Posted: January 7th, 2013
The funeral of AMP’s life president Eric Newson, who died last October, took place at Chelmsford Crematorium on November 12 (2012). There was a celebration of Eric’s life afterwards at Billericay Town Football Club.
Among a host of family, friends and work colleagues in attendance were AMP secretary Gerald Mowbray and his wife Joy, AMP treasurer Roy White, trustee Andrew Golden, Brian Bass and Caro Cluskey, John Hemple, Mel Morgan, and Fred Lofthouse.
Eric’s brother Alan, who also worked at Mirror Group, and daughters Lynn and Jan, shared fine tributes and personal memories of this special man.
In his own tribute, Roy White later said: “Eric was at first a work-mate in 1976, but I got to know him as a friend when I took over the AMP treasurer’s role from him in early 2002. I found him a lovely man and a great friend – he would do anything for anyone.
“When he went on holiday he would look at the members’ register to find out if there were any of our members in the area he was visiting, then he would pop in to see them.
“That was the lovely man he was. He will be greatly missed.”
Eric Newson passed away in St Luke’s Hospice, Basildon, aged 85. He leaves behind daughters Jan and Lynn, and stepchildren De Bray and John Russell-Smith (the latter lives in Australia.) Jan said: “Dad was diagnosed with bone cancer in March and we cared for him at home until quite recently. My sister and I were at his side and were each holding a hand when he took his last breath. He was peaceful and comfortable when it happened.”
Eric joined the cashier/accounts department of the Sunday Pictorial in 1941 aged only 14. He was called up in August 1944 and served in India, returning to the Sunday Pictorial in 1948. He transferred to the Daily Mirror in 1955 and eventually took over the wages make-up section. In 1967 he was made deputy chief cashier of Mirror Group Newspapers, and then, in early 1970, chief cashier.
A change of career path in 1975 saw Eric transfer to the Manpower Department under Roy Woolliscroft, where he also worked with his old friend Don Wood, another AMP stalwart. Eric took redundancy at the end of 1985 after Maxwell’s arrival.
He combined with AMP founders Tony Boram, Ken Hudgell and Don Wood in 1990 and later with others when the Association of Mirror Pensioners was created in 1991, and became treasurer. Eric moved from AMP vice-president to life president following the death of Ken Hudgell in 2007.
Apart from Eric’s obvious total dedication to his family, his main hobby was anything to do with Billericay Town Football Club. He had been an avid supporter since moving to the town some 40 years ago. Up until very recently he still went to home games and took his special seat indoors next to the match commentator, where he was expected to hand round his sweets at half time!
He also enjoyed watching cricket and used to go to Chelmsford to watch Essex play. He enjoyed sport on TV, in particular athletics, and had been a keen runner in his youth. Eric also enjoyed travelling and took numerous holidays a year, recently mainly in the UK and by coach. Because of the family links with Australia he had visited the country 13 times over the years and had a keen interest in all things Australian.
Daughter Jan added: “We cannot praise the care and attention Dad received at St Luke’s Hospice enough. They did everything possible to make his last few weeks as pain-free and comfortable as possible.”
Report and picture from FRANK THORNE
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