Former Mayor of Hawkinge John Heasman dies just days after receiving inaugural 'Freedom of the Town' - Updated 23.15 11 July

Contributed by editor on Jul 11, 2019 - 05:33 PM

John is pictured before refereeing a Dover Athletic football match at the Crabble ground


Just days after Hawkinge councillor John Heasman was honoured with the first ever 'Freedom of the Town', the popular local personality has died.

John died at his home on Tuesday 9 July.

It's understood John was diagnosed with motor neurone disease around six months ago.

John Heasman with fellow councillor, Tony Hutt

He had served the community as a councillor for 43 years.

Former Hawkinge Town Mayor, Tony Hutt paid tribute to John saying: "John was a person who had dedicated his life to the benefit of Hawkinge and its residents.

"He had worked first as an insurance agent and then at Tesco in Hawkinge. He loved his football being a referee and supported the Arsenal. He also loved singing and very often he would break into song.


Town Mayor, John Heasman with his wife Pat pictured at the Hawkinge Spectacular in 2016

"In Hawkinge he gave his time to working as a councillor for many years and was honoured by his fellow councillors by becoming Town Mayor.

"John also gave his time in working for and at the Hawkinge Village Hall. He was fondly known as Mr Hawkinge and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him."

Fellow councillor, David Godfrey said: "As a fellow councillor I was always impressed by his total dedication to Hawkinge.

"Despite his debilitating illness he served his community right to the end.

"A brave and honourable man."


County and district councillor Susan Carey has paid tribute saying: "John Heasman was a good man who cared deeply about Hawkinge and was always working to make life better for his community. He was also a kind man and a good friend.

"He saw Hawkinge change from a village to a town and did a fine job as mayor supported by his wife Pat as mayoress.

It was fitting that last month, John became the first person to receive the Freedom of the Hawkinge at a ceremony in the Community Centre, a building that he had done so much to secure for the town. He will be sadly missed."

John Heasman's funeral is taking place at St Luke's Church, Canterbury Road, Hawkinge at 10.30am on Friday 19th July.

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