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Funeral held for former Gravesham Mayor William Dyke

By Daniel Green

Councillors, friends and family said goodbye to a former mayor who played an “enormously important historical role” in the town’s history.

St Mary the Virgin Church, Chalk, was filled on Friday, February 9, with people paying their respects to William Dyke.

Known as Bill, the enthusiastic tennis player, was born in Dover Road, Northfleet, in 1927, the youngest of three brothers. He died at his home in Gravesend, on Sunday, January 14, at the age of 90.

Funeral of of former Gravesham councillor and mayor Bill Dyke.
Funeral of of former Gravesham councillor and mayor Bill Dyke.

Reverend Nigel Bourne, who conducted the service, said: “It is lovely to see so many people here representing the different strands of Bill’s life.

“Although, inevitably we are sad, we know there’s a lot to be thankful for. I’m pleased the service is here in Chalk where he, along with Connie, attended services.

“It was lovely when I went to see him and pray. He was completely at peace with the whole situation.”

Mayor of Gravesham arriving for the service Funeral of of former Gravesham councillor and mayor Bill Dyke.
Mayor of Gravesham arriving for the service Funeral of of former Gravesham councillor and mayor Bill Dyke.

Bill’s son, Peter, said: “He had a very full life. His greatest success was getting permission for a site for a hospice in Coldharbour Road.”

Historian Christoph Bull reflected on Mr Dyke’s life. He said: “He was one of the true movers and shakers of Gravesend and Gravesham from the 1960s onwards. Bill was a family and private man but he had an enormously important historical role to play as well.”

Hymns Abide With Me and Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven, were sung, and I Know That

My Redeemer Liveth was played as Mr Dyke’s coffin was carried out of the church and taken to Gravesend Crematorium.

Funeral of of former Gravesham councillor and mayor Bill Dyke.
Funeral of of former Gravesham councillor and mayor Bill Dyke.

The building manager went to Rosherville Primary school, before becoming an apprentice builder at the age of 15, went on to become mayor of Gravesham twice between 1979-80 and 1989-80.

He had his first electoral success in 1965 where he was elected onto Gravesend Council as a representative of Gravesend East Ward.

Retiring from the council in 2011, Mr Dyke also gave 35 years’ service to Gravesend Lions Club, which he was president of three times.

He was responsible for setting up the hospice, run by the charity ellenor, in Coldharbour Road, in 1983.

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