Wiltshire Publications

Death of former mayor will ‘leave a hole in Westbury’

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TRIBUTES have been paid to the former mayor of Westbury and governor at Westbury Junior school, Charlie Finbow, who died last month. His funeral was held on Monday 2nd September.

A fellow former mayor of Westbury, Mike Hawkins said, “We have not only lost a good friend but a real caring human being. He will be greatly missed.

“I had the privilege of serving with Charlie on Westbury Town Council from 2005 when we were both elected.

“Charlie also served as mayor, and carried out his duties with the interests of Westbury in his heart at all times. He campaigned very strongly in an effort to save Westbury Hospital, and on many issues affecting our town during his period in office.

“It is remarkable that he carried out his duties as both mayor and councillor so diligently whilst also caring for his late wife, Janette, who was suffering from multiple sclerosis, and also his duties as a governor at Westbury Junior School. This clearly demonstrates his commitment to our town.

“He was also devoted to his son, James, his daughter Kayleigh and his grand children, Ben and Jessica.  

Headteacher of Westbury Junior School, Richard Hatt, who was invited by Charlie’s family to speak at the funeral said, “It was a real privilege to be asked by the family to say a few personal words about the lovely, lovely man Charlie Finbow. 

“I first met him in October 2001 during his interview to become a governor. To me he was a rough diamond. 

“He served the school for around 19 years and his support was superb, not only by his physical presence in the school but being an unofficial caretaker, opening and closing for all and sundry. 

“He was instrumental in creating, with Wiltshire Council, the first ICT suite in a primary school in the county in 2001.

“He also had a real knack for encouraging the staff at all levels. One of the newest members of staff, in requesting to attend this funeral  I think encapsulated brilliantly what we all feel about Charlie, they said ‘He has been a WJS family member for many years and it is a great loss for the school. He was massively supportive to me. He was funny, encouraging, committed to the children and so kind.’ How he managed to make us all feel that is amazing.  A real diamond governor.

“Personally and professionally he has been truly supportive to me, and I have a great debt of gratitude. My life, Westbury Junior School and Westbury are going to miss him.”

Ian Cunningham, chair of governors at Westbury CofE Junior School said, “Charlie Finbow was a kind and generous man who gave a huge amount of his time to Westbury Junior CofE School amongst his many good works.  

“He had been a governor “forever” and a former chair of governors, but he was far more than just a governor. He knew everybody and everything abut the school. He was always available to volunteer for just about anything; clearing up, interviewing candidates, opening, closing, directing workmen, promoting the school – it didn’t matter what was needed, Charlie was always there.

“I think we are all about to learn just how much he really did, now that he is gone. Personally, I will miss his advice, friendship and good-humoured support terribly. He leaves a huge hole in Westbury and Westbury Juniors.” 

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