Condolences for John Simmonds MBE

The University was very sorry to hear of the death of John Simmonds MBE, former Chair of the University Council.

John served as a member of the University Council for twelve years from 2002.  In 2006 he started his appointment as Deputy Chair of the Council/Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee and from 2011 until 2014, John was Chair of Council.  John’s strong and wise leadership helped steer the University during that time and he also acted as an effective bridge between the University and the wider community in Canterbury and Kent, due to his involvement with and commitment to local government and education.

John was awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List, for services to local government, and was also made a Doctor of the University in November 2014.  He was a long-serving Kent County Councillor, elected to the Kent County Council in 2001, and at the time of his death he had only just stepped down as Cabinet Member for Finance.

John Simmonds was a calm, friendly, approachable and supportive person, who was very generous in his service to the University and to his Council and University colleagues.  He will be much missed.

A Service of Thanksgiving in memory of John Simmonds will be held on Thursday 6 September at 1pm in All Saints Church, Whitstable (7 Church Street, CT5 1PG).  This will be followed by drinks and canapes at John’s home (43 Downs Avenue, Whitstable, CT5 1RR) for all who would like to raise a toast and share their memories of John.  A private cremation will have taken place earlier in the day attended by family members.

Family flowers only.  Donations in memory to the RNLI (quote supporter number 45996835).

For further information please contact Council Secretariat on 01227 823903 or