Hundreds bid fond farewell to former West Norfolk Mayor

It was a remarkable funeral service and celebration of life for a remarkable man when hundreds of mourners packed into the Lynn Minster to bid a fond farewell to Honorary Alderman and former West Norfolk Borough Mayor Nick Daubney.

And in poignant messages, written by Mr Daubney himself and his widow Cheryl, they both told of their love for each other and the support they had been given by family and friends during his cancer treatment. Mr Daubney, 72, had died at his Pott Row home on May 29.

To much laughter, Mr Daubney wrote : “I am sorry to impose one more speech on you. You’ll have to forgive me, I am a local politician and I can’t resist it.”

Nick Daubney
Nick Daubney

Mr Daubney’s close friends, Paul Sheerin, Peter Lofting and David Goddard, all paid eloquent tributes to him, variously describing him as a “man of principle, courage, generosity and wisdom” and a man who dedicated much of his life to the service of others and the wider community.

His daughter, Kate D’aubney, paid her own personal family tribute to her father and spoke of her childhood and the later arrival of his grandson, Hudson, who was adored by his grandad.

Mr Goddard said Mr Daubney was one of life’s “very special individuals” who had entered public life in local government to make a difference.

At the start of the service, Mr Daubney’s coffin was carried into the Minster, led by the civic mace bearers in tribute to his year serving as Borough Mayor.

Heading the mourners were Norfolk’s vice Lord Lieutenant, Peter Wilson MBE, Borough Mayor Margaret Wilkinson and representatives from the many organisations that Mr Daubney was associated with over the years.

Mr Daubney had been a leading figure in bringing major employer Palm Paper to Lynn and was involved in a major campaign to stop West Norfolk from being swallowed up into a unitary authority. He had also been a leading figure in “killing off” proposals to build a waste incinerator in West Norfolk.

Mr Daubney, who had followed his father Les into local politics, had served on the Borough Council for 20 years, a decade of that time as Leader. He had also served on Norfolk County Council.

Mr Goddard said that Mr Daubney had been a great supporter of local charities. He was a former chair of Lynn’s Festival Too summer festival and was involved with the local Chamber of Commerce.

The tributes were led by Mr Sheerin, who spoke of Mr Daubney’s business life and his role within his father’s Standard Capital Finance company.

In his political life, he was one time chair of the North West Norfolk Conservative Association and was a great ambassador for West Norfolk.

During the service, led by Father Adrian Ling, vicar of All Saint’s Church, mourners heard soloist Donna Duval sing the plaintiff song Bring Him Home, from the hit musical Les Miserables.

Jules Stutchbury read a Lesson from Ecclesiastes, ‘For everything there is a season…’.

Mr Goddard said Mr Daubney was a man of few words and often misunderstood “This was one of his greatest qualities, his ability to listen. He would let you do the talking whilst evaluating the situation to provide a meaningful and qualified response.

“His dedication as a public servant is a true example to us all and Nick would have made a worthy Member of Parliament.”

The service was followed by a reception in Lynn Town Hall in which those attending spoke of their memories of Nick and how he had touched their lives in so many ways.

Cheryl Daubney and her family expressed sincere thanks to all those who had supported them during the difficult period of Mr Daubney’s illness. Iliffe Media Publishing (Lynn News and Your Local Paper) managing director Alan Taylor raised a glass in a toast to Mr Daubney’s memory and said his legacy of public service in West Norfolk would never be forgotten.