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In Memory - John Harding (1921 - 2010)
John Harding (1921 - 2010)
John became a member of The Marlow Society when it began in 1960. He was a very active member of the Executive Committee and served as Secretary, Chairman of the Planning Sub-Committee, as Vice Chairman and as Treasurer. He was responsible for producing the Society's first constitution when he was Secretary and carried out the task with his usual persistence, efficiency and care. His work as Chairman of the Planning Sub-Committee showed how such a job should be done and served as a role model for the future.
John was the Treasurer when I joined the Executive Committee as the representative of the History Group. Whenever I needed to talk to someone, John was one of those people at the top of the list for sound counsel and advice. When he stood down from the Executive Committee, he was elected a Vice President of the Society at the Annual General Meeting in May 1995. He was then no longer at the executive meetings, but when I became Chairman of Society I always sought and welcomed John's support and advice. I frequently used him as a sounding board when I needed to discuss issues - he never let me down. As in everything he did in his long life, John made a very significant contribution to the Marlow Society over so many years.
John's admirable war record as a fighter pilot flying Hurricanes from 1941 to 1944 attests not only to his lifelong interest in aviation but also to his great personal courage and integrity. These were qualities that he later brought to his service to the community here in Marlow and to all his personal dealings with neighbours and friends. His bravery in the face of his last short illness and the knowledge of his impending death made a huge impression on all who witnessed it. A wonderful gentleman passed from the world and our town is the poorer for it.
John's wife, Betty, also served the town in many ways providing practical support for the Cottage Hospital and the Cameo Club over many years. Betty passed away peacefully on 11th November 2019 aged 91.
An Appreciation by Peter Diplock and Geoff Wood.