Two former leading lights of Eastbourne business community pass away

Two former stalwarts of the business community have passed away within weeks of each other.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 2:03 pm
George Turner SUS-200114-172138001

Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce described the death of both John MacDonald in December and George Turner on Saturday as ‘terribly sad’ and said both men had made a huge contribution to the town.

Mr MacDonald, a company secretary to the chamber for 25 years from 1970-1995 and a director of Edeal, which helped Bird’s Eye staff find work when the Eastbourne factory closed in 1987, died at the age of 90 in the Conquest Hospital in December.

Chamber boss Christina Ewbank said during his time with the chamber and Edeal, John had a real impact on Eastbourne’s business community and on the town as a whole.

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He worked closely with George Turner on projects like the Eastbourne Exhibition, the Carnival and the Eastbourne Borough Centenary Ball. He also arranged for the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson and Jeffrey Archer MP to speak at chamber events.

Mr MacDonald’s funeral service will be held at Eastbourne Crematorium on Tuesday January 21 at 1pm.

George Turner, a lifelong Eastbourne resident, passed away at the Inglewood Nursing Home, just after his 93rd birthday.

He was a past president and chamber director for many years having started his career at the age of 15 as a messenger during the Second World War.

Mr Turner dodged bombs and delivered difficult news to the residents of the town and was once hospitalised when he was knocked unconscious by the Luftwaffe. He was in a coma for three weeks at the former Princess Alice Hospital in Carew Road.

After the war he worked his way up to become general manager of Jacksons Electrical Store in Terminus Road and chamber officials say he worked tirelessly for the good of Eastbourne and also within the YMCA.

Ms Ewbank said, “Many members will have known George from various chamber events, including Airbourne 2018 when he collected £500 for charity and when he helped us deliver diaries both on foot and then from his mobility scooter.

Our success as a chamber is a testament to the hard work and vision of both John and George.”

Mr Turner’s funeral service will be held at Eastbourne Crematorium on Friday January 24 at 9am.