A GRIEVING widow of a former mayor has paid tribute to her husband, calling him a ‘true gentleman’.
John Bryant, who was an ex-mayor of Fareham and borough councillor, died on Tuesday at The Rowans Hospice.
He was very honest and always had the people of Fareham at the top of his agendaFareham Mayor, Councillor Connie Hockley
The 78-year-old’s loving wife Pam and daughter Louise held his hand as he died.
Mrs Bryant, who has been a borough councillor since 1990, representing Fareham North, said her husband had ‘devoted his life’ to serving the community.
She said: ‘He was a true gentleman. He would be a friend to anyone and always wanted to help. Family always came first for him though.’
Before becoming a councillor, Mr Bryant worked with the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) procurement department for 40 years.
But he always had political ambitions – he met Pam in 1960 as a member of the Young Conservatives, before tying the knot six years later.
Within weeks of retiring from the MoD, Mr Bryant was elected to Hampshire County Council in 1997.
‘He took to politics like a duck to water,’ Pam added.
He represented Fareham North from 1999 until 2016 on Fareham Borough Council, serving as mayor from 2006 to 2007. In 2003 he became chairman of the county council.
Last year he was made an of Honorary Alderman of the Borough of Fareham.
Mr Bryant left politics after his health deteriorated, spending the last year of his life battling multiple myeloma – a form a bone cancer.
Fareham Borough Council leader, Councillor Sean Woodward said Mr Bryant’s death was an enormous loss.
He said: ‘John gave a tremendous amount of service to Fareham both as a councillor and as a county councillor,
‘He was devoted to his constituents. So we’re very saddened to hear he has gone.’
Fareham mayor Cllr Connie Hockley added: ‘He was a man you could always rely upon. He was always there for you. He was very honest and always had the people of Fareham at the top of his agenda.’
A civic funeral will be held for Mr Bryant on Tuesday, April 18, at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, in Osborn Road, Fareham.
He leaves behind his wife, daughter and two granddaughters.