Collection in remembrance of former town mayor

08/02/2020

Former Banbury Mayor and Councillor John Brooks has passed away

A collection in remembrance of former mayor and councillor John Brooks has been set up by Banbury Town Council.   Mr Brooks passed away in his native Anguilla after a short illness on Saturday February 1.   He was 84.

A town councillor from 2000 to 2008, John Brooks was Banbury’s first black mayor and in office during 2005 and 2006. He served on several Committee’s and was the council’s representative at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the Civic Society and Banbury Old People’s Club.   He was also a member of the Banbury Traffic Advisory Committee.

Mr Brooks came to England from Anguilla in 1955 and was in the British Army’s Royal Ordnance Corps for 26 years. In an action-packed life, Mr Brooks began endurance walking in 1974 and started with a 75-mile trek over 18 hours for the NSPCC. He went on to raise more than £40,000 for good causes including Save the Children. He was in the Guinness Book of Records for walking the longest distance in the shortest time.

Mr Brooks was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1976, and in 1984 he moved to Banbury and bought Brooklands Nursing Home which he ran until 2005.   He served on the bench at the town’s magistrates’ court from 1986 to 2005.

In 2012 Mr Brooks wrote a book which records his early life in the West Indies, and tells the story of determination, development and success as he responded to the challenges of finding a home in a foreign land.   The book, titled ‘Finding My Way in a Strange Land’, is still available on Amazon.

Leader of Banbury Town Council Kieron Mallon said: “I have very fond memories of John. He was always energetic and enthusiastic.  He spent much of his later life back in Anguilla but was a frequent visitor to Banbury and we always had a lot to talk about.

“He loved England but always remembered his humble beginnings in the West Indies.  He came here as a carpenter, but achieved so much more because of his energy, determination and commitment. He was an example to us all”.

Mr Brooks is succeeded by his wife Audrey and their three children. Mrs Brooks has asked that any money raised in her husband’s memory should go to the Royal British Legion’s Banbury branch. Donations can be made at the Town Hall until Friday February 23.


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