Son’s tribute to death-scuffle Manny
THE SON of an 84-year-old North Londoner who died last Thursday from injuries sustained in a scuffle with a group of teenagers has paid a moving tribute.
Mendel “Manny” Webber had been due to go on holiday to New York with his family the day after the incident that led to his death, his son Howard told the JC in an exclusive interview this week.
“His bags are still in his flat, packed and ready to go,” said Mr Webber, who is chief executive of Postwatch, the con- sumer council for postal services, and former chief executive of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
Mr Webber had confronted a group of youths who were throwing around a can of deodorant at a bus stop in Forty Lane, Wembley, on October 18. During a struggle, he fell and hit his head on the ground. He never regained consciousness and died in Northwick Park Hospital.
Howard Webber said: “He was very resourceful, in good health and very active. On his 84th birthday, we did a 10-mile walk together. He was also a great traveller. Last year he went to Australia via Hong Kong to see an uncle who lives there.”
After his wife and elder son died within 18 months of each other in 2003 and 2005, he took up bridge. “He was brilliant at it and within a couple of years was taking on players of county standard. On his last bridge weekend, he won an award for the most promising player.”
Born and raised in Paddington, Mr Webber worked in the accounts department of a boiler firm before serving in the army in North Africa and Italy during the war. He then became company secretary for a small supermarket before becoming a taxi-driver.
He married Josephine in 1949 and the couple settled in Wembley 20 years ago. They were members of Middlesex New Reform Synagogue in Harrow.
After Josephine died from ovarian cancer and son David, a hospital pharmacist, died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage, aged 52, the family “wanted to do something to commemorate their lives”.
They set up the Josephine Webber Memorial Information Centre in Hammersmith Hospital’s oncology unit, where Josephine was treated.
The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, North-West London, where David Webber worked, has benefited from patient-information resources while the family also endowed a lecture and travelling fellowship at the school of pharmacy at London University, where he trained.
A 13-year-old boy appeared at Brent youth court on Monday charged with grievous bodily harm without intent. He was remanded on bail to appear again on a date later this month.
Manny Webber: holiday date