Tributes paid to former Lancaster magistrate and councillor

editorial image

A former Lancaster city councillor and magistrate who was “passionate about civic life” has died, aged 72.

John Harrison was a councillor in Skerton and a magistrate in Lancaster, both from 1997.

He was closely involved in the formation of Skerton Community Centre and Sure Start, the family support service which operated from Ryelands House.

He was the first chairman of both the city’s Licensing Regulatory Committee and Licensing Act Committee.

John Harrison was born in Beaumont Street and attended St Luke’s School and Skerton Boys’ Secondary School.

At 15 he became a nursing cadet, training and qualifying as a nurse at Lancaster Moor Hospital.

This began a career of 30-plus years in mental health nursing, which led to senior clinical, teaching and managerial posts in different parts of the country.

Soon after retiring back to Skerton to look after his mother he went into politics and became passionate about civic life in Lancaster.

When Janet Horner was Mayor in 1996-97 John was her consort and admitted him as a Freeman of Lancaster.

In 2007-08 he was escort to Deputy Mayor Susie Charles.

He was chairman of the James Bond/Henry Welch Charity and a trustee of Lancaster Almshouses.

John passed away peacefully at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on December 3 2018, and at his funeral at St Joseph’s RC Church, Skerton on December 21, tribute was paid by friend Alan Sandham, who described him as a “caring, kind, considerate, decent and honest man with a big heart who had given tremendous service to the community”.

Burial followed at Dalton Woodland Burial Ground in Burton-in-Kendal.

Donations in John’s memory were for Ward 22 at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Councillors stoodfor a minute as a mark of respect at Lancaster City Council’s meeting on December 19.