Sadness at death of business leader

David Brett, Maidstone businessman
David Brett, Maidstone businessman

by business editor Trevor Sturgess

Businessman David Brett, who was twice president of Maidstone and Mid-Kent Chamber of Commerce, has died suddenly from a heart attack. He was 62.

Mr Brett took a close interest in community affairs and played a prominent part in the popular Maidstone River Festival, which has attracted 100,000 people to the County Town. He was chairman of the organising committee of the Maidstone River Festival for three years until 1995, and a former governor of Maplesden Noakes school.

He was chamber president in the 1990s and later chaired the chamber board.

Mr Brett was born in Sevenoaks but had lived in Maidstone for more than 20 years. He was a well-known figure in the insurance world, and was on business in Birmingham when he died.

He loved cars and was passionate about Formula One motor racing. He died on August 27 and had been due to go to Spa, Belgium, for the Belgian Grand Prix the following day.

He and his widow Jeanette celebrated their silver wedding anniversary last year. She said: “David was a very warm character, very helpful and good fun to be with. He took a great interest in the community and Maidstone.”

Alan Reading, also a past Chamber President and chairman for 12 years, paid tribute to Mr Brett. He said: "He was a super man who laboured tirelessly for Maidstone, he was my guiding light into the Chamber of Commerce.

"David was a gifted man who could always resolve a difficult situation, with a subtle blend of his unique abilities that would result in positive outcome. He will be greatly missed."

Chip Carpenter, a colleague in the insurance world, said he was sad to hear of David’s death. “I immediately remembered how hard he had worked for the Chamber and small local businesses.

“He wished that a regular community celebratory feast could again arise in Mote Park. This is where once, decades ago, a re-enactment to celebrate the Royal Review of the Volunteers in1799 took place.

“The free BYO Family Picnic in Mote Park this Saturday (12) evening, before the Mela on Sunday, may begin to fulfil the dreams of David and others.”

Mr Brett also leaves two sons Tim and Phil, a step-daughter Carolyn, and two grandchildren.

His funeral will be held at Maidstone Crematorium, Vinters Park, on September 15. Donations to Kent Air Ambulance may be sent via funeral director Michael Lawrence, telephone 01622 725704.

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