Our Man in West­min­ster

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

Iwant this week to pay trib­ute to one of the best and most de­cent MPs I have worked with; my for­mer neigh­bour in the Faver­sham and Mid Kent seat An­drew Rowe. A memo­rial ser­vice was held for An­drew at All Saints Church in Maid­stone on Fri­day, and it is a sign of how highly re­garded he was that this huge church was full with friends from Kent and well be­yond. This is also rel­e­vant for the Ken­tish Ex­press cam­paign on prostate can­cer with Ian Mitch­e­son. An­drew suf­fered from prostate can­cer, and his di­ag­no­sis came just in time to al­low him more than a decade “ex­tra”. I can only re­peat the mes­sage aimed at my­self and all other men of a cer­tain age – get your­self checked reg­u­larly. An­drew char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally threw as much en­ergy into his last few years as he had be­fore he re­ceived his di­ag­no­sis. The ser­vice re­flected this, with tributes not only to his work in help­ing the church in Bearstead, but to na­tional cam­paigns such as JC2000, and al­le­vi­at­ing poverty in In­dia. One of the many mov­ing tributes paid came from a worker in the slums of Delhi, where An­drew helped set up a school. We heard that the pupils were more or less ex­actly the sort of char­ac­ters fea­tured in Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire, and that as a re­sult of An­drew’s work some of them might be­come mil­lion­aires through their own work. It was a real plea­sure work­ing with An­drew in the four years we spent to­gether in Par­lia­ment. He was al­ways help­ful with ad­vice for an ig­no­rant new mem­ber, and it was usu­ally de­liv­ered with the laugh that every­one will re­mem­ber him for. At a time when pol­i­tics and politi­cians are held in low re­gard, An­drew Rowe and his life of ser­vice is the best re­join­der I can think of.

Pic­ture: Gary Browne PD1552164

Bendy street lights in shared-space area

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