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Tributes paid to community stalwart

PUBLISHED: 14:14 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:20 03 July 2010

COMMUNITY groups, friends and family are mourning the sudden death after scheduled surgery of community stalwart Jim Bond.

The active 84-year-old helped countless people in the borough he lived in all his adult life and was involved in a raft of volunteer and charity organisations.

COMMUNITY groups, friends and family are mourning the sudden death after scheduled surgery of community stalwart Jim Bond.

The active 84-year-old helped countless people in the borough he lived in all his adult life and was involved in a raft of volunteer and charity organisations.

Tributes to Jim praised his generosity of spirit which earned the affection and respect of everyone who met him.

He was highly valued for his work with Victim Support and manager Wendy Reader said he helped many people - some victims of appalling crimes - to go on to live normal happy lives. She added that she was glad to have paid tribute to him on behalf of all his clients in September when he retired.

As well as his volunteer work with Victim Support, the Alzheimers Society, Remap and his role as a patient advocate he had a daring and adventurous streak - taking part in slapstick stunts with the Crazy Gang at Great Yarmouth's outdoor pool, tipping - legend has it - one of them off the top board in a pram dressed as a baby.

And at the time of his death he was becoming more heavily involved with Yare Hospice Care and had in November completed a course to become a trustee.

His daughter Wendy Bond who lives in Washington DC but was this week at home in Gorleston with her mother Hilda said her father had many interests including baking and learning, gaining an OU degree in the same year she did, 1979.

Born in Devon, the eldest of seven children, the family moved from Cromer to Scotland to Yarmouth in his father's roving role as a coastguard. He trained as an engineer and spent most of his working life with Birds Eye where he was a shop steward working on machines before moving in to management and was the first person to put frozen peas in plastic bags.

He married Hilda in 1955 and had two children Wendy and Simon, and four grandchildren, Victor and Odetta, and Katie and Charis.

Daughter Wendy said: “His philosophy was that he believed in cultivating his own garden - which meant doing what he could for his family and community around him.

“Jim also had a great sense of humour and was very modest. He never did anything to be thanked for it. He really was an example of how to live.”

His other roles included chair of Great Yarmouth's Older People's Network and of the local literature group, part of the University of the Third Age. He was also known for his campaigning work for travel vouchers for people who cannot use buses, and had a life-long affinity with the sea and boats.

He died after contracting pneumonia following a knee operation at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and was well-remembered at a humanist service in Gorleston with the music he had chosen - Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific.

A minute's silence was held for him at the last Great Yarmouth and Waveney Primary Care Trust meeting.

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