Tribute to former borough councillor

Peter Harffey died earlier this month
Peter Harffey died earlier this month

A former Eastbourne Borough Councillor passed away at the weekend.

Peter Harffey joined the political scene as a borough councillor in 1982 and served until 1991. In that time he was appointed chairman of the Tourism & Leisure Committee, chairman of Eastbourne Buses, and the first chairman of the Sovereign Centre where he oversaw the opening ceremony by Princess Diana. In 1991 he was bestowed the title of Honorary Alderman for his services to the town.

Mr Harffey, who died on Sunday (December 2) aged 87, started his career as a young fighter pilot, joining the RAF in 1944. After his flying days were cut short by a plane crash he returned to England in 1948 and later went on to work at the newly established Dental Estimates Board. There he met his first wife, Eileen, whom he married in 1953 and had three children, Christine, Bob and Alan.

Mr Harffey was well known for his sporting achievements including being a Sussex level referee for more than 20 years and a highlight included being chosen to referee a prestige match in 1967 between Eastbourne Utd and West Ham Utd which included the England World Cup winning captain, Bobby Moore.

It was for tennis that Peter became well known, qualifying as a tennis umpire and officiating at Devonshire Park and Wimbledon from 1961 to 1982.

In 1973 he married Dorothy and they shared a busy lifestyle through work ,sport and politics.

In later years he suffered a series of heart attacks, but enjoyed a happy retirement with Dorothy and took up golf and gardening, where he excelled by winning prizes in regional and national shows.

His funeral takes place on Thursday December 13 at Eastbourne Crematorium, 12.15pm.

For a full tribute piece read the Gazette on Tuesday.