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A tribute to long standing Havant FOE stalwart

We are sorry to announce the sad news that our stalwart Ray Cobbett passed away on the 3rd of July.

Ray had been a leading light in the Havant FOE community for the last 18 years, and it’s hard to know how we will manage without his knowledge and guidance.

Ray was a tower of strength and understood the enormity and complexity of local and world issues that we all face. He also worked hard to influence others to take up an earth friendly lifestyle and value our green spaces, and the planet we live on.

Ray was born and educated in Wimbledon, South London and became an engineer in the RAF serving in the Middle and Far East in the fifties. He moved to Hampshire in the early sixties joining IBM in Hursley Development Laboratories near Winchester. He later transferred to IBM’s Headquarters in Portsmouth, responsible for procurement and supplies management and made Havant his new home in 1978.

A two-year secondment followed to the London Enterprise Agency (Lenta) as a marketing counsellor for new business start-ups that put Ray in the centre of inner-city renewal. After Lenta joined IBM’s European operations in Paris travelling widely throughout Europe and the US promoting offset arrangement between IBM’s worldwide locations and countries whose supply base was viable.

On returning from Paris, Ray took up a position managing procurement throughout the UK. Always an active citizen, Ray joined the Lib Dems and throughout his thirty-year membership was chairman three times, candidate and eventually a Hampshire County Councillor for Havant and Emsworth in the nineties. The community had always been part and parcel of Ray’s life and while living in Havant and eventually later settling down in Emsworth.

Ray had also served on the governing body and boards of schools, Havant Arts Centre, Havant Housing Association and Emsworth Residents Association among other organisations. He had also led various campaigns and in 2002 launched Havant Friends of the Earth.

Since retirement Ray devoted most of his time to environmental issues. He had written extensively for newspapers and magazines as well as attending presentations and organising events.

We would like to all join in and send our sincere condolences to Ray’s family at this sad time.

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