PAYING TRIBUTE TO COMMUNITY HERO
VILLAGERS have paid tribute to a community hero and a Royal Navy veteran.
Kenneth Arton was a long-standing member of different organisations and served Chalfont St Peter in a number of ways before his death at Wexham Park Hospital on Saturday March 26.
He was said to have been a font of knowledge about land ownership and development in Chalfont St Peter and had, since retiring from his estate agency Chalcross, continued serve its residents.
He was the founder of the Chamber of Commerce in its present format and was honoured with life member in 1948. He was a committee member for the village’s older persons action group (VOPAG) for many years, as well as serving on the Community Safety Group, the Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) and the traffic and transport group, with good friend Ian Corbett.
He played a role in NAG’s recent efforts to stop Bucks County Council imposing parking meters in Market Place.
He also campaigned against the intrusion of HS2 on Chalfont and appeared in front of the House of Commons Select Committee in London last year.
Mr Arton also found time to be a regular member of the Gerrards Cross and Chalfont Probus Club.
He was an active member of the local Royal British Legion for many years and had become a fixture at the front of Remembrance Day parades and at the Market Place entrance of Budgens, where he was a poppy seller for many years.
Until recently, he could still be seen in the first week in December hanging Christmas lights on the tree at the bottom of the common.
Mr Corbett said: “Kenneth Arton was an enthusiastic member of many of our village organisations and he was always willing to give his time to help other people.”
At last month’s Chiltern District Council’s Community Awards, Mr Arton was awarded the Long Service Award, an award which honours individuals in the Chiltern district who go the extra mile to enhance the lives of others.
His award was received by long time friend and fellow award winner Ken Adams who, together with Chalfont St Peter parish councillor Tony Shinner and chairman Linda Smith, took the award to Mr Arton in hospital.
Mr Shinner said: “Like many who knew Ken, I find that I didn’t really know very much about him personally.
“The only time I managed to get Ken to talk about himself was at functions like Remembrance Sunday, when I recently learned that he’d been assigned to work on armed trawlers out of Liverpool as part of the convoy guarding operation.
“He said they had a crew of 14 and that, being a trawler, it was seaworthy but never very comfortable.
“He described the boredom of nothing much ever happening, save for one day when a German U-boat surfaced after a mechanical breakdown and his trawler took surrender of the vessel.
“Before long though, a Royal Navy vessel emerged, took over and took full credit for their surrender.”
Mrs Smith, who knew Mr Arton for a number of years, added: “He will be missed. He was a very good campaigner and volunteer in our village.
“He was known by lots of people, he took a big interest in this village.”
Funeral arrangements for Mr Arton have yet to be confirmed.