Former South Holland council chairman dies aged 84

David Dewsberry in the church he loved with Frieda Minns.
David Dewsberry in the church he loved with Frieda Minns.
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Tributes have been paid to former district council chairman David Dewsberry who died in hospital the day after his 84th birthday.

The long serving South Holland district and Sutton Bridge parish councillor is remembered as a good friend to the residents he represented.

At St Matthew’s Church, in Sutton Bridge, where David was actively involved from being a boy, members are saying “the church was his life”.

David spent his whole life in Sutton Bridge, apart from two years’ National Service with the Army, and the whole of his working life was spent in accountancy with the same firm, Salway and Wright, in The Crescent, Spalding.

When he retired David splashed out on a world cruise, visiting cousins in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Frieda Minns was David’s consort when he was district council chairman from 1983-85 and was chosen because she was the wife of bachelor David’s late cousin.

Frieda told us: “David was the church through and through. He had served as an altar boy and later helped all of the vicars as they came and went.

“He was a good councillor and would cycle all around the village to meet people. He loved the whole village – he was really dedicated to the village.”

David was also a long standing supporter and member of The Royal British Legion.

St Matthew’s will hold a memorial communion for David at 10am on June 9, an 11.30am funeral service followed by a wake, and cremation will take place at Surfleet at 2.30pm.

The Rev David Oxtoby said: “I know historically David has always been involved in a life of the church ever since he was a young boy and I think the church members would use the phrase ‘the church was his life’. He will be greatly missed by all.”

Church treasurer was among David’s many roles with St Matthew’s, because of his background in accountancy, and he chaired the parish council’s finance committee for many years as well as being a past parish council chairman.

Current parish council chairman John Grimwood said: “He will be missed because he had been on the parish and district councils for a long time.

“He had been on the parish council for the best part of 50 years and he could remember events that members today don’t even know about.”

District and parish councillor Michael Booth said: “He was always a dedicated councillor, very honest and willing to listen to people.”

District councillor Angela Newton recalled: “He was a very independent member of the council, a lovely chap and he was always smiling.

“I am sure he did a lot for the people in his ward.”