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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Tributes to Barrow bus boss and humanitarian

A FORMER Barrow transport manager and committed humanitarian, has died aged 88.

Derek Gwynn
Derek Gwynn during his career with Barrow Corporation transport department

Derek Gwynn, of Kirkstone Crescent, was Barrow Corporation transport department’s general manager and engineer – but his greater legacy will be the impact he made in the community.

He was a man of action and principle and a long-serving member of Barrow Rotary.

Rotarian Dennis Exley remembers him as a “very energetic and committed man”.

He added: “He joined in 1972 and was a member for 42 years. He was president in 1983/1984 and made a Paul Harris fellow, which is a special tribute Rotary give to anybody for long service. He was also involved beyond the Barrow club in district activities.”

Mr Gwynn’s son, John, paid tribute to a “great humanitarian guy”.

“He was very much a man of principle,” said his son.

“He was criticised for helping rehouse the Vietnamese boat people (refugees who fled Vietnam after the Vietnam War in the 1970s) when there were people in Barrow who equally needed help,”

He took voluntary retirement in 1986 on privatisation of municipal bus services before taking over the finances of Croft Care Trust for 25 years.

He also worked with Cumbria Constabulary on victim support and helped establish the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in the Barrow borough.

As a young man Mr Gwynn volunteered for service in the Fleet Air Arm.

He served for three-and-a-half years with the forces, attaining the rank of Squadron Staff Officer, responsible for a squadron at the age of 19.

Mr Gwynn is survived by his widow, Mary, son John and grandsons Alexander and Gabriel.

There will be a service at Thorncliffe Crematorium on Wednesday at 11.30am.

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