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Owen Palmer

February 2, 2011

It was with the greatest sadness that I learnt this morning of the death at the weekend of Owen Palmer. Owen was a long serving Secretary of the Southborough Residents’ Association and a tireless worker for all sorts of local causes. He was a very loyal and candid friend and a regular correspondent.  If my phone rang at 9.30 in the morning ten to one it would be Owen wanting to discuss a local problem or just exchange ideas.

Perhaps the finest tribute to him was paid by a fellow SRA member in the citation that went with his Mayor’s Civic Award in 2009.

I have known Owen for most of the 12 years he has served as Honorary Secretary on the Southborough Residents’ Association committee.   This title is a most inadequate description of the tireless and unstinting work he has done for the Association which, because of his contribution, is today recognised as one of the strongest and most effective residents’ associations in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

Owen is especially good at identifying potential problems early, and successfully orchestrated campaigns to resolve them satisfactorily.   I have time to just give you two examples to illustrate this:  in 2002, He commissioned Surrey University to conduct a survey in the Southborough area to discover the best way to control commuter parking that was then on the increase.  As a result, Kingston Council then conducted their survey. The result was the present day successful non-CPZ parking scheme, which preserves the street-scene of this special area.

A second example is Owen’s liaison with Kingston Council the result of which was the raised concrete roundabout on the Langley Avenue, Langley Road, Kingsdowne Road five-way junction with the busy Upper Brighton Road.   Traffic now flows more slowly and together with the two pedestrian crossings (which Owen also initiated), has created a much safer junction.

Owen has built up excellent contacts with officers and councillors in Kingston, so that communications between the Association and the Council work well.  He always makes time to talk to residents, and of course he is locally very well known.

Yet another of Owen’s special talents is as effective self-appointed local mediator.   He has helped resolve differences of viewpoint between neighbours on planning matters, and also when difficulties arose over major building works at Shrewsbury House School.   I can report that his efforts led to successful and happy outcomes.   He has also helped four local nursing homes when they applied for planning permission to increase the number of bedrooms.

Everything Owen does is done with enthusiasm, energy and care for others.   He always leads from the front, and is well known for undertaking the lion’s share of the necessary footwork delivering information to the many homes in the Southborough area.   His example has been the bedrock of the success of the Southborough Residents’ Association.

Owen attended Tiffin’s School in Kingston, and before retiring, was a Business Studies university lecturer in London.   For another ten years, he continued to work, on a part-time basis, for Kings College and City University.   He is a keen player at Surbiton Tennis Club and some years’ ago, he volunteered to help the Club secure its future survival using his marketing skills.   Owen is also a member of the congregation at St Mary’s Church, Long Ditton, where he again, offers his many talents with enthusiasm and energy.

We offer our deepest sympathy to Owen’s wife, Betty. We shall all miss him. May he rest in peace.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ash permalink
    February 3, 2011 9:45 am

    Owen was a lovely man, with a calm and diligent approach to the many things he took an interest in. I will miss his calls.
    Ash on behalf of local Lib Dems

    • February 3, 2011 11:34 am

      Thanks for the comment Ash. As Frances said, he’s a great loss to our whole community.

  2. February 3, 2011 10:22 pm

    One of Owen’s daughters called me this evening, to tell me of his sad passing.

    As a former pupil of his at City of London Polytechnic, it was my pleasure and privilege to know him for over 30 years – from his inspiring, high-energy lectures through to his wise counsel as I carved a career in marketing.

    A wonderful teacher, proud father, loving husband and all-round good chap. His laughter and his mischief will be much missed, but his lessons live on.

    RIP Owen

  3. Bruno Romano permalink
    March 16, 2017 2:48 pm

    I first met Owen whilst attending the City of London Polytechnic. He taught me on the CIM Diploma and apart from being such a great lecturer, he was also a very kind and decent human being. Loved his warmth and infectious energetic lectures. A true gentleman!

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