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Obituary: Alderman Wilf Callon

Obituary: Wilf CallonIt is with great personal sadness that we record the death of Alderman and former Councillor Wilf Callon, one of Fylde's finest former Councillors.

For many years, he was the sole Labour councillor in a sea of Conservatives - so you might expect that he never managed to get much done.

On the contrary - he was a very successful local councillor, partly because he was so well respected that he was listened to, and partly because he was a wily fox who understood people, and was able to get them to fire bullets for him.

Knowing he would rarely be able to carry the vote on the basis of his one vote to the other 48 councillors (usually including a huge Conservative majority), he had to devise and adopt other strategies.

More than once we have seen him have a quiet word with a (often younger) member of the Conservative group before the start of a meeting only to see that person propose something during the meeting that Wilf wanted to happen. He would have picked his choice of surrogate carefully, knowing his views on the matter in hand were close to those of his own and suggesting it might be something he would like to take the credit for amongst his colleagues.

Only a gentle smile would betray his satisfaction as Cllr Callon put up his hand to vote with the Conservative majority.

In the days when the Council reigned supreme, (before the dreadful and divisive Cabinet system all but ruined local government), and, because the proposal had been made by one of their 'own side' - at least some of the Conservatives would usually vote for it in Committee or Council.

It usually worked too, because Cllr Callon was a great listener and very much a 'people person' He had a great sense of humanity toward his fellow man and an interest in and understanding of the welfare of people. He knew his fellow councillors and was respected by them

He worked at British Aerospace and was delighted during his Mayoral year when the parks gardeners who did the floral displays for the Mayoral Ball borrowed a scale model of a BAe fighter aircraft and built their display around it. We know he was very touched by that personal consideration.

We also had the pleasure of meeting his wife on several occasions during his Mayoral year, and found her to be one of the nicest ladies we have had the pleasure to know. We extend our sympathy to her in this time of her sorrow.

Cllr (later Alderman) Callon was a one off.  A real gentleman, a lover of his fellow man, and able Councillor and an all round good chap. The world is a sadder and lesser place without him.

Dated:  5 November 2012


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