Banbury bids a fond farewell to George Parish

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-172233009
The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-172233009
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Banbury said farewell to its Rock and Roll Mayor, Labour councillor, trade union leader and legendary hospital campaigner, George Parish, on Tuesday.

Mr Parish died on Saturday, November 26. He had suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. Victoria Prentis MP and Sir Tony Baldry NNL-161213-171845009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. Victoria Prentis MP and Sir Tony Baldry NNL-161213-171845009

Current and retired local politicians and Horton campaigners joined Mr Parish’s family and friends in a service of celebration and remembrance before a private burial.

In the heart of the congregation were Labour colleagues on Banbury Town Council and Cherwell District Council including former town mayors Janet Justice and Jack Steer with Cllr Steve Kilsby.

A number of current Labour representatives could not be present as they were engaged in debate at Oxfordshire County Council where threatened Horton services were once again on the agenda.

Among those who came to pay their respects were former Banbury MP and fellow hospital campaigner Sir Tony Baldry, current MP Victoria Prentis, Banbury Town Mayor Cllr Gordon Ross, leader of Cherwell District Council Cllr Barry Wood and district council chairman, Cllr Chris Heath.

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. Janet Justice NNL-161213-171948009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. Janet Justice NNL-161213-171948009

And forming a guard of honour as Mr Parish’s coffin left the church to enthusiastic applause were members of the original Banbury Health Emergency committee, later renamed the Keep the Horton General Campaign.

Current media officer Charlotte Bird said: “It was a real honour to pay this tribute to George who was such an inspiration to us all.

“His name with forever be synonymous with the Horton General Hospital.”

Mr Parish’s brother David delivered a moving eulogy, describing how George had become the eldest child on the death in infancy of his elder brother and how George, ever-altruistic, had always been keen to help others.

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-172026009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-172026009

Rev Philip Cochrane described the devotion of George to his wife Sue and family and how his successes were due to the support of his family.

Mr Parish’s funeral service included some of his favourite music - Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley, Peace in the Valley by Elvis Presley and finally, Simply the Best by Tina Turner. A collection was made for Vale House Care Home and the Keep the Horton General Fighting Fund.

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. Town Mayor Gordon Ross NNL-161213-172103009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. Town Mayor Gordon Ross NNL-161213-172103009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-172300009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-172300009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-171742009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-171742009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-171729009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-171729009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-171715009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-171715009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-171754009

The funeral of George Parish at St Mary's Church, Banbury. NNL-161213-171754009