Sam Co­hen

The Jewish Chronicle - - OBITUARIES -

Born Leeds, Jan­uary 14, 1904. Died Lon­don, March 18, 2007, aged 103.

HACK­NEY MAYOR Sam Co­hen was de­voted to help­ing the needy, to Labour and to Zion­ism.

Mov­ing from Leeds as a child with his Rus­sian-born par­ents, he be­came a mas­ter tai­lor in the East End of Lon­don. A mem­ber from his youth of the Labour Party and Poale Zion, the Zion­ist Labour move­ment, he en­tered lo­cal pol­i­tics as a coun­cil­lor in Stoke New­ing­ton in 1945.

He was chair­man, sec­re­tary and agent of the Stoke New­ing­ton Labour Party. In the bor­ough of Stoke New­ing­ton he was mayor in 1959, deputy mayor and al­der­man. When Stoke New­ing­ton was ab­sorbed into the Greater Lon­don Bor­ough of Hack­ney in 1965, he re­peated the se­ries of of­fices, serv­ing as mayor in 1978. He re­ceived the free­dom of each bor­ough.

As chair­man of the twin­ning com­mit­tee, he se­cured the twin­ning of Hack­ney with Haifa in 1968. He was vice-chair­man and later vice-pres­i­dent of Poale Zion and an ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of the Zion­ist Fed­er­a­tion.

He helped ev­ery­one at all hours , re­gard­less of party, re­li­gion or colour. He was chair­man and later life pres­i­dent of the Hack­ney As­so­ci­a­tion for the Dis­abled, and chair­man of the Hack­ney and Is­ling­ton branch of the NSPCC and the Work­ers’ Cir­cle Friendly So­ci­ety. With his wife, whom he mar­ried in 1928 and who ac­tively part­nered him, he founded the still-thriv­ing Sam and An­nie Day Cen­tre in 1984.

Af­ter her death in 1987, he lived alone and was lu­cid to the end, re­tain­ing all his fac­ul­ties and wit. He made his last trip to Is­rael at 101 and spent his fi­nal days in Homer­ton Hospi­tal, whose foun­da­tion stone-lay­ing he had at­tended 20 years ear­lier as Hack­ney’s deputy mayor.

He is sur­vived by his daugh­ter Re­nee, son Martin, six grand­chil­dren and 19 great-grand­chil­dren.

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