Tributes paid to Eye councillor
Friends and colleagues of a popular Eye councillor have paid tribute to a “larger-than-life personality who will be greatly missed”.
Michael Burke died shortly before Christmas on December 22. He was 68.
Although Mr Burke and his wife Anne had only lived in Eye for three years, he wasted no time involving himself in the community, becoming a town and district councillor, as well vice-chairman of the Hartismere Hospital League of Friends.
Following his funeral in St Peter and St Paul’s Church on January 3, fellow councillors described him as an enthusiastic and dedicated colleague.
“We were all shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Michael Burke, our fellow councillor,” said town mayor Jane Hudson.
“Michael was a highly valued and respected member of the council and will be greatly missed.
“His involvement in various committees, as well as his position as Eye’s district councillor, were of great value to the town.”
Mr Burke was a keen supporter of the town’s Hartismere Hospital.
He made a notable speech at the recent 70th anniversary celebration of the NHS held at the hospital in July.
Mr Burke’s close friend, Clive Chapman, said: “His intelligence, kindness and wit were wonderfully melded into the larger-than-life personality that he was, and he will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him.”
Mr Burke previously worked as a purchasing manager in the food industry. His job took him to China while he was setting up the local manufacture of Ovaltine and later worked at his company’s head office in Switzerland.
When he settled in Eye, he was, in fact, returning to the town. He was nine months old when his parents, Jim and Bridie, moved to Eye to work at the hospital.
His father became a town councillor and also served as mayor in the 1950s.
Mr Burke’s death follows that of former town mayor Mick Robins, who died on December 6.