A True Gentle Man

Yesterday, I attended the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Lord Bruce-Lockhart at Canterbury Cathedral.  Sandy finally lost his battle against cancer last August (“Lord Bruce-Lockhart of the Weald”,Aug 17) and neither Kent, nor its County Council will ever be quite the same again.

The Cathedral was full, with over a thousand people there to celebrate Sandy’s life.  Of course, there were the MPs from across Kent – Michael Howard, Greg Clark, Michael Fallon, Julian Brazier and many more.  There were the Government Ministers – Ruth Kelly and John Healey.  Leading councillors from Essex, Hampshire, East Sussex, Bracknell Forest, as well as many of the Kent Districts and Borough Councils were joined by senior representatives from the Local Government Association.

But what stood out for me were the pews full of KCC staff, past and present.  The Community Wardens, the serving firemen, and organisations from across the county who simply wanted to pay their respects.

It was a perfect service, organised down the last detail.  Whether you knew Sandy well, or simply admired him for his passion and commitment, every hymn and reading painted a picture of the man.  As Michael Howard said when he ended his oration – “he was in every sense of the word a true ‘gentle man’.”

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