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Founding member of club to be fondly remembered

Tributes have been paid to Maurice Damant, a founding member of Sudbury Motorcycle Club who passed away on New Year’s Day.

The former club treasurer, who was 83, has been affectionately described as the man at the club who fixed problems.

President Roger Chaplin said: “It was with sadness that Sudbury Motorcycle Club heard of the passing on New Year’s Day of one of our founding members Maurice Damant at the age of 83.

“Maurice became club treasurer around 1959/1960 and was at the heart of running the club.

“If you wanted to know something or wanted something done, he would take upon himself to find out and made things happen, what I would call a ‘fixer’.

“He was the one who leapt over the ramp with club members underneath in the stunt team and at one fete, namely the then home of Bury St Edmunds Football Club in King’s Road, he jumped through a pane of glass.

“When it came to running our first scramble on May 28, 1961, he was at the legendary Tye Farm course during the week doing various preparations and I would help him and ignore my school homework, especially Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, just to be there.”

Chaplin’s brother Barry, then 18, had been secretary of that special meeting and added his own tribute to the man he described as ‘my very good friend and minder in the early days of the club’.

He said: “He was one of the best and will be missed by all the members.”

In 1966 Damant stepped down from his role of treasurer, with Chaplin succeeding him, only to step up to the position of chairman.

He was also one of the club delegates for the first Sudbury Mammoth Olde Tyme Rallye, which the club co-organised with Sudbury Rotary and Sudbury Round Table.

Due to work commitments, Damant stood down as chairman at the end of 1966, but continued on the committee during 1967 and when he moved away to the Eye area he left the committee.

He was bitten by the bug of traction engine and other engine rallies, and after leaving the Sudbury area he attended many of these rallies, returning home to the events in Great Waldingfield and Long Melford.

Chaplin added: “Sudbury Motorcycle Club owes a great debt to Maurice and I know he was proud of the club for our achievements.”