Tributes paid to parish councillor

TRIBUTES have been paid to an Essex parish councillor who worked tirelessly for his village.Roger Keyes, who died on July 21, was born in 1942 and brought up at Brick Kiln Farm, Great Totham, near Maldon.

TRIBUTES have been paid to an Essex parish councillor who worked tirelessly for his village.

Roger Keyes, who died on July 21, was born in 1942 and brought up at Brick Kiln Farm, Great Totham, near Maldon. He lived and worked there for the rest of his life, becoming immersed in community work as well as running a business and being a devoted family man.

Mr Keyes attended Great Totham Primary School and then Colchester Boys' High School. Although he would joke he did not learn much at school, these formative years developed him into the “people person” he became.

His greatest challenge came at just 16 years of age when his father died and he, his mother and brother had to continue the family firm. Mr Keyes eventually developed a successful haulage business, initially working with his brother and later with his son John and wife Linda.


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A lifetime interest was the Essex Young Farmer's Club, firstly as a member and then as a supporter, including chairman of the Maldon branch and county vice-president.

Many of his customers were farmers and he regularly had a stand at the Young Farmers' Show.

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Mr Keyes loved Great Totham and served for 18 years as on the parish council, chairing it for four years. He could often be seen on the council's working parties around the parish. He had chaired the village hall committee since 1996, during which time he and colleagues tirelessly worked to improve standards of facilities there.

He was president of the horticultural society and a member of the Freemasons' Manor of Newland Lodge at Witham and the Tollesbury Lodge. He was also a member of the Royal Arch.

Underlying all Mr Keyes' activities was the presence and support of his wife and family; John and Mary, now married to Colin, and granddaughters Charlotte and Abigail. Although he was a popular local man, his family came first and he was devoted to them.

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