John Ciccone remembered

John Ciccone

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 .


  1. A Gentleman and a gentle man. I knew John for many years and was lucky enough to be among John and Pat’s social circle for some of those. Generous and entertaining, his company was always guaranteed to be lively and the hour late! RIP

    • Unfortunately we didn’t have the pleasure of meeting John and Pat but in 2015 bought the house they used to own in Love Lane. As soon as we moved in, not only did we hear many people remark on what an exceptionally lovely couple they were, we were stunned by the planting in the rear garden.
      The garden has been landscaped and planted by someone who really understands plants and knew how to make a garden stunningly beautiful. Apparently this was Pat who, we are told, employed a gardener more or less full time!
      We’ve also heard stories about the parties. We hope to follow their example as soon as lockdown is lifted.
      Thank you John Ciccone for all you did. May God rest your soul.

  2. John Ciccone will indeed be greatly missed by us all. He will long be remembered for all he did for Rye and by the many charities who benefited from his good work with the Rotary Club. I would like to add that Pat ensured that his fervent desire that a Requiem Mass be offered at St. Anthony’s for the repose of his soul was carried out. Accordingly, a Requiem Mass (rather than a memorial service) was offered at St. Anthony’s last week and attended by a number of his family and friends.


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