The Jewish Chronicle

John Bull



ACOUNCILLO­R FOR 31 years, John Bull was Lord Mayor of Westminste­r from 1984-85. Joining the Conservati­ve Party in 1950, he was a ward chairman and a local treasurer before being elected to Westminste­r City Council in 1971.

He served on major committees and subcommitt­ees covering health, social services, housing, finance, planning, police, licensing, contracts and grants. He chaired the social services main committee from 1979-82 and was chairman or vice-chairman of most of his subcommitt­ees.

As Westminste­r’s lord mayor, his chaplain was the late Rev Dr Isaac Levy. He addressed a civic reception at the Central Synagogue on Jewish links with Westminste­r.

He hosted the Westminste­r City Hall launch of a Holocaust memorial cassette, whose proceeds benefited the Council of Christians and Jews. He spoke at the annual Ajex parade in Whitehall and used an official trip to West Germany to meet Jewish leaders.

Born in Cable Street in London’s East End, John Bull was evacuated during the Second World War and went to Soham Grammar School in Cambridges­hire but returned to London to attend the Regent Street Poly (now the University of Westminste­r).

He married Helene Baran in 1947, after two years’ national service in the RAF, and set up a successful West End antiques business.

A long-standing campaigner against the Arab boycott, which he considered as harmful to Britain as to Israel, he chaired the Trades Advisory Council for some 20 years, ending as vice-president, and was ex officio a member of the Board of Deputies. Founded in 1940 to combat job discrimina­tion against Jews, the TAC tackled the boycott until it faded with the 1993 Oslo accords.

While promoting the TAC’s arbitratio­n and reconcilia­tion service, he protested to the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, and the Foreign Office about the FO’s readiness to authentica­te boycott documents. He withdrew his account from internatio­nal courier DHL, which would not deliver to Israel.

He was a school governor, JP, tax commission­er, Rotary member, founder of the North London branch of the Conservati­ve Friends of Israel in 1984, member of the Institute of Directors, and founding social chairman of the Handicappe­d Children’s Aid Committee (now Lifeline 4 Kids) from 1961-77, organising its annual ball.

He received an Order of Merit from France in 1985 and was made deputy lieutenant for Greater London in 1989 and honorary alderman in 2003, when he retired. He was a racehorse owner and keen Arsenal supporter.

He is survived by his wife, daughter Adrienne, son Kenneth, four grandchild­ren and six great-grandchild­ren.

 ??  ?? John Bull: active communal life
John Bull: active communal life

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