Warm tributes have been paid to a popular Eastbourne man who passed away suddenly on Boxing Day.
Angelo Errigo, 66, was a former firefighter who ran his own health and fire safety consultancy and covered the majority of events on the Eastbourne calendar including Airbourne, the tennis, 999, and the bonfire and carnival processions.
A popular figure in the town, he was described as a pillar of the community who was loved and respected by all who knew him.
Chamber of Commerce president Tim Cobb said, “I was always struck by the calm and confident leadership Angelo brought to each and every situation.
“I saw him in action at Airbourne shows and the Beachy Head Marathon where he managed incidents with great calmness and authority. Angelo also had that rare ability of mixing this with compassion and understanding. He had time for everyone.”
Mr Errigo’s wife Jackie and the couple’s two children, Bianca, 24, and Angelo Junior, 20, were at his bedside when he passed away.
Jackie said her husband loved living in his adopted home town of Eastbourne and despite his ill-health continued to help people.
“He was strong, spirited and coped with courage and fortitude,” said Jackie.
Born in Fareham to an Italian family, Mr Errigo grew up in Hampshire and was originally a cadet with the City of Portsmouth Police before joining London Fire Brigade in 1974 and serving at various stations across the capital.
He went on to forge a distinguished career in the fire service in Gloucestershire, Surrey and Dumfries and Galloway brigades and roles included training officer, fire services inspectorate and deputy chief officer.
It was while Mr Errigo was working at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service as a press officer in the 1980s that he met Jackie, a journalist, and the couple moved to Eastbourne in 2006 where he set up his own health and fire safety consultancy.
He was also a governor at West Rise School, a trustee at Queen Alexandra Cottage Homes and a prominent member of the Sovereign Harbour Residents Association where he lived.
He enjoyed cooking Italian food for family and friends, cycling and walking holidays.
Mr Errigo was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and recovered but the disease returned shortly before Christmas.
Eastbourne council leader David Tutt said, “Angelo was not only a lovely person but a pivotal member of the Eastbourne team as a safety officer, supporting the council in all of its events and making sure everything ran smoothly.
“He was tremendous behind the scenes and will be sadly missed by people across Eastbourne. I will also miss him as a personal friend.”
Christina Ewbank at the Chamber of Commerce said, “Angelo Errigo was very special to Eastbourne and to the Chamber of Commerce.
“After I started in 2013, the chamber took on management of the Eastbourne Borough Market and introduced the market during the successful Airbourne Air Show he had helped to create.
“Angelo generously met me and gave me loads of advice about how to run our event safely. He trained me how to write a risk assessment and gave me lots of practical tips, which were invaluable.
“Since then Angelo has always been there for me and for the Chamber of Commerce, giving his time and expertise freely.
“Such a lovely man, Angelo will be hugely missed by us all.”
His funeral is on Friday, January 20, at 11am at All Saint’s Church, Grange Road, and afterwards at the International Tennis Centre in Devonshire Park.