John Fraser – MP and community champion. We shall miss him.

Update – John’s funeral will take place on Friday 5th May 2017 at 11am St Simon and St Jude Roman Catholic Church , Hillside SW2 3HL

John Fraser passed away on 6 April.  He was an active member of the Turney Road Residents’ Association and a welcoming and friendly face to any new residents in Turney Road.

He had a kindness of heart and spirit in his endeavours of behalf of his neighbours
and worked diligently to let everyone personally know of consultations on local changes such as the Quietway,  parking, playing fields, street greening and improving our local environment.   John was a keen runner, regularly spotted pounding local streets and parks.  He put his running to good use in leafleting residents and encouraging residents to sign up to the residents’ association.  He was a keen gardener and enjoyed opera immensely.  He was always keen to chat about the flowers, trees and wildlife species in his beloved garden with a fondness for hedgehogs and maintaining wildlife habitats.

John was a solicitor by training and worked as a senior partner at the law firm Lewis Silkin LLP.  Had had a long and active political career from when he was a councillor on Lambeth Borough Council from 1962 and the London Borough of Lambeth from 1964 to Parliament.  John was the Labour Member of Parliament for Norwood for more than thirty years from 1966 until 1997.

His sharp mind and excellent people skills led to him being appointed Under Secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry in 1966, Under Secretary of State for Employment in 1974-1976, and Minister of State at the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection from 1976-1979.

He was a much loved and respected local MP, taking pride in diligently representing and serving the local community in which he lived and brought up his family. He had extraordinary language skills and was able to greet constituents in almost all of the many languages spoken in the rich and diverse constituency he served.  One resident remembers being impressed by John’s language skills when he made a point of telling her that it was vital to greet constituents in their native language as he tried to teach her Yoruba at one of the Turney Road parties.

After standing down as an MP, John continued to play a very active role within the local Dulwich and West Norwood constituency Labour party, knocking on doors and leafleting year round. He played a full part in the life of his local Labour party branch, the General Committee and Executive Committee; and within the local community, continuing to support local advice charity Centre 70 which he helped to found in 1970.

John was married to Ann and together they had three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, the local Labour Party, the Turney Road and Norwood communities and the wider Labour movement.

He was our street champion in every sense.