straitened circumstances or with disabilities. Charles received the Chief Scout's Award for Merit in March 2000.

He was born in Wrexham, north Wales, to George Brooker, who ran a builder's merchants in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, and Christine Honeysett, whose father ran a bicycle shop. His concern for those less fortunate than himself began at an early age when, during a visit to the doctor's surgery in St Leonards in the mid-1930s, he noticed people sitting outside. "Who are they?" he asked his father. "Those who cannot pay," he was told.

Charles attended Hastings grammar school and then moved with his family to Gillingham, Kent. As a young married man he opted to live in Eltham, south-east London, for an easier commute to his job in the City.

Later in life he took a degree in sociology with the Open University. A sailing enthusiast, he was a member of Greenwich Yacht Club for more than 30 years, working with other members to replace its old timber clubhouse with architect-designed facilities and proper workshops on the river.

His first wife, my mother, Betty Doherty, died in 1986. He is survived by his second wife, Norma Calvert, to whom he was married for 25 years, and by his two brothers, George (his twin) and Arthur; by two sisters, Christine and Margaret; and by myself and his two daughters, Janet and Helen.

Publié dans Avis de décès

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