Service to celebrate Graham Hembury’s life postponed
PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 March 2020
A service to celebrate the life of a former Ottery St Mary council chairman that was due to be held this weekend has been postponed as a result of coronavirus.
The service for Graham Hembury, 86, who was also important in the life of Tipton St John, was due to be held on Saturday, March 21 but the family have said they do not feel it would be safe for people to attend in the current situation.
In a statement they said: “Hopefully the service can be held at a later date to give him the send off that he deserves. His wife Margaret and family would like to thank everyone for their kind messages, cards and flowers at this difficult time and hope that everyone stays safe through this crisis. Also to thank the Reverend Mark Ward for the time that he had spent on arranging the service.”
He was involved in many activities in Tipton St John including launching the Tipton Times, he was one of the original founders of the playing field purchase and committee, building the pavilion and the beginnings of the tennis courts and was an active member and churchwarden of Tipton and Venn Ottery churches.
He was also a school governor for Tipton Primary School and ran the youth centre for many years.
Around the 1980s, he served on Ottery St Mary Town Council for 12 years, for a time as chairman, and during his tenure he helped to provide street lighting and pavements in Tipton St John and also served on the Ratespayers and Residents’ Association.
In his professional life he was a professional draughtsman and while on National Service in Aden, he spent his afternoons designing buildings in the community and for the sheikhs that lived there.
He spent 14 years working for Exeter City Council and designed many well known buildings.
Among them were the iconic McGahey’s kiosk, in High Street, for which he won an award, the Exeter bus and coach station, the ambulance station and updating of the Barnfield theatre.
He worked on the beginning of the Finnemore Trading estate and he won an award for his designs of Sid Vale Dairy.
He also used his skills to design and upgrade community hall in Tipton St John.
He is survived by his wife Margaret, four children, 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.