Tribute to Councillor Chris Tratt

PUBLISHED: 14:39 07 November 2008 | UPDATED: 22:35 15 June 2010

Mayor of Honiton Councillor Chris Tratt

Mayor of Honiton Councillor Chris Tratt

7/11/2008: Mayor of Honiton Councillor Chris Tratt, one of the town's most selfless and community spirited residents, has died suddenly.

7/11/2008: Mayor of Honiton Councillor Chris Tratt, one of the town's most selfless and community spirited residents, has died suddenly.

Councillor Tratt died at his home in the town this morning (Friday).

As well as being a town councillor, he served on East Devon District Council.

Councillor Tratt leaves a widow, Jean. He was a father and grandfather.


Kathy & Bob Haiselden, London Ontario, Canada: We were fortunate to meet Chris & Jean during a couple of vacations in Negril Jamaica. Jean has been communicating with us via e-mail and we are deeply saddened by the loss of Chris. We have been reading the tributes to Chris on the Midweek Herald website and truly realize what a privilege it was to have spent time with this outstanding gentleman. Our thoughts are with Jean & all those who were lucky enough to have been associated with Chris.

Sharon Dibsdall, Honiton Band: Along with everyone else in Honiton, Honiton Band were shocked and saddened by the loss of Honiton's Mayor Chris Tratt. We were always touched by the fondness he expressed for the Band and were particularly pleased to have been able to support him during the recent Gronau Twinning trip. His tremendous enthusiasm for and work on behalf of Honiton and its many organisations, will be greatly missed. But just as importantly, we shall miss his friendly, easy manner, his sense of humour and his modesty. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife Jean and their family.

Mike Smith: I was the Town Clerk when Chris was elected to the Council and how delighted the members and I were. It was a pleasure and privilege to have known Chris who I regarded as a true gentleman and who will be very greatly missed.

Dave Roberts: What a shock it was to read about Chris. I joined the special constabulary way back in the mid 70s, my first duty was walking around Honiton on a cold wet night alongside Chris and I wondered what I got myself into. At the end of the four hours I got to know a lot about Honiton and how important a special's job was. Chris had a way of putting you at your ease I did many more shifts with him and came to know how important Honiton was to him, My deepest sympathy goes out to Jean and family. He will be sorely missed.

Paul Fabian and Teddi: A sad loss of a gentleman, who, although I only knew from a member of the public's side, always came across as a caring man, who wanted the best for Honiton, and the people of Honiton. His work for the town can be read elsewhere in tributes to him, so I can only speak of him as a person. A gentle, polite and courteous man who always took time to stop and have a brief chat, always a ready smile if he saw myself and Teddi, my dog, and a man who I believe, didn't have a bad word to say about anybody. A tragic loss,and my deepest sympathy goes to out to Jean and the family.

Paul Fabian, and respectfully,Teddi.

Paul, Matt and all at Cougar: We are the company that worked along side Chris in support of the CCTV, all at Cougar Cabling would like to pass on our deepest respects to Jean and family at this sad time, Chris was a very dedicated spokesman for the Honiton community and I think he will be very hard to replace, Thanks for your help and support Chris rest in peace.

Councillor Vivienne Ash, Deputy Mayor of Honiton: "Working alongside Chris, I appreciated that his priorities came from his roots in the community, having lived in Honiton all his life. He worked tirelessly for the town; his aim was always to make Honiton a better place for its residents. On a personal basis, he was a man of the utmost integrity and a real friend. He will be missed by so many people and will be irreplaceable."

Councillor Vernon Whitlock, former mayor, said: "I have known Chris for over 30 years. When I first came to Honiton as a police officer he was a Special Constable and we shared many duties together. When he retired from the Specials, I played some part in persuading him to join the town council. He was deputy mayor and supported me for two years and, when I stood down, I was honoured to support him as town mayor and leader of the council. He was a good man, dedicated to his family, who had the needs of Honiton and its people at the front of everything he did. I will miss him personally, as I know will the many in the town who both knew him and respected him as a man dedicated to the service of the community."

Town clerk Lyn Hargood said: "As the new clerk to the council, I feel honoured that the mayor I have worked with through this year has been Chris Tratt. He was always supportive and helpful and I came to regard him as a friend. He will be truly missed."

Chief Superintendent Jo Tennant (Devon BCU commander): "Chris made a really significant contribution to the policing of Honiton in his many years spent as a Special Constable. I worked alongside Chris for several years and he was always the first to volunteer for extra patrols. He particularly loved policing the many special events and carnival in the town and contributed tirelessly to local community safety. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all his many friends in the constabulary."

Superintendent Emma Webber: "I was shocked to hear of the untimely death of the Mayor of Honiton, Chris Tratt. I had the privilage and pleasure to first work with Chris over 20 years ago when he was in charge of the Special Constabulary for East Devon. Chris was a highly committed Special Constable, who gave freely of his time over many years, and his personal knowledge of Honiton and its communities was a great asset to the policing in the town. More recently, I spoke with him regarding the purchasing of CCTV equipment for Honiton in order to combat unruly behaviour and crime in the town centre. Chris's previous policing service meant he knew what an important tool this was in our fight against crime and disorder.

"I was impressed with his determination to ensure this equipment was installed and used in Honiton. I, and the many other officers and police staff from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary who worked with Chris over many years, will miss him greatly and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time."

Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, Leader of East Devon District Council:

"Councillor Chris Tratt was a relatively new member of East Devon District Council, having been elected in May 2007. In that short time, he had established a reputation as a hard-working, dedicated councillor, fully committed to supporting the community of Honiton, which he loved, and where he was extremely active.

"He was a man of the people, with his feet firmly planted on the ground. He was elected as a Conservative member of EDDC and in his first year became a member of the Development Control Committee and later a member of the Licensing and Enforcement Sub-Committee, as well as representing this council on a number of outside bodies.

"This is a tragic loss of a thoroughly nice man and he will be sadly missed. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to his family at this sad time."

Richard and Ann Drake: What a shock. He was such a delightful gentleman, who will be sorely missed. God bless

Karen Young, Currently Acting Chair of the Parents', Staff and Friends' Association: Chris was supportive of the formation of a new parents' association (PSFA) at Honiton Community College. He attended its first meeting in June 2006 and his continued support and encouragement has been so much appreciated.

Liz Green (nee Sansom) Dunedin, New Zealand: I grew up knowing Chris and his wife, Jean, his daughters Julie and Claire - they were almost extended family. My father worked with Chris (for Halse of Honiton) and we knew, loved and trusted this man, who seemed like a giant. His height made him easy to spot when he was the person my siblings and I had to look for on the day he'd take us, as Dad was too busy, to the Devon County Show. His generous and caring nature made us feel secure and we knew he'd always be there for us. Thank you, Chris. Jean - when I heard that Chris had been elected as Mayor I was delighted. At last, Honiton had someone in office who really knew what the town was about, someone with the strength and determination to steer its progress with clarity and wisdom. He will be missed, I know, by not only you and the girls (and grand children) but by all who knew and respected him. Thank you for allowing me to know and love a man of honour and pride. Cherish the memories you built; may they be a source of comfort, inspiration and joy. I recall an incident with an electric fence and a previous home, where sapplings were being used in an unfortunate manner . . . only Chris could think of that remedy!Take care. My love to you all.

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