Roy Blackler (OH 1931-1937)
YOUNGEST EVER FORMER HEREFORD MAJOR DIES AGED 89 Roy Blackler – OH passed away peacefully at his home on 15th June 2010. He was 89.After leaving school in 1937, Roy was called up to serve his country during WWII. On being de-mobbed in 1945, he started in industry as a finance officer and eventually became involved in local politics, also becoming a diocesan lay reader and a member of the parochial church council. In 1957, at the age of just 37, Roy was appointed the 576th Major of Hereford. A year later Roy made history at the Hereford Rotary Club when he was elected a member during his mayoralty. He was chosen not so much because of his civic office, but in his professional classification of industrial finance. His impartiality was generally admired, and so too was the way in which he performed the many onerous tasks which go with the office of mayor.In 1958, one of Roy’s less onerous duties was to present the badge of office to a fellow Old Herefordian, Geoffrey Hammonds ( OH 1920 – 1925 ) as the newly elected President of the Hereford & District Chamber of Commerce. The Hammond family firm were the official School photographers at that time.Keenly interested in education, Roy later joined the boards of management of All Saints, St. Owen’s and St. Peter’s Schools and became Vice-Chairman of the Governors of Tupsley School. He was also a member of the Lord Scudamore Trust, and a Governor of the Boys’and Girls’ High Schools.In 1960 Roy was appointed regional manager of the United Dominions Trust in Bristol, with jurisdiction over six counties. Already a Governor of the School and, as Hereford Mayor, one of the youngest men to hold that office, Roy went on to hold many other local positions almost too numerous to mention here.As a magistrate he was very strict. He consequently channelled his energy and fighting-spirit into other roles such as Chairman of All Saints Charities, Coningsby Museum and President of the Hereford Conservative Club. In 1983 Roy was awarded Hereford's highest honour - the freedom of the city.Roy had met his wife Joyce at a Young Conservatives meeting in Hereford before the outbreak of war, not long after leaving HCS. Thus, in June 2002 they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at the couple's Lichfield Avenue home. At this event, they were joined by their two daughters and four grandchildren. As a special treat, the bridesmaids at their wedding in Holy Trinity Church all those years ago, were each flown over from France and Australia to be with them on this memorable occasion.Roy will be remembered as a much loved husband, father, grandfather as well as a great grandfather.A memorial service was held in the Cathedral on 23rd July 2010. Roy was cremated at a private ceremony involving just his immediate family, who invited donations to be made in favour of Coningsby Hospital and Hereford Cathedral.