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Plans for memorial to Newmarket stalwart who dedicated 18 years to St John Ambulance

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Members of Newmarket St John Ambulance are hoping to install a permanent memorial to their former president who died in August after 18 years with the organisation.

Jim Wallace, unit manager, said the plan was to put up a plaque in the room where the unit usually holds its meetings at Newmarket hospital to remember the contribution made by Derek Blyth.

“I only knew Derek for a few short years, but he was always eager to help, from supporting official ceremonies like the Remembrance Sunday Parades, to fund-raising for the unit, with the little spare time he had,” said Mr Wallace.

Derek Blyth (42751689)
Derek Blyth (42751689)

“He was always a strong supporter of the Newmarket Badgers from the day they started. He was fondly known as El Presidente, particularly with the youth, and was a much-valued member of our unit.

“Derek was the embodiment of our St John Ambulance values –always ready to step forward in the moments that mattered to support communities.”

Mr Wallace said the unit also hoped to present, posthumously, to Derek’s family, an award in honour of his 18 years of service to St John.

Derek, who lived in Newmarket, was 79 when he died in August and had been actively involved with the unit right up until his death.

“He worked with lots of local organisations and will be greatly missed by us all,” said Jim.

And Enid Gathercole, unit manager at St John Ambulance in Bury St Edmunds , who got to know Derek when she was training with the Newmarket unit said: “He was always smiling and a lovely personality.”

Derek leaves his widow Jean, son Steve and daughter Karen.

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