Yesterday Ipswich Labour Party lost an inspirational member who touched the lives of so many people.  

Roger Fern (left) with Glen Chisholm
Roger Fern (left) with Glen Chisholm

Roger Fern was admired and respected by fellow members of the Ipswich Labour Party, and also by the wider community within Ipswich and Suffolk.  Roger served our town in so many ways, as a teacher, headteacher, school governor, councillor and mayor.

Council Leader, David Ellesmere writes: Roger spent his life trying to making Ipswich a better place.

His contribution to education in our town as a teacher, headteacher and governor was immense, helping to give thousands of children a better start in life. The easiest election we ever had in Ipswich was when he stood as a councillor in Sprites ward. It seemed everyone had been taught by him – or their parents had – when he was headteacher at Sprites Junior and they all still held him in great affection.

Whatever he did, he brought the same passion, knowledge and dogged determination to bear, whether it was helping to set up the Chapman Centre to provide help for homeless people, campaigning for better help for people living with dementia, his two terms as Mayor of Ipswich or helping his constituents in Sprites.

Roger had a strong moral sense of right and wrong which came from his Methodist faith and his membership of the Labour Party and he wasn’t afraid to share this with anyone. When I visited him last week, although very ill, he was still busy lecturing a nurse about how the NHS was being let down by the Government!

Above all, he was a genuinely decent person. Warm and friendly, he was liked, respected and admired by all who knew him. His contribution to Ipswich cannot be overestimated and he will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts are with Pat Fern, daughters Sue and Izzie and the whole of Roger’s family.

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