A TRIBUTE has been paid to a Bognor Regis gentleman.
Peter Sharpe passed away aged 83 on June 18 at St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Chichester. A thanksgiving service for his life will be held at 11.15am next Wednesday at South Bersted Church in Bersted Street.
Peter had been associated with the church since the age of ten. He was also widely known around Bognor Regis for his voluntary work with a range of organisations. They included the town’s foodbank, the Chaplain’s team at the war memorial hospital and he was a volunteer at the local museum.
Not content with this, his service to the community also saw him become the treasurer of the National Osteoporisis Society’s branch in the town and the Bognor Regis Horticultural Society.
Those extensive efforts saw him win the Mayor’s Good Citizen Award in 2015 in an event organised by the town council.
Alan Readman, a friend of Peter’s, said: “Peter was surprised by his award and will be remembered as a man of humility.
“When speaking of him, people invariably use the word ‘gentleman’.
“Always smartly dressed, he was kind and courteous, and always had time for people. He will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends.”
Peter was born in March, 1938. His father, Richard, was branch manager of the Yorkshire Insurance Company at its office in Central Buildings in London Road. The family, including his older and surviving brother, Geoffrey, lived in Chichester Road.
Peter was educated at various small private schools in the town. They included St Olives in Victoria Drive and Colebrook School for Boys, then run by Dr Horsfall-Ertz, in Neville Road.
Leaving school at 16, Peter’s first job was a junior clerk at Hall & Goulding, a firm in Shripney Road that made products in plastic coated wire. A clerical post with Littlehampton Urban District
Council was next. He switched to a similar role in the county valuation office at County Hall in Chichester and then transferred to the county council’s legal department where he spent the rest of his career.
To overcome his lack of educational qualifications, Peter began an ambitious and arduous programme of study.
That period saw him become a chartered secretary, chartered insurer and chartered legal executive. He took a BA and a Bachelor of Laws at the Open University and achieved his goal of becoming a solicitor in October, 2013.
For good measure, he was awarded a BA in theology at the University of Gloucestershire in 2005.
Of his many interests and activities, his Christian faith and his church life were paramount. Around the age of ten, a chance meeting with the Rev Percy Harcourt Stidston, the Vicar of St Mary
Magdalene Church in Bersted Street, led to him joining the boys’ choir.
He served on the parochial church council, fulfilled many offices and was a loyal member of the congregation.
Peter married at South Bersted in 1981. He and his wife, Shirley, enjoyed 20 years of marriage before she died from cancer. Peter took early retirement to care for her