John Izod (shown above, for once without a glass in his hands) died yesterday, Thursday 7 April, at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings after a short illness, possibly pneumonia as well as other health issues.
A man of many parts – cartoonist and illustrator, fundraiser, town councillor, rugby enthusiast, Father Christmas (frequently) and a stalwart of the Bonfire Society – and the list goes on, and on.
Shortly before Christmas Rye News featured John’s life (we re-publish the article in this issue) and he was very supportive of Rye News, as he was of many community activities – Rye Community Transport being just one that springs quickly to mind.
Rye Town Councillors were quick to react when the news came through very late Thursday night.
Andy Stuart and his wife Nicky had gone to see him on Wednesday. “He was hatching a plot whereby we would assist him in his escape” said Andy. “Rye will be less colourful place without him”.
“Very sad news. He will be missed by me and many more”, Sean Rogers, former Mayor. “Irreplaceable”, Town Clerk Richard Farhall.
Mayor elect Jonathan Breeds: “We will all miss him very much.” “I’ll miss his off beat humour and strong opinions”, Councillor Mike Boyd.
On the wall above my computer’s screen I have a framed Izod cartoon “Putting Rye well and truly on the Mapp” which features the BBC filming Mapp & Lucia outside the Town Hall along with some droll comments on life today compared with the 30s.
And, as it is bright sunshine at the moment, I will go and sit on his bench outside Grammar School Records and raise a miniature to toast this man who will be missed – and lived life to the full to the very end.