October 10, 2014
Tributes paid to former Burnham Mayor who has died this week

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Mayor Eric GillTributes have been paid to a former Mayor of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge who has died this week.

Eric Gill, right, passed away suddenly at his home in Burnham on Monday, aged 86.

Eric served as a Burnham councillor from 2003-2011 and was Mayor in 2005 and 2006.

He was a well-known face about town, having been a strong supporter of many local groups, including Burnham's Moose Lodge where he was a former Governor.

Friend and colleague Cllr Neville Jones said last night: "Eric was quite a character and was well known in the towns. I know he was so proud to serve two terms as our Mayor and was humbled to have been chosen."

"He stepped down as a councillor in 2011 due to poor health but remained active through groups such as Burnham Moose Lodge and the Royal British Legion. He was a very good friend and colleague - the town has lost an active public servant."

Councillor Dennis Davey added: "Eric was a great colleague who contributed a lot to our community as a town and district councillor. He was a typical military man and was always a true gentleman. He was a superb man."

The Mayor of Burnham and Highbridge, Cllr Martin Cox added: "Eric Gill was twice Mayor of Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge and in that time contributed widely to our two towns. His enthusiasm and love of our area shone through everything he did and he always had a ready smile that would light up the room. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten."

One of Eric's two daughters, Sarah, added: "I am very proud of him - he was so happy and content here in Burnham. He was known by many people as a true gentleman and will be greatly missed."

Eric started his working life in the army, serving between 1946 and 1979, and quickly rose up the ranks. He served overseas in several countries including Cyprus, Saigon and Germany. He became an officer in 1959 and was later appointed a major with The Royal Corps of Signals. After 33 years in the army, he worked as a civil servant at the Army Security Vetting Unit.

Eric's funeral will be held on Tuesday, October 21st at Sedgemoor Crematorium at 11.30am, followed by a luncheon at The Princess Theatre in Burnham. His family have asked for no flowers, but donations will be accepted for the Burnham and Highbridge Stroke Association and BARB.

Eric heading to a polling station in 2007 when he was successfully re-elected

Civic award recepients Dave Perrett, Mrs Alex Davies, Mrs Di Monaghan and Christine Chapman (nee Deacon) who stood in for Steve Fear, alongside Mayor Eric Gill, Mayoress Gillian Hill and Kerry Rickards, the district council chief executive.

Eric at the 2005 Burnham and Highbridge Civic Service

Eric served as Moose Governor in 2010 and is seen here at a cheque presentation

Eric laying a wreath during Burnham's 2009 Remembrance Day parade


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