A memorial service for John Ciccone was held last week in St Anthony’s of Padua church in Rye. John was a former mayor of Rye, elected in 1992, and his term of office was marked by several locally important events.
On his appointment as Speaker of the Cinque Ports, he met Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother who was then warden of the Cinque Ports. He represented Rye at the opening by Princess Anne of the Conquest Hospital and took part in the campaign to save Rye Hospital, including the march up Rye Hill, led by Sir Paul McCartney. He also supported and was present at the opening of the Rye swimming pool.
John Ciccone was born in 1933 and came to live in Rye in 1971 with his wife Pat and two children. He ran a grocers shop in Cinque Ports Street for a number of years until the coming of Budgens supermarket in Crown Approach made it impossible for many smaller shops to continue to trade profitably.
He was a member of the Rotary Club, acting as secretary and later president. With John Priestley, he helped organise the Ripiers’ Ride to Buckingham Palace in 1993, commemorating the delivery of Rye Bay fish by post-horse to Queen Elizabeth I. In his time he was a governor of the Thomas Peacocke School, a Samaritans volunteer, and a bereavement counsellor.
He always took a keen interest in civic affairs. I remember him for his gentle courtesy and good humour. Our thoughts are with Pat and his family.
Image Credits: Courtesy of Pat Ciccone .