Tributes paid to a ‘larger than life’ former mayor of Gosport

Gordon Flory
Gordon Flory
Picture: Isle of Wight Radio/PA Wire

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A FORMER mayor of Gosport who dedicated his life to helping others has died aged 85.

Alderman Gordon Flory died at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham less than a week after falling ill.

The Gosport-born man dedicated his life to setting up clubs, helping the health services and serving the people in the town by becoming a councillor.

After spending time as a Royal Air Force officer, Alderman Flory settled back into Gosport and started as a councillor at Hampshire County Council.

He then moved on to Gosport Borough Council and served the Lee-on-Solent ward.

He was then chosen by his fellow councillors to be mayor for 1981/1982.

A close friend of his, Alderman Graham Hewitt, said: ‘Our friendship began when we were both playing leading roles in opposing political parties.

‘Gordon was a larger than life character with a terrific sense of humour and fun which he used to defuse many potentially difficult situations.

‘Gordon was respected throughout the community and had friends in all political parties.’

Throughout his life Alderman Flory had a special interest in health and education.

He was appointed a member of the Hampshire Executive Council of the National Health Service.

At various times he was chairman of the Medical Services Committee and the Dental Service Committee.

He was awarded an MBE for services to the Health Authority, and he also spent seven years as chairman of the governors of the Gosport County Grammar School.

During his term as Mayor, Gordon’s aim was to establish the Gosport Disability Trust to provide transport for the elderly and disabled.

The trust was a great success and a valued asset to Gosport.

During the 26 years he ran the trust, 15 mini-buses and ambulances were purchased.

Councillor John Beavis, the mayor of Gosport, said: ‘I was saddened to hear of the death of a great Gosportonian who had served the town well.

‘I am grateful to Gordon and his wife Yvonne for their continuing interest in Gosport and for supporting so enthusiastically all my fund raising events.’

The funeral will be held at St Mary’s, in Alverstoke, on April 22. It starts at 11am.