Posted: 08.05.20 at 22:09 by The Editor
FURTHER tributes have been paid to Tilbury stalwart Peter Hewitt MBE, whose death was reported on Thurrock Nub News yesterday , Thursday, 7 May.
Former Thurrock MP Andrew Mackinlay spoke warmly of a man he described as 'Mr Tilbury'.
He said: "I am very sorry to hear of the sad passing of Peter - a real 'Mr Tilbury'. He loved the town. He was immensely proud of Tilbury and all of us who shared his enthusiasm for this historic part of the Riverside owe him a great deal for both his enthusiasm and dedication.
"His contribution to promoting the ‘feeling of community’ was immense and will endure.
"I shall always be grateful to him personally, for the friendship and encouragement he gave me during my period as the Member of Parliament for Thurrock. May he rest in peace.”
Thurrock councillor Lynn Worrall, who represented the town on the council, was another to describe Peter as 'Mr Tilbury'.
She said: "I have so many memories of working alongside Peter.
"Just about anybody that met him was soon parting with their money and signed up as a no strings attached member of the Tilbury Riverside Project.
"Then, before you realised it, you were at committee meetings and putting your hand up to help organise one of his many community projects.
"Peter, or as I called him Mr Tilbury, had so many and stories to tell of his time as a police dog handler with Essex police.
"If you bumped into him in the communal kitchen at the Community Resource Centre you knew you were going nowhere for half an hour.
"In fact he had so many stories he had an 'Audience with Peter' at the Thameside Theatre.
"It was an evening of laughter, story-telling and jokes. He loved every minute of it and never ran out of steam all night.
"Everybody told Peter the Christmas lights would never happen, that it would just cost too much money to have lights and nobody would be interested coming out on a cold November evening to see them switched on.
"Undeterred he never gave up.
"Within months he had the local shops and community groups paying a weekly donation and the shortfall was made up from funding bids and company donations.
"That very first light switch on was magical and I believe that even Peter was surprised to see so many people came out and support his dream of lighting up Tilbury for all of December.
"I am sure that come this years lights even more will want to come along and pay tribute to the man that made them a reality.
"Losing Peter is a big loss for Tilbury but an even greater one for his wife Irene and their lovely family.
"My thoughts are with each and every one of them at this very sad time."
Susan Yates, chair of Thurrock Historical Society, said: “ I served on the committee of Tilbury Riverside Project project with Peter.
“He was always cheerful. a fountain of knowledge on Tilbury. Whenever I hear the song 'The Laughing Policeman' I think of Peter and his happy smiling face, always up for a joke and a laugh, even in adversity. He was a great man and an example to all who knew him.”
Our film of Peter, courtesy of Your Thurrock.com was shot during a celebration in Tilbury to mark receipt of his MBE for services to the local community in January 2009.
Typical of Peter, he said: "I was as proud as punch but this is not mine, I am just the holder of it. This medal I hold with pride I have received on behalf of the people in the town. It is something special."